Fake News and La Madera

“I see no reason he would claim to have been misquoted on something as innocuous as the last line in the story unless that was something that he hadn’t said.”

Really? I can easily think of several. And it really doesn’t matter if you can think of a reason, does it?

The argument from ignorance is “I can’t think of another reason for this THEREFORE the reason must be the one I want it to be.”

This is sort of the main way UFO belief operates.

You looked at one side of a story (second-handedly) and decided that the reporter had created Fake News. Would I be justified to take Johnson’s word that you had misquoted him without talking to you?

I can’t imagine that you have thought this through.

Fake News in today’s world actually almost always means “true news that I don’t like.”


Seriously? You didn’t get the subtly of the J. bond Johnson story? You didn’t think it a bit schizophrenic (in the colloquial use of the term as opposed to the medical and psychiatric use)? At one point I’m suggesting that the quote from Vigil is proof of journalistic invention and at the next point I’m complaining because such a claim is a way of denying the truth. Didn’t you think that a bit odd?

Of course, I can prove that I didn’t misquote Johnson because I have the tapes and have shared then with a dozen people who had heard Johnson make the statements he said he didn’t make. We had Stan Friedman saying that I had misquoted General Exon and when I told Stan that I had the quotes on tape he said he didn’t care because it was what Exon had told him. I have a letter from Exon saying the quotes are accurate. Patrick Saunders mentioned that I had misquoted him but I only quoted him directly once about Marcel finding the debris and Saunders saying that it wasn’t a balloon.

On the flip side, there are any number of stories that have turned out to have been false out in the world where political agendas are often more important than the truth. William Randolph Hearst managed to incite people to the point where we engaged in a war with Spain because Spanish saboteurs allegedly blew up the Maine (the battleship and not the state) and mistakes of enthusiasm when reporting that Dewey had beaten Truman or to engage in diplomacy by suggesting the Tet Offensive was some sort of victory for the VC, when, in fact, they were destroyed as a fighting force. I can point to Peter Arnett, who reported that American artillery had destroyed a village in order to save it when it was the VC, using 105 mm howitzers as direct fire weapons that had done the damage.

My point was here was a fairly innocuous statement that was being repudiated by the witness when the other statements attributed to him by Longo were not being challenged. At this late date, I couldn’t interview McDonald because he was dead, or Longo because he was dead or Vigil because he was dead. So, I thought I’d do a short little piece about this challenge to the news story but add the Johnson tale as a way of balancing the message.

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