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Harvard’s Fake Guide to Fake News by Fake Professor from Fake University

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Published on: March 16, 2017

The Geller Report, The Daily Caller, The Drudge Report, Powerline, Breitbart News, The Washington Examiner, The Washington Free Beacon, Independent Journal Review (IJR), Pajamas Media, The Blaze and The Weekly Standard all make the fake news list by a fake professor from a fake university. One more deranged leftist professor engaging in libel and lies is hardly new. But Harvard released this ludicrous list as their new research guide.

Merrimack College Assistant Professor Melissa Zimdars, a 30-something thumbsucker who hates all things Trump, has only actually held her teaching position at the private college in North Andover, Massachusetts, for about 19 months.

Robert Spencer here: “Harvard University has picked up on a Merrimack College professor’s list of ‘fake news’ sites, including the Daily Caller, the Drudge Report, Breitbart News, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Free Beacon, Independent Journal Review (IJR), and even Bill Kristol’s relentlessly Never-Trump The Weekly Standard. FrontPage Mag, Jihad Watch, and Truth Revolt also make the list. It sure is great to have our intellectual betters at Harvard explain to us what are ‘illegitimate’ sources of news, but there’s just one catch: the “fake news” list doesn’t contain even a single site that is the slightest bit Left of center.

“That’s right: BuzzFeed, with its fake dossier on Donald Trump, didn’t make the list. Nor did the New York Times or the Washington Post or CNN, despite all their no-there-there hysteria about Russia “hacking” the 2016 presidential election. Nor does the Huffington Post or Salon or Slate or Glenn Greenwald’s fact-free Intercept. Harvard’s list is clearly intended not to warn people away from hoax news sources and stories, but to demonize, stigmatize and marginalize the perspective of the half of the American electorate that American electorate that voted for Donald Trump.

“It’s a clever presentation: there are actual fake news sites on the Harvard list, sites that publish wholly false or unsubstantiated stories simply as clickbait in order to generate revenue. But to add to them some of the most prominent conservative sites on the web makes the agenda clear: Harvard, and the Leftist intelligentsia in general, is trying to stigmatize and marginalize every point of view except its own. Merrimack College’s Melissa Zimdars and those who take her list seriously at Harvard and elsewhere apparently think that if they call every perspective they dislike “fake news,” they will be able to destroy the influence of such perspectives, and attain the hegemony of their own point of view.”

New hit list of alleged ‘fake news’ sites targets Drudge, WND

Harvard University cites blacklist by Trump-basher specializing in ‘fat studies’

WND, March 15, 2016:

A leftist, Trump-bashing assistant professor in Massachusetts who specialized in “fat studies” is declaring a “fake news” war on conservative and established news sites – labeling sites such as the Drudge Report, WND, Breitbart, Red State, the Daily Wire and Project Veritas as “not credible.”

And now even Harvard University has reportedly linked to the assistant professor’s “huge list of fake news sites” in its new research guide, called “Fake News, Misinformation, and Propaganda.”

As WND reported, Merrimack College Assistant Professor Melissa Zimdars, a 30-something self-identified feminist and activist who has expressed great dislike for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, has been behind the effort to target and discredit legitimate news organizations.

She’s only actually held her teaching position at the private college in North Andover, Massachusetts, for about 19 months.

Now she’s also running OpenSources.co, which Merrimack College describes as “a project that navigates fake and otherwise misleading ‘news’ websites.”

“Our database is maintained by professionals who have analyzed each source, looking for overall inaccuracy, extreme biases, lack of transparency, and other kinds of misinformation,” the website states.

Concerned individuals may contact Melissa Zimdars and Harvard University President Dew Gilpin Faust

In addition to some satirical and bogus sites, her error-riddled downloadable list, labeled “Not Credible,” attacks the credibility of well-established news organizations.

For example, Zimdars now claims the Drudge Report is “not credible” and classifies it under the terms “political” and “bias.”


OpenSources.co defines “bias” as websites using “sources that come from a particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts.”

“Political” websites, it states, are “sources that provide generally verifiable information in support of certain points of view or political orientations.”

OpenSources.co labels WND as “bias,” “clickbait” and “unreliable.” Zimdars’ project offers no explanation for her “unreliable” tag. The “clickbait” designation, the website states, is used for “sources that provide generally credible content, but use exaggerated, misleading, or questionable headlines, social media descriptions, and/or images.” (See Zimdars’ other classifications.)

Her list of more than 700 websites also includes the following sites and classifications:

  • Washington Examiner: “unreliable,” “bias” and “conspiracy”
  • Breitbart: “political,” “unreliable” and “bias”
  • Daily Caller: “political,” “clickbait” and “bias”
  • Daily Signal: “bias”
  • Daily Wire: “bias”
  • Foreign Policy Journal: “political”
  • Washington Free Beacon: “bias”
  • FrontPage Mag: “bias” and “hate”
  • Independent Journal Review: “bias” and “unreliable”
  • LifeZette: “clickbait”
  • Live Action News: “bias”
  • Newsmax: “unreliable” and “bias”
  • PamelaGeller.com: “conspiracy,” “fake” and “bias”
  • Project Veritas: “bias,” “unreliable” and “political”
  • Red State: “political” and “clickbait”
  • Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity: “political”
  • The Blaze: “political” and “clickbait”
  • Twitchy: “clickbait” and “rumor”
  • Weekly Standard: “political” and “bias”

At the time of this report, Zimdars’ project also included a short list of the following websites she deemed “credible.” She offered no classifications or explanations for why she determined each of the publications to be “credible”:

  • BBC
  • Boston Globe
  • Chicago Tribune
  • The Independent
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Reuters
  • Nature.com
  • New York Times
  • New York Daily News
  • The Oregonian
  • Phys.org
  • Salt Lake Tribune
  • Scientific American
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • Slate.com
  • USA Today
  • Washington Post
  • Wall Street Journal

Ironically, Zimdars’ own fake-news project includes a disclaimer indicating she doesn’t take responsibility for the reliability of her information. It states:

The information contained in this site is for informational and educational purposes only. We have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this site and in our downloadable data is reliable; however, we are not responsible for any errors, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this site is provided “as is” and “as available,” with no guarantee of accuracy, reliability, completeness, or of the services or results obtained from the use of this information. By using OpenSources, you expressly agree that the use of OpenSources and its data is at your sole risk.

