Seeing the Round Corners

HEADS UP, the new day for Seeing the Round Corners “GOING LIVE” is Tuesday.

October 1, 2019

The hearings this week on whether or not to institute impeachment of President Trump saw the Democrats yet again distort the facts and tell outright fabrications. Representative Adam Schiff added remarks in his opening statement that were not made by the whistleblower or in the whistleblower’s petition. The following quote is from the whistleblower’s petition:

  • “I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleague’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.” 


As with the investigation of the Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, the Democrats have yet again published fake information in an attempt to build an otherwise groundless case against President Trump, and to otherwise shelter one of the Democrats running for President and his son.

Perhaps the Democrats who are lawyers were absent from the law school courses/classes on hearsay evidence. Three steps away from the direct source definitely qualifies for hearsay evidence.

Today, Seeing the Round Corners continues with fake news and deep fake videos – undermining journalist.

Journalists will face a growing dilemma; i.e., can the authenticity of a video or audio video of a newsworthy event be trusted when provided by someone unknown to the journalist? News organizations in the race to report the latest news first may slow down for fear of getting caught in a position unable to authenticate evidence as fake or not.

Credible news organizations have built their reputations on mistake-free reporting, but there have been instances of “stings” just for revenge purposes before deep-fake technology ever came into existence. The press’ ethical moral obligation to spread the truth requires a quick and reliable way to authenticate video and audio, something most viewers do not think about.

The final harm in the Costs and Benefits of deep fakes is different from those previously discussed. Those previously discussed involved affirmative claims that something occurred that never did – “Some of the most dangerous lies take the form of denials.” What does this mean? 

First, a person accused of doing or saying something may try to use deep fake audio or video evidence to contradict the claim, or to be used to escape accountability for the truth. 

Second, deep fakes may provide an additional way of escaping the truth. As the public becomes more familiar with how video and audio evidence can be convincingly faked, some may try to escape accountability by labeling authentic video and audio as deep fakes. Think long and hard on this one.

The sad commentary on truth skepticism is that in recent years, there has been a “mounting distrust of traditional source of news.” Far too much blame has been placed on President Trump, and “like-minded sources in television and radio,” who in turn have blamed the “supposed corruption and bias of a wide array of journalists: – all combined have made substantial inroads (injurious encroachment) on public opinion in recent years.

What is the sum total of the spread of deep fakes?  “Fake news” will extend to “deep fake news”, and the public “may have difficulty believing what their eyes and ears are telling them.” That sum total? “The spread of deep fakes threaten to erode the trust necessary for democracy to function effectively.” The danger of truth becoming a matter of opinion is, “then, power flows to those whose opinions are most prominent – empowering authorities along the way,”

In 2017, a visiting scholar in residence at the University of Colorado Law School opined about the term “fake news.” A dispute had arisen between Ray Scott, a Colorado State Senator from Mesa County, and the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel over a bill involving the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). Senator Scott made the point that the term “fake news” had been hijacked by President Trump and used as an all-purpose insult to be slapped on any media coverage they don’t like.

John A. Francis, the visiting scholar, opined that Senator Scott raised an important point:  “The court would look at how the term is perceived by readers. It’s become such a generic epithet that it tends to be seen as a statement of opinion,” and that would be a big factor in a judge saying, ‘”Fake News” has become kind of a description of opinion and disagreement, more than a specific allegation of falsehood.’” Quote is from The Washington Post via The Denver Post. Professor Francis is also recognized as an expert in First Amendment law.

Here are some “unhealthy dynamics,” or what could be a combination of truth decay and trust decay: 

  • People tend to believe facts that accord with their preexisting beliefs.
  • People often ignore information that contradicts their beliefs and interpret ambiguous evidence as consistent with their beliefs.
  • People are also inclined to accept information that pleases them when given the choice.


This sage advice from attorneys Bobby Chesney and Danielle Citron:  “Growing appreciation that deep fakes exist may provide a very convenient excuse for motivated reasoners to embrace these dynamics, even when confronted with information that is in fact true.”

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