Feb 4, 2017

Fake news rises on left

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Fake news is rising on the "disempowered" left, at least partly because of wishful thinking. The Atlantic's Robinson Meyer discovered that progressives now face their "own kinds of hoaxes and fables":

  • "Twitter accounts purportedly operated by disgruntled government employees—@AltNatParSer, @RogueNASA, and the extra dubious @RoguePOTUSStaff—have swelled in number to become a shadow bureaucracy."
  • Brooke Binkowski, managing editor of the hoax-debunking Snopes, was asked if she had seen a spike in fake news aimed at liberals: "Of course yes! ... There's a lot of confusion, and people are profiting from the confusion on all sides of the continuum."
  • The Snopes editor, on advice for readers: "If it arouses an emotional response in you—if you see the headline and go, I can't believe this, I'm so angry—then it's probably something you need to check."

Go deeper

America's dwindling executions

The Trump administration wants to reboot federal executions, pointing to a 16-year lapse, but Pew Research reports the government has only executed three people since 1963.

The big picture: Nearly all executions in the U.S. are done by states. Even those have been steadily dropping for two decades, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) — marking a downward trend for all executions in the country.

Top NSC official may be moved after "Anonymous" rumor fallout

President Trump at the Daytona 500. (Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Top Trump administration officials are in discussions to reassign deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates to the Department of Energy from the National Security Council, per two sources familiar with the planning.

Why it matters: Coates' working relationship with National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, who elevated her to the deputy role only months ago, has strained amid an effort by some people inside the administration to tag her as "Anonymous" — a charge she has vehemently denied to colleagues.

Jeff Bezos commits $10 billion for climate change research

Bezos at Amazon Smbhav in New Delhi on Jan. 15. Photo: Sajjad Hussain/AFP via Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos announced the launch of his "Earth Fund" on Monday via Instagram to fund climate change research and awareness.

What he's saying: Bezos says he's initially committing $10 billion to fund "scientists, activists, and NGOS" that are working on environmental preservation and protection efforts.