This week’s chuckles come from the left’s newest effort to push a contrived narrative.

This time it’s the “fake news” campaign, which is partly an effort to use Donald Trump’s more outré claims to divert attention from (#NotMyPresident) Hillary Clinton’s multiple flaws, which are the real reason for her loss.

But it’s also partly an effort to discredit conservative opinion sources as purveyors of intentionally false narratives, as opposed to what they mostly do, which is to dare to disagree with progressives.

In addition, the campaign has vainly tried to tie Trump to odious fringe movements with few supporters and zero influence.

But the plethora of “fake news” on the left deserves attention, too:

“Hillary is a shoo-in for president!” If there was one talking head who called the race in September, there were dozens, to the point where the only doubt was how many seats Democrats would win when they took over the Senate on Nov