Thule Air Force Base Meteor Misleading Headline

Meteor Strike Misleading HeadlineA Misleading Headline would suggest to you that the United States Air Force is covering up an enormous meteor strike that hit near the Thule Air Force base in Greenland. It’s true a meteor did explode some twenty-seven miles above the earth with a force of 2.1 kilotons. It’s also true the Air Force is not reporting about the incident. That may seem like some sort of cover up but you have to take several factors in to account.

First, the Air Force isn’t the one that reports meteor strikes, that’s the job of NASA and their Fireball and Bolide Report. That report includes this particular strike. The data indicates it was no different than dozens of other such events that occur yearly. So unremarkable was the strike that no one even bothered to write a story about it until it was reported by an Australian Astronomy organization.

Then Fox News got a hold of the article and began splashing the headline across its front page. Suddenly it was a huge story. It’s not.

Tom Liberman

Bacon Sandwich Misleading Headline

bacon sandwich finePlane passenger who wanted bacon sandwich fined $300 reads the headline from Fox News but the reality is somewhat different. Ronald James refused to buy lunch for his daughter while at the airport hoping the airline would feed her for free. The didn’t.

He refused to accept the answer given to him and insisted on speaking to the captain of the flight. When refused he harassed and physically menaced flight attendants for a good portion of the flight. These are not allegations at this point, James pleaded guilty and has been fined.

Tom Liberman

Satan or Snowflake Misleading Headline

Satan ICBMAll over my news feed today is reference to a Russian ICBM called “Satan”. Yeah, I knew about it before the headlines. It’s an extremely capable ICBM replacing an earlier generation missile called the R-36M which was actually called the Satan. The new missile is named RS-28 Sarmat by Russia and has been designated the SS-X-32 Snowflake by NATO.

I think the idea is an ICBM named Satan is a littler scarier, or has better clickbait allure, than one called Snowflake. I will not deny the missile has an operational capacity that is astounding. It can handle up to fifteen smaller (350 kiloton) nuclear weapons, ten larger MIRV payloads, or up to 24 of the new Avangard hypersonic glide vehicles that, if they work, render all missile defense systems forever obsolete.

Shame on all those headlines. The weapon system is extremely scary. Trust me to understand as much without giving it demonic names.

Tom Liberman

Jail for Baptizing Baby Misleading Headline

The headline reads: North Carolina mother jailed for baptizing 2-year-old daughter. The reality is quite different. Kendra Stocks was jailed for violating a court order that gave the baby’s father final say in legal custody decisions including those of a religious nature.

Stocks was specifically told by the judge not to have the Baptism without the father present. The two are engaged in a custody battle over the baby. She went ahead and did it anyway. Now she’s in jail.

I would hope nobody has a problem with it.

Tom

Early Morning Exercise Bad for You Misleading Headline

Exercise UnhealthyHow Waking Up Early in the morning could be Counterproductive blares the misleading headline from PopSugar. Yeah, well, what they mean is not getting enough sleep is unhealthy. Duh. Exercise has nothing to do with the problem.

The idea is that people get up early to exercise and this cuts into their regular sleep schedule. Exercise is almost always good for you barring extreme overworking.

So there you go. Get your sleep and exercise. You heard it here first.

Oh, and SugarPop, you win my not so weekly Misleading Headline of the Week award.

Tom Liberman

Josh Rosen Disses Alabama Misleading Headline

josh-rosenThe Headline Screams: UCLA Quarterback Josh Rosen: Raise the SAT Requirement at Alabama and See what kind of team they have.

It seems like if you use a direct quote from someone it can’t possibly be a misleading headline but that’s exactly what happened in this case. What Rosen was talking about is the terrible incongruity between being a college football player and being a student. In the majority if the article he talks about how spending last season injured was a hugely eye opening experience. He was able to spend more time taking classes than he would normally be allowed to do. He learned that many of the requirements of his economic major are not even available at the times his normally limited schedule allow.

