When Donald Trump first announced he was running for president, comedians, satirists, and late night television hosts started to salivate. After all, the material he would provide for them would be comedy gold. Then something funny happened: you could not tell if what he was saying was real, or something a comedian, satirist, or conspiracy theorist said. Satirical news site The Onion may yet have to change to a legitimate news outlet, as they cannot top the outrageous things the current White House resident says.
Let’s play a game. Below are some comments. Guess who made them: Trump, a comedian/satirist, or a conspiracy theorist?
- “I’ve looked very critically at NASA. Why is it that the astronauts have conflicting stories about the sky? Is it bright with stars, or a deep velvet black?”
- “As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them—they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over, as crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.”
- “Last week was Holocaust Remembrance Day and as you know six million people … were at my inauguration.”
- “They want to create two classes: the ultra rich and servants. At that point they would’ve taken over the world, and enslaved the population, and controlled everything.”
- “Our faith makes us a persecuted minority, mocked to our faces by friends and strangers for nothing more than First Amendment-protected beliefs.”
- “Radical feminism is destroying young men.”
- "When the president decides something on Monday, he still believes it on Wednesday—no matter what happened Tuesday."
"You're in such good shape, beautiful.”
“At some point in the future, we’re going to look back and say how did we do it without space?”
“This is infinity here. It could be infinity. We don’t really don’t know. But it could be. It has to be something—but it could be infinity, right?”
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, and CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”
“I love a safe zone for people. I do not like the migration. I do not like the people coming.”
Do you have your answers ready? Let’s see how well you did.
- Not the president—this is from an anonymous flat Earther.
- Yes, that was said by the president of the United States, who thinks it will be raining 60-pound sacks of drugs when the border wall is built.
- Nope, that was Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live.
- No—this is the flat Earther again.
- This has to be the president … no, another flat-Earther.
- No, but the president does listen to this guy: Alex Jones.
- Stephen Colbert.
- Sadly, this was the president speaking to the first lady of France, Brigitte Macron.
- The president, ad-libbing during a ceremony about the National Space Council.
- The president, clearly not getting Buzz Aldrin’s “To infinity and beyond” joke.
- This one is tricky: it can be credited to both the president—and to Alex Jones of Info Wars.
- Again, sadly, the president.
While this little quiz pokes fun at our facts-challenged president, it serves another purpose: to point out how important it is to verify every single thing you read on social media before sharing it.
If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. So be wary of confirmation bias, where a sensational headline confirms your preconceived notions. Go to the original source material. If you cannot verify a story, there is a good chance it is not true.
Often a sensational headline and story will have a glimmer of truth to it, but most of it will be garbage. And there are enough nefarious things going on in the Trump administration that we do not have to sensationalize, or make anything up.