Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dumb And Vile - Independent Falls For Prank, Smears Other Journalists

Moon of Alabama | Apr 30, 2017

The British daily Independent falls for a hilarious prank. It interprets some random lines on a picture of the Okay-gesture as a political message. Having thus failed it builds on its own stupidity to smear other outlets and journalists.

The anonymous Internet message board 4chan.org is well known for hilarious stunts played on ignorants and naive Internet novices.
4chan users have been instrumental in pranks such as hijacking Internet destinations to cause images of Rick Astley to appear in place of their content, coordinating attacks against other websites and Internet users, and posting threats of violence in order to elicit individual and public reactions. The Guardian once summarized the 4chan community as "lunatic, juvenile [...] brilliant, ridiculous and alarming."
In February 2017 some users of the 4chan sub-board for political incorrect stuff /pol/ launched a prank campaign to convince people that the "okay" hand-gesture, widely used with positive connotation, actually stands for White Power. The OK gesture is not cultural universal, but it is also not racist in any way or form:
The gesture is widely used to mean "all is well" or "good". Where the word "OK" may mean a thing is merely satisfactory or mediocre, as in "the food was OK", the gesture is commonly understood as a signal of approval, and is sometimes used synonymously with the Western "thumbs up" gesture.
One of hundreds of OK-sign stock photo: "Happy executive man"

Then 4chan starts its prank:


And some idiots fell for the stunt. Two month later The Independent is outraged, O U T R A G E D!, that journalists would use the okay gesture when they, for the first time, received their coveted press pass for the White House briefings.


From the Independent smear piece:
Freelance journalist Mike Cernovich and Cassandra Fairbanks, a reporter for Russian news outlet Sputnik, posed for a picture behind the podium in the White House briefing room. In the photo, they are making a hand sign that can be used to signify “white power.”
“Just two people doing a white power hand gesture in the White House,” Fusion senior reporter Emma Roller tweeted, alongside a screenshot of the picture.

Ms Fairbanks, however, claims the hand gesture was not a reference to the white power movement. She pointed to her partial Puerto Rican heritage as evidence that she is not a white supremacist.

“White power!!!!!!! Except I'm Puerto Rican. Can it be PR power?!” she tweeted.
To characterize Sputnik, an official news site of the Russian government, as "alt-right" is hilarious. But to fall for this obvious nonsense, to smear journalists as "alt-right members" for using an well known and innocuous gesture, and to create #fakenews from it, is dumb and vile.

When Cassandra Fairbanks, the lefty Sputnik journo, smells "PR power" behind the non-story, she demonstrates a way higher qualification for real journalism than the Independent scribe Emily Shugerman who fell for the prank.

Here, Ms Shugerman and Ms Roller, is another 4chan OK-gesture - this one exclusively for you. Interpret as you like:



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