He used the Alabama quote not to deride Alabama but to simply illustrate that it’s impossible for many of the best young football players in the nation to also excel at academics. What he said, and I think he said it effectively, is that no Division I college football team is made up of athletes who are stellar students. That if we want to limit college athletes to the best students, the quality of football will suffer.

He was saying that the job of being a college athlete largely precludes being a strong student. Both are jobs and you can’t work hard at one without the second suffering. The primary job of young college football players is to play, not to study. Their schedules are designed to make it extremely difficult to accomplish both.

Perhaps he should have used UCLA as an example rather than Alabama but I have no problem with his basic point and I hate to see him getting trashed because of a Misleading Headline.

Tom Liberman

Chess Prodigy Misleading Headline

shogi recordJapanese chess prodigy, 14, breaks 30-year winning streak record screams the headline. Yes, he is 14. Yes, he did break a winning streak record. No, it wasn’t chess. He plays chess and is reportedly good at it, but the streak was in a game called Shogi.

What’s wrong with a headline saying he broke a Shogi record? I’m a chess player and had never heard of a winning streak record so I was intrigued by the article. Nothing against Sota Fujii who is clearly a fine player of Shogi. I just wish the headline could have been more honest.

Tom Liberman

 

Stoned BMW Workers Misleading Headline

bmw-workersStoned Assembly Line Workers Cost BMW $1 Million in One Day, Report Claims: Screams the misleading headline from TheDrive. The implication is BMW workers were high on marijuana and made some horrible mistake.

This one’s a doozy. If you read the headline and the first paragraph you’ll assume  the two BMW workers smoked a marijuana joint and then collapsed on the line causing a forty minute shutdown. This costs BMW about a million dollars.

It’s a good thing your trusty sniffer out of misleading headlines, that’s me, is on the case!

In the story we find out that one of the workers was way, way over the legal limit for alcohol and the other was flying on amphetamines. But, heck, let’s blame marijuana! Because it’s reported, but not confirmed, they smoked a joint before heading onto the line. Marijuana is an easy target. Mission accomplished Aaron Brown, you win for the most misleading headline. I sometimes let the author off the hook because the headline is generally written by someone else but Brown is an accomplice in the crime this time. The lead of his story is the marijuana use and, oh, by the way I’ll mention later, they were drunk as skunks and sailing on Crystal Meth.

This sort of thing is journalism at its worst. It’s designed specifically to be consumed by the anti-marijuana people of this world so they can pass it along in Facebook to everyone they know, that’s how I came across the story.

Always read the full story, my friends. Or come to me, because I do!

Tom Liberman

 

Jordan Spieth – Tiger Woods Misleading Headline

spieth-woodsThis one is a doozy! Jordan Spieth tees off on Tiger Woods in Epic Shade Throwing reads the completely false and malicious headline from Sportsnaught and Vincent Frank.

Clickbait at its absolute worst. Not only does the headline make it appear as if Spieth said something nasty about Tiger Woods but the article pretty much matches the headline. It talks about how Spieth was throwing a “whole heck of a lot of shade.”

Give me a break. Spieth pointed out his game is not based on hitting the ball long but on accurate approach shots and strong putting. Thus the methods used at the Masters to lengthen the golf course for Woods and other long hitters wouldn’t be effective against Spieth.

It was not shade. It was not even directed at Woods. It was simply a comment on his style of play.

Congratulations Sportsnaught and Vincent Frank, you win Misleading Headline of the Week!

Tom Liberman

Saban Blames USC for Problems Misleading Headline

alabama-sideline-argumentTechnically the headline from For the Win at USA Today was accurate but I’m going to go ahead and call it my Misleading Headline of the Week anyway.

Nick Saban blames USC for heated exchange between Alabama players reads the headline. The implication is that the head coach of Alabama was accusing the players of USC for starting some sort of incident. Saban actually went out of his way to make it clear he wasn’t blaming the USC players.

There was a lot of trash talking going on from the other side, that’s OK. That’s their choice. They can do whatever they want. I’m not being critical of that.

