Seven State Lawmakers Sign the Fake News Pledge

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Scott Nov. 6 Wikileaks fake newsThe Fake News Pledge has now been signed by seven state lawmakers, all Democrats: State Representatives Mike Foote of Lafayette, Susan Lontine of Denver, Michael Merrifield of Colorado Springs, and Michael Weissman of Aurora as well as State Sen. Irene Aguilar of Denver, State Senate Minority Leader Lucia Guzman of Denver, and State Sen. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City.

The Pledge is a promise not to spread fake news on Facebook. It defines fake news as a story “deemed false or inaccurate by Snopes, Politifact, Factcheck.org, or by a respected news outlet.” It also must be “packaged to look somehow like news.” Everyone who supports factual discourse, Dem or Republican, should support it.

Westword’s Michael Roberts’ post on this topic today shows why the Pledge isn’t an empty gesture: Colorado state lawmakers and candidates spread obvious fake news on their Facebook pages. Look at the Westword piece, take a step back for a moment, and you realize realize how unbelievably crazy it is for elected officials and candidates to post this kind of stuff.

As far as I know, this is the only tangible step by state lawmakers nationally to fight fake news.

So the signers deserve our thanks for having the guts to try to do something.

And please note those who wouldn’t sign: Sen. Kevin Lundberg (R-Berthoud) and Sen. Tim Neville (R-Littleton). Neville told me that “each individual has to be the arbiter of fake news. Lundberg said the term fake news “smacks of a new censorship.”

Overall, I’ve found six Colorado state legislators who posted fake news on their Facebook pages (See here and here). Two removed it (State Rep. Polly Lawrence and former State Rep. Kit Roupe). Two told me they would not remove it (former State Rep. Gordon Klingenschmitt and State Sen. Tim Neville). Neville posted this: “Earth Is Nearly in Its 21st Year Without Global Warming.” And two lawmakers did not respond to my request that it be deleted (State Rep. Ray Scott, and former State Sen. Laura Woods).

After launching the Pledge, I was accused of being a “fake reporter” by former State Sen. Greg Brophy. And other conservatives attacked me, as if my being progressive somehow undermines the pledge. I am progressive, and I’m paid by progressives. I don’t hide it. But I’m committed to being factual in my writing–and we all can expect the same from our state lawmakers of any political stripe. So I’m hoping more of them sign the Pledge.

9 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Brophy called you a "fake reporter"? He's a fake politician and a fake chief of staff for Ken Buck. He might be a real evil leprechaun, however.

  2. Andrew Carnegie says:

    If the Fake News organizations, which are in the pockets of the Dems, are the arbitrar of what is Fake News, what is the point of the pledge?

    Just a bunch of Dems still trying to feel better after their losses in November.

    Bunch of snowflakes.

    • DavieDavie says:

      Aw, Gerbils.  You do love listening to all the fairy tales you hear on Faux News, don't you!  So reassuring aren't they?  Glad they give you a false sense of security.

      We're just enjoying observing you and your fearful, paranoid, ignorant lemmings follow your insane Joker of a leader as he walks your party over the cliff.

      Bon Voyage 🙂

       

    • Conserv. Head Banger says:

      I didn't know that some premier "fake news" organizations; such as Breitbart, InfoWars, El Rushbo, Mark Levin; were in the Dems pockets. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    • Jason Salzman says:

      If journalists aren't acceptable arbiters to you, who should be? It's true, if you reject the profession of journalism, then this pledge is unacceptable to you. But don't you think we need reporters to help us agree on facts, even allowing that they make mistakes themselves?

      • Andrew Carnegie says:

        Jason,

        The concept of journalists seeking the objective truth is not something I have seen any recent evidence of.

        I think where we are left is fairly portraying reality from both perspectives with the reader concluding what to agree with.

        With all the "Russian connection" news over the last six months, has anyone yet mentioned any statute that Trump has allegedly violated?  If there is a crime what is it and identify the statute?  What evidence is there that Trump even knew about this stuff?  Did the Dems do the exact same thing with the Ukrainians?  If they did, did that violate any law?  If the alleged crime is someone received something of value and did not disclose it, how were all the celebrity concerts for Clinton treated?

        The independent, third-party truth machine has been revealed in much the same way as the wizard in the wizard of oz, and guy behind the drawn curtain is not objective.

  3. mamajama55mamajama55 says:

    Being an elected representative carries some responsibilities, because people tend to trust their reps.

    One of those responsibilities is not posting as "news" unverified crap which originated on Facebook.

    We know where you stand, AC. IOKIYAR.

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