Things That Matter

This Society Of Journalists Is Trying To Trademark The Term ‘Fake News’ To Stop Trump From Using It

Since President Donald Trump took office, he has frequently relied on the term “fake news” to describe a myriad of things: an exaggerated headline, a dubious “source” that chooses to remain anonymous. But more often than not, he has used the term indiscriminately to describe the media at large–regardless of a news item’s accuracy.

According to Factba.se (a website that allows you to search everything Trump has publicly said and Tweeted), Trump has used the term “fake news” over 1,200 times since becoming president–definitive proof that it is a phrase he regularly relies on the phrase when addressing the public. 

But while Trump may use the term “Fake News” often, he rarely, however, has used the term correctly. 

Dictionary.com–which recently added the word to its lexicon after a surge in its use by the public–defines “fake news” as “(noun): false news stories, often of a sensational nature, created to be widely shared or distributed for the purpose of generating revenue, or promoting or discrediting a public figure, political movement, company, etc.” 

In other words, the term “fake news” should only be applied to stories that are blatantly and demonstrably false–stories that are made to intentionally mislead their reader. The fact that President Trump uses this term in such a misleading way can work to confuse citizens who are trying to discern fact from fiction within the barrage of information they’re exposed to on a daily basis. And as for this journalistic organization, they believe it is their duty to stop President Donald Trump from continuing to misuse the term.

On Tuesday, the President of Florida’s local Society of Professional Journalists published an article on Teen Vogue announcing that her organization was applying to trademark the term “fake news” in order to prevent Trump from using it. 

According to reporter Emily Bloch, the president of the Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the move is meant to bring awareness to the harm that Trump inflicts on the public when he uses this term so erroneously. And keeping the public well informed is something the organization doesn’t take lightly. 

According to its website, The Society of Professional Journalists is an advocacy group dedicated to protecting the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The organization is “dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior”.

Not pulling any punches, the Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has teamed up with the creative agency WAX in order to bring as much awareness as possible to their campaign. While a decision is being made by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the organization will meanwhile be sending cease and desist letters to President Trump, accusing Trump of “trademark infringement”. The Cease and Desist letter states that the organization believes his “misuse of the term” has “greatly confused the American people and shaken their trust in the journalism that’s so vital to our democracy.”

Although they’re optimistic about the discussion their campaign might promote, the organization admittedly doesn’t expect their trademark will be approved. 

According to Bloch, the application to trademark the term “Fake News” isn’t being done in earnest–it’s satire. “No one can really trademark a generic term like ‘fake news’,” she said in her article. According to Bloch, the term “fake news” was widely being used “long before Trump even took office”. Instead, the organization’s ultimate goal is to create enough of a splash in the national discourse that it gets people “to stop and think about what fake news is, and what it means to them”. 

Reporter Emily Bloch also took the time to explain how labeling all journalists as part of the “Fake News Media” agenda (as Trump so regularly does), dehumanizes them. Not only does it degrade a profession that is so important to our democracy it’s referred to as the “Fifth Estate”, it also casts suspicion on journalists as a whole. Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about journalists puts the safety of journalists at risk.

Bloch argues that it is no coincidence that there have been an uptick of attacks (both verbal and physical) on media outlets since Trump took office.

Bloch cites a laundry list of violent activities that have been aimed at the media since Trump entered the political spotlight: the pipe bomb sent to CNN and other Trump-critics by an unstable MAGA fan, the doctored footage of Trump shooting reporters shown at his resort, and the shirt that an airline passenger wore that promoted the lynching of journalists. 

So, even if the application for trademark is simply “a joke with a point”, as Bloch calls it in her article, it is at least an attempt to spark an important discussion. When the elected leader of our country consistently calls news stories he doesn’t like “fake news”, he is desensitizing Americans to the true meaning of the term, making them question reality. And when Americans don’t know what to believe, how can they be confident in their decisions?

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Things That Matter

Transcripts Of George Floyd’s Death Find He Told Cops He Couldn’t Breathe More Than 20 Times: “Tell my kids I love them”

Stephen Maturen / Getty

Over a month has passed since the death of George Floyd and while the aftermath of it seemed to spark a reaction that rattled those of us left behind to our cores, outrage over his death has slowed down. Likely you’re hearing less calls to end police brutality, seeing fewer signs that Black Lives Matter and most of your friends’ Instagram pages have likely returned to their usual blissfully ignorant states. Still, the fight for justice for George Floyd carries on and newly released transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd had pled for his life and told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before his death.