Basically what happened is two Alabama players were trying to calm down a teammate, Ronnie Harrison, who was reacting to the trash talking. That caused a heated argument between the players. Harrison has reportedly apologized to his teammates.

Now, technically the headline is correct. Saban did suggest that the incident started in reaction to some trash talking by the USC players. But his point was that his own player was at fault for letting it get to him.

I don’t think it’s the worst misleading headline I’ve ever read but the impression I got was that Saban was blaming USC for the problem which he was not.

Saban’s final quote really sums it up. When you have a teammate who cares about you and is trying to help you, the response should be ‘Thank you,’ not ‘Screw you.’

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Maternal Deaths in Childbirth Rising in USA Misleading Headline

Maternal_mortality_rateI’m not sure if I’d call it a misleading headline so much as a clickbait sensational headline but Vox splashes the following headline: More and more women are now dying in childbirth, but only in America.

The story, written by Sarah Frostenson, is quite informative and interesting. The headline leaves it up to the imagination of the viewer as to what is causing more women in the United States to die during birth and the mind, left to its own devises, can come up with some interesting scenarios. Personally I was thinking that the rise in infections or perhaps more home births was the culprit.

But no. The culprit is that more and more women who are giving birth are dangerously obese. Deaths from the complications of anesthesia have virtually vanished, deaths from infections are about the same, deaths from hemorrhaging and blood pressure spikes have dropped. People who are morbidly obese put tremendous strain on their hearts and also have diabetes at a very high rate. Add in the stress of giving birth and there you have it. That’s why maternal deaths are rising in the United States but not in other countries.

Excellent reporting, well-written, and thoroughly researched article. Yay!

Clickbait headline. Boo.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Tennessee Human Trafficking Misleading Headline

human-trafficking-misleading-headlineThere is a very serious subject that gets a lot of news these days called Human Trafficking. A lot of really good people are donating huge amounts of money to stop this terrible scourge. The problem is that it largely isn’t happening in the United States. It is what is called a Moral Panic.

Most people who are identified as victims of human trafficking were willing prostitutes. The police and FBI report large numbers but nowhere can documentation be found of the problem and those organizations cannot provide much, if any evidence.

Scam artists who claim to be victims take large sums from good-hearted people who desperately want to believe their stories.

This hasn’t stopped charitable organizations collection tens of millions of dollars and police departments having entire task forces built using tens of millions more of your tax dollars.

Case in point is today’s Misleading Headline of the Week which is blaring forth on every news website I monitor.

41 arrested in Tennessee human-trafficking probe

When you get around to reading the story you find that authorities posted ads on a website for underage girls desiring sex and arrested the men who answered the ads.

No one was trafficked. No one.

I understand my opinion on this subject is unpopular. I’ve had a couple of nasty Facebook exchange with proponents of the enormous Super Bowl related issue with human trafficking, which is supported by no evidence.

Just because I say human trafficking largely doesn’t exist in this country and that scammers are stealing huge amounts of money doesn’t mean I support human trafficking. That I don’t think many of the people involved in the efforts to stop this virtually non-existent problem aren’t well-intentioned.

I think people want to be good and this phantom issue gives them a chance to act out on it. They collect money, hold seminars, and fund police departments all in good faith.

The question I ask is if you would support a hundred million dollar, nationwide effort to stamp out the predations of the Tooth Fairy from stealing all those teeth?

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, you win for Misleading Headline of Week.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

President’s Daughter Caught Flashing – Misleading Headline

Malia-Obama-at-LollapaloozaWe have a winner. Paula Bolyard from Lifestyle Magazine wrote a hit article about Malia Obama attending the Lollapalooza music festival. The headline writer picked up on the general nastiness in the article and wrote the following headline.

Malia Obama Caught on Video Twerking and Flashing the Crowd at Lollapalooza

Malia did attend the event and was dancing. She had a shirt tied around her waist and flipped the shirt up so that people could see her shorts. That was the “flashing” part of the story.

Bolyard mentions pointedly at last year’s event some people were arrested and treated by doctors. She specifically mentions cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, and worst of all alcohol use! Underage drinking at a huge concert? Drugs? Say it isn’t so.

Not that Malia actually flashed anything or took any drugs but we must disparage her as much as possible despite the fact that she did nothing wrong. Bolyard writes in italics to let us know how terrible is the behavior, “… did she ever enjoy the dancing“.

As if enjoying dancing is bad thing. Well, maybe it is in Bolyard’s mind.

If you aren’t ready to be disgusted enough reading this article you might be tempted to go to page 2 where it is revealed that the Obama girls listen to music with bad language in it!

What a piece of garbage article and a disgusting clickbait headline.

You truly deserve the Misleading Headline of the Week Award. Congratulations Lifestyle Magazine and Bolyard. Well done.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Nintendo Shares Plummet – Misleading Headline

stock-market-downThe New York Post wins the Misleading Headline of the Week contest with this doozy.

Nintendo shares plummet on fears Pokémon GO is worthless

It’s true the stock did drop 18% but only after an initial run-up of 122% after the wildly successful Pokemon Go game was introduced.

It’s a very natural bubble. People saw the company release a popular game and hoped to buy shares while the price was low and then sell them later at a profit. It’s the way the market works. Perception is often as important as reality, at least in the short term.

Nintendo as a company has been suffering in recent years and purchasing the stock is a risk. This article is, in my opinion, more bashing of Pokemon Go by authority figures who fear the game is destroying the social boundaries they rely so heavily upon.

Well done, New York Post. Winner!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

 

Radishes Grown on Mars – Martian Soil – Martian Like Soil – Misleading Headline

martian-soil-experiment-minScientists are About to Eat Radishes Grown in Martian Soil blares the headline.

The implication is that we’ve grown Radishes on Mars or at the very least that we have Martian soil here on Earth that we used to grow some radishes. The reality, not so much.

The radishes were grown in a nutrient poor soil designed to be similar to Martian soil. I’m guessing it wasn’t grown under the same conditions we’d find on Mars.

Interesting experiment, no, not even that. There are all kinds of people working on growing crops in nutrient poor soil. Pure click bait. The experiment itself, the story, and the headline especially.

I do love me some radishes though!

What do you think about the Radish Story?

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Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Shania Clifford Bumped from Competition – Misleading Headline

masonry-shania-cliffordI just read an interesting story that is generating lots of outrage based on, in my opinion, a misleading headline.

A young woman named Shania Clifford from Scioto, Ohio was the first of her gender to win the SkillsUSA Ohio masonry competition. She was then bumped from the competition as the headline blares: First female teen to win Ohio masonry competition bumped from national contest.

A reading of the story indicates that Clifford actually finished in third place but was given the gold medal because of a transcribing error from the judge’s sheet to the spreadsheet which calculated finishes.

Clifford was not notified but instead the competitor who actually won was told. He then posted the news on his Facebook page and that is how Clifford found out.

The organization certainly failed in a number of ways. The transcribing error was unfortunate but mistakes happen. However, not notifying Clifford of the mistake and explaining in detail what happened was dead wrong. There’s no excuse for that. It’s rude and also gives the impression they are hiding something.

They owe Clifford a much better explanation and I see no reason why they shouldn’t invite her to the finals in any case. But the bottom line is this isn’t sexism, it’s a typo. That is if the explanation for what happened is true. I do think the lack of communication on the part of those who ran the competition has opened them to questions. They should provide the original judges scorecard and the faulty spreadsheet calculations.

Even with that I’m going to call this a misleading headline.

Also, good job, Shania! Keep up the hard work. Even if you don’t get to the finals you’re on your way.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Gray Horn
Next Release: For the Gray

Headline Writers DESTROY Internet

Extra-ExtraIn HUGE news today the headline writers ABSOLUTELY DESTROYED the entire internet with EXPLODING stories about how their rant CRUSHED any opposition.