But nearly none of them considered Zimdars’ political leanings or questioned her criteria or qualifications for determining which news sources should be included on her list.

Zimdars teaches courses in radio production, mass communication, feminist media studies, television criticism and new media and digital communication. She received her doctorate in communication and media studies in 2015.

Zimdars has not responded to WND’s request for clarification on her expertise or criteria for deciding which news sources to include on her list. Harvard University President Dew Gilpin Faust has not returned WND’s request for comment concerning the school’s inclusion of Zimdars’ list in its research guide.

However, on Monday Zimdars tweeted: “I wish my skin could grow 3 inches thicker so I could better ignore the recent influx of mostly false and misleading ‘news’ stories about me,” and “Again and again ‘news’ websites prove my criticisms to be warranted and true. The only defense they have is to try [sic] discredit me.”

In November, WND asked Merrimack College President Christopher Hopey if he stands by Zimdars’ decision to publish the list and use it as teaching material for her classes. However. Merrimack Vice President of Communications Jim Chiavelli replied: “Thanks for your question to the president about professor Zimdars [sic] pedagogy. The college has no comment for this story.”

Concerned individuals may contact Melissa Zimdars and Harvard University President Dew Gilpin Faust

Sean Hannity’s website warned that Zimdars’ list includes “mainstream conservative sources” and “is giving us insight into just what kind of websites the left plans on targeting for censorship.”

In addition to her new job as an assistant professor, Zimdars is also a columnist and contributor for Little Village Magazine – a left-leaning magazine that says it’s focused on issues such as “racial justice,” “gender equity,” “critical culture,” “economic and labor justice” and “environmental sustainability.”

Her Twitter profile describes her as a “feminist” and “activist.”

Newsbusters found tweets from Zimdars harshly criticizing Trump and Mike Pence during the vice-presidential debate in October.

“Undocumented workers contribute more to this country (beyond taxes) than Drumpf ever has or ever will,” she tweeted on Oct. 4.

The same day, she tweeted to Pence that Hillary’s “basket of deplorables” comment does not equal “Trump’s constant sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic comments.”

Just after Trump’s first week in the White House, Zimdars tweeted that she was “completely paralyzed by anxiety and fear.” In response to February’s news that actress Rosie O’Donnell offered to help “Saturday Night Live” “drive Donald Trump over the edge” by playing the role of Trump adviser Steve Bannon, Zimdars tweeted: “This would be AMAZING.” 

In February, after Education Secretary Betsy DeVos ripped universities for telling college students what to think, Zimdars tweeted: “No, we teach them how to think.”

Zimdars says she’s an expert on the media’s portrayal of “fat” people. In 2015, the same year she received her doctorate, Zimdar published a paper on “fat acceptance TV” in the journal Popular Communication. The paper critiqued the TLC television miniseries “Big Sexy.” It’s unclear whether the paper was Zimdar’s doctoral dissertation.

In an interview with the “Feminist Killjoys Podcast,” Zimdar talks about her “fat studies” research.

“I mostly focus on media representations of fatness, or any kind of body that deviates from the normal health prescription,” she said.

She enthusiastically declares that she’s “less self-conscious of my own rear end than I used to be” and participates in an extensive discussion of the Kardashians, a reality TV family. She further suggests women should “celebrate eating pizza.” Zimdars praises actress Amy Schumer for stating, “I’m probably like 160 pounds right now, and I can catch a d–k whenever I want, like, that’s the truth. It’s not a problem!”

Concerned individuals may contact Melissa Zimdars and Harvard University President Dew Gilpin Faust

Zimdars published a 2014 article in Little Village Magazine on the TV series “Girls,” starring Lena Dunham.

“Girls is meaningful to me mainly for one reason: Lena Dunham’s naked body,” Zimdars writes, praising Dunham’s “body confidence.”

At a University of Notre Dame conference in June of 2016, Zimdars gave a presentation titled, “Failures of the Self or Failures of Fitbit?: Gendered Fit/Fatness, Tracking Technologies, and Self-SurveillingPost-Feminist Subjects.”

Zimdars racked up about $60,000 for her degrees in communication and media studies, according to the Iowa Gazette.

As a graduate student, she also complained about tuition costs in a 2014 interview with the Des Moines Register, telling the newspaper she was joining a protest because, “We wanted to all work together to bring awareness to the fact that it doesn’t have to be an issue if the state would start funding higher education again. Then we wouldn’t be acquiring so much debt as individuals.”

As for her list of “fake news” sites, one Twitter user offered up the following “list of journalists who colluded with the Clinton campaign.” He tweeted, “Here’s the actual list of fake news sites from WikiLeaks. Melissa Zimdars is a troll.”

Article reposted with permission from PamelaGeller.com

Pamela Geller’s commitment to freedom from jihad and Shariah shines forth in her books

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