Friday coffee, chess, fake-news and potpourri
(Coffee shop in Tehran)
There is a lot of talk these days about ‘fake-news‘ in the main stream media (msm). While there is nothing new about the use of lies and misinformation in msm, it is the alarming frequency of this occurring that gives ‘fake-news’ its unique distinction. For this reason, it is becoming so important to be able to verify everything you read today…
Earlier this week a controversial anti-hijab crusader and self-styled human rights activist, Masih Alineja, posted a story about the chess playing Derakhshani siblings being punished by the Iranian Chess Federation. Allegedly because Dorsa Derakhshani played in Gibraltar without using a hijab, and worse still, her brother Borna played against a player from Israel.
According to the story, both siblings will no longer be able to represent Iran in their future tournaments. But what struck me odd about the story is that the President of the Iranian Chess Federation, Pahlevanzadeh, is quoted from an improbable interview he gave to Radio Free Europe.
Improbable because Radio Free Europe is a well known propaganda arm of the US government, 100% paid for by American tax payers. I doubt that any Iranian official would be allowed by Tehran to appear on any of its programs.
In any case, I decided not to post this curious story on my blog for a few days, until some verification or source other than a controversial, self-exiled Iranian blogger whose own father won’t even talk to her appeared.
Well, it’s been 4 days now since I first read the story, and by now hundreds of msm and social-media outlets have carried it. And guess what? No one has verified the story! The Iranian Chess Federation has not made any comment. The siblings have not made any comment. In msm, sometimes an alternative source is mentioned, but when you investigate you find that said alternative source is just quoting from the original source…WHERE IS DONALD TRUMP WHEN YOU NEED HIM??
Ofcourse, I am not saying that the siblings have not been punished by the Iranian Chess Federation (Iranian players are encouraged not to play against Israeli players) but until the story that I am talking about has some official verification, readers should be wary…
Swingers chess set!