Media

15 Credibility Street #5: UFOs over Turkey and I ain’t too surprised

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We’re back with another news chat episode. The news is weird, as usual. Strange days indeed… Mothman reappears close to the 50th anniversary. Howard suspects pecuniary interests might be involved in the promotion of these local legends. The same can be suggested for the many YouTubers and websites that promote “weird news” like anomalies, natural…

Fake news gets real

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Fake news is a hot thing and trendy topic right now. But as we’ve shown through the years, and is now COMPLETELY obvious, fake news is bad for society, kind of like street drugs, it comes with some nasty side effects that touch everyone in the community. Here are the dealers, making money like crazy…

Continue, we must: US needs critical thinking advocates to step up and be heard

The gates have opened.

The DN/15 Credibility Street crew took a break yesterday because writing and talking about most things besides the election results seemed frivolous. We postponed our scheduled recording of the podcast because we weren’t in the right frame of mind, but by the end of the day, I saw many of the dejected pick themselves up,…

Facts may no longer matter in this election but fact-checking and skeptical activism works

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It’s the day after the big debate and media outlets like Politifact, Factcheck.org, AP, and NPR have their fact-checking (FC) machines churning at full speed since 9PM last evening. As a Skeptic who values solid evidence and empirical facts, I deeply appreciate FC but I strongly suspect that facts and examinations of truthfulness and accuracy…

Can’t discover a fossil ichthyosaur in Scotland without invoking a fictional monster?

Artistic rendering by Todd Marshall. Open-mouthed is a typical depiction that makes the subject look more menacing.

Another “spectacular” sea monster fossil discovery is ruined by some ridiculous journalists who can’t rid themselves of the stupid pop culture habit of comparing every ancient sea predator to a mythical creature. This is really getting old. The recent news is of a nearly intact ichthyosaur skeleton discovered on Scotland’s Isle of Skye and announced in…

Scottish poltergeist story is highly questionable, even if the police say they saw something

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Cross posted from Doubtful by Sharon Hill A story about a family in Rutherglen, Scotland, who called in police to report paranormal phenomena, rode the media wave yesterday into today. The original source was the local Rutherglen Reformer paper that appears digitally on the Daily Record (UK) website. Here is the main story: Rutherglen family call in police…

Real-deal “boy next door” medium? Or Hollywood hype?

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Back in July, I caught wind of yet another psychic medium “reality” show in development. This one seems tailor-made for Hollywood. Or, should I say… “tyler-made”? The eight-episode hour-long series “follows 19-year-old “celebrity medium” Tyler Henry, as he balances his unique abilities with trying to be a regular teenager.” He’s 20 now. Still, wouldn’t you think…

Nothing interesting happens in Canberra, eh? UFO hoax revealed (and it’s deemed ‘not interesting’)

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There was really no story to cover when, on January 4, 2015, several news outlets reported on a video on YouTube, promoted on Reddit, that was getting attention. You see, UFO/portal/wormhole videos are decidedly uninteresting (or should be) because they can pretty easily be faked and ARE regularly faked. All videos and photos (of ghosts, Bigfoot, lake…

Preaching to the Choir: Social media sharing in “echo chambers” reinforces belief

We may eschew sensationalism and ads but are not above emotional tugs and trendy memes. :-)

Doubtful News would be useless if people weren’t interested in finding out what might or might not be true and correct. This site appeals to people who are willing to listen to a narrative framed in that way. But, SURPRISE (not), most people consult the internet guided by beliefs they hold dear – whether those tend towards…

Are people really this dumb to be scared of solar panels? (Update)

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So, the top story shared on my social media today is a point-and-LOL chortle-fest at a North Carolina town who has rejected a solar panel farm project. There are DOZENS of stories that make fun of the people who provided public comment against the rezoning decision in Woodland, NC because of their apparent ignorance of…

On newsstands now… paranormal pandering from previously reputable sources

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National Geographic has a special issue out featuring “Strange But True: Secrets of the Supernatural Revealed”: Strange But True: Secrets of the Supernatural Revealed features the most wildly popular, incredibly weird, and totally true stories that only National Geographic could discover. Ripped from the headlines of National Geographic Daily News, these often weird, sometimes miraculous…

YouTube-Google lends a welcome hand to UFO debunkers

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It’s happened to lots of websites: criticism (or just a mention) of a product or a person results in an overreaction with an inappropriate claim of copyright infringement. How can you soundly explain the reasoning for why you think a certain photo is a bear, not a Bigfoot or that a UFO video is a hoax unless…

Bigfoot Captured breaks History: Channel continues to fake out viewers

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WOW! History Channel pulled a “Mermaids” gimmick. Why would they sabotage their credibility? Oh wait, ever since it became the “Hitler” Channel a while ago, it’s been heading downhill. According to this review of their latest special program, Bigfoot Captured, a “shameful fake documentary” about Bigfoot, it’s hit rock bottom. Reviewer Jim Vorel of Paste Magazine takes the…

Sweet Satan! It’s Exorcism EXTRAVAGANZA! (UPDATE: Snoozefest)

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UPDATE (editor) (2-Nov 2015): How did the broadcast go? Ratings are not in yet for cable but they WERE facing a World Series game and America’s Next Top Model. Both shows seemed to be more exciting according to reviews from Variety and the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Hopefully, they won’t try such blatant sensationalism nonsense…

Helene and Bobby McGee’s tragic ending: Was it the demons in her or those in his mind? (UPDATE: Guilty)

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UPDATE (2-Nov 2015) The verdict is in. McGee was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. No parole. The argument from his attorney that “He did not believe that he was mentally ill; he believes he’s doing God’s work,” did not wash with the jury who concluded it was premeditated. Originally published…

China’s floating city is a likely CGI hoax (UPDATE)

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On October 13, I posted a link (in Chinese) to our Facebook page (which you might ‘like’) regarding a questionable image of a city in the clouds in Foshan, China. Even though this “mirage” was shown on Chinese television, it’s certainly not impossible that they are giving bad information to the public. Is this an optical illusion, or…

Destination America now the haven of paranormal programming

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Last year at this time, SyFy gave up the ghost on new paranormal programming. That slack has been taken up with a vengeance by Destination America, a cable and satellite channel owned by Discovery Communications that features lifestyle, historical and travel programming focusing on the culture of the United States. From their lineup, paranormal themes play a huge…