It was a MASSIVE defeat for reasoned and thoughtful discussion about important topics. The headlines DEVESTATED any argument against their bold lettering with ENORMOUS words that simply left rational thought without HOPE!!!!

Yes it was an EPIC day in the GLORIOUS history of the United States when headline writer’s proclamation of UTTER ANNHILATION simply overwhelmed all opponents. There was NOTHING LEFT except a feeble and useless attempt asking for substance instead of FLASH from those feeding us the news.

You HEARD IT HERE first!!

The internet is SHATTERED.

In a side note, click here to read TEN WEIRD TRICKS on how to write books that no one purchases!!

Peace.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition
Next Release: The Gray Horn

Massive Recall isn’t Really Massive

Recall-HeadlineIt seems like not a month goes by without a blaring headline citing a recall of hundreds of thousands if not millions of vehicles. I hadn’t really given it much thought until recently but for some reason it finally struck me as serial Misleading Headlines.

The above image is pretty typical of what we see in the frighteningly bold headlines in all these cases. In the past I think my reaction to such news was probably pretty typical of what most people think. Wow! Insert Auto Manufacturer really messed up. This is going to cost them billions of dollars to fix. What a disaster.

I had these thoughts despite having vehicles of my own as part of recalls in the past. We all know the drill and yet we are still impressed with the headline and often click on it.

The reality? There’s no mystery. Everyone who owned that year and make car gets a note. The next time they take it in for service the dealership performs the fix. They do thousands of them, they have the parts on hand, the mechanics replace the part, probably in less than five minutes. The car is back on the road.

In fact, I’d be willing to bet that the recall actually ends up being profitable. When I take my car in to the dealer to fix a recall issue I usually get my oil changed or some other routine maintenance that I would normally have done a local facility. This means I pay the dealership for the routine maintenance, work if not for the recall they would not have done. The profit on the oil change most likely exceeds the loss on the recall fix.

I’d be willing to bet most people do it the same way.

So, there you go. Serial Misleading Headlines.

What do you think? Am I wrong?

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition
Next Release: The Gray Horn

Cheerleaders Distracting Misleading Headline

Cheerleaders-distractingTwo of my favorite things, misleading headlines and sports, came together the other day and that makes me happy.

In a football game between Toledo and Central Michigan the referee felt the need to admonish the Central Michigan cheerleaders for distracting the Toledo team as they neared the Central Michigan end zone.

Both the headline and the article hope to heap ridicule on the referee for his declaration. Isn’t it the job of cheerleaders to be loud?

On its face the headline and article by Sam Cooper of the Dr. Saturday sports Yahoo blog seem to have a point. That is until you learn the facts of the situation.

The Central Michigan cheerleaders were chanting snap-counts loudly and in the direction of the field in order to simulate the quarterback’s calls. This is, in fact, against the rules. You can cheer loudly all you want but you’re not allowed to simulate the calls of the quarterback.

The referee was fully justified in the announcement and, in my opinion, could have assessed a penalty. He was kind enough to give them a warning first.

Not only was the referee correct, but I’m of the opinion that the Central Michigan cheerleaders were engaged in bad sportsmanship. Shame on them. Good for the referee.

Congratulations, Sam and Dr. Saturday, you win the misleading headline of the week contest!

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition
Next Release: The Gray Horn

Jilted Bride – Misleading Headline

jilted-brideThe latest in my series of misleading headlines is a doozy.

The headline seems to indicate that Antoinette Sullivan went to McDonald’s with friends to lament the fact that she was left at the altar.

Nothing could be further form the truth. Her husband, with whom she has four children, and she got married in the afternoon. He then went off to a paint ball game with his buddies. He had full approval for this and there was no animosity from Antoinette. She met up with her husband and friends later for an evening of fun.

They seem like a fairly nice couple if you read the article. I must believe the writer of the story had no part of the headline.

Tom Liberman
Sword and Sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian Ideology
Current Release: The Girl in Glass I: Apparition
Next Release: The Gray Horn