New transcripts from body camera footage of Floyd’s death have been filed in court.

Floyd (a truck driver, security guard, and father of five) told Minneapolis police officers over 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before he died. “I’m scared as fuck, man,” Floyd told the officers while they restrained them. “Tell my kids I love them. I’m dead.”

Transcripts of body camera footage show that Floyd told officers at least 27 times that he couldn’t breathe before passing out and dying.

“I can’t breathe for nothing, man,” Floyd told officers. “This is cold-blooded, man.” Ignoring Floyd’s cry for help, officer Derek Chauvin continued to pin Floyd down with his knee on his neck.

In the transcript, Chauvin can be heard saying to Floyd “Then stop talking. Stop yelling. It takes a heck of a lot of oxygen to talk.”

“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe,” Floyd continued. “I’ll probably just die this way.”

The transcripts were filed by former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane in a move to have charges against him dropped.

Lane is one of four former police officers to be charged in Floyd’s death. Chauvin, Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao are also being charged. Lane, Kueng, and Thao have been charged with aiding and abetting Chauvin in Floyd’s death. Meanwhile, Chauvin faces second-degree murder charges.

According to BuzzFeed, “In the motion looking to have charges against Lane dropped, attorneys argue he was a new officer on the force and following the cues from Chauvin.” At the time of Floyd’s death, Chauvin was not Lane’s field training officer. He had however been one in Lane’s precinct and had provided the Chauvin with instructions on how to deal with calls. Attorneys have pointed out that in the transcripts Lane called paramedics to the scene and asked if they should roll Floyd on his side while he was holding onto his legs.

In the transcript, Chauvin says “No, he’s staying put where we got him.”

According to transcripts, after Chauvin passed out bystanders pointed out Floyd was unresponsive. Still, Chauvin pinned him to the ground.

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

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A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

KSTP / Via Facebook: watch

After enduring quite a bit of pain over receiving a cup with the word “ISIS” instead of her name, a Muslim teenager has filed a human rights complaint. According to the teenager whose name (as reported by Buzzfeed) is Aishah, on July 1 she and a friend went to a Starbucks located inside of a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The 19-year-old said that a barista asked her to repeat her name when taking her order, but she was shocked by what she saw when she first received it.

Aishah says that she feels as if the incident happened because she was wearing a hijab and a face mask.

“I felt a lot of emotions, and shock was the main one because I actually couldn’t believe this was happening,” Aishah told BuzzFeed News.

Speaking about the incident, the deputy director of the Minnesota chapter of Council on American–Islamic Relations, Mohamed Ibrahim said “This is a reminder that Islamophobia is alive and present in our communities.” In an effort to address the issue, the group has made efforts to help Aishah file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

In her interview with Buzzfeed, Aishah said the barista said that “ISIS” had been put on a cup because they hadn’t heard her name correctly. According to Buzzfeed, the Target employee who served Aishah said “they did not hear her name.”

When a manager attempted to explain to Aishah that people’s names are frequently misspelled on cups, she said that the explanations were “not credible or acceptable.”

“When somebody orders a drink at Starbucks — if the barista can’t spell the name, then they ask you to spell it,” Aishah explained in her interview that such a mistake had never happened with her order.

Aishah’s human rights complaint, claims a manager offered her a free drink and a $25 gift card for her troubles and had her escorted out by security.

Target, which oversees the Starbucks location where the incident happened, told BuzzFeed in a statement that it’s “very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation.”

A spokesperson also explained that an internal investigation found “it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake” and that the company will offer additional training to the barista. According to Aishah, she has yet to hear from Target since she called the company to complain. She also has not heard from CAIR-MN.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, is calling for the barista and manager in question to be fired and for Target and Starbucks to reinvest in training for their employees. “We are hoping that bringing light to this incident will actually transform how Target and Starbucks and many other companies deal with such incidents,” Hussein said.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time Starbucks has received such a complaint.

In August of last year, a man told a barista at a Philadelphia Starbucks that his name was Aziz. He was soon given a drink with the term “ISIS.”

“The barista mistakenly spelled it incorrectly,” a Starbucks spokesperson told NBC News at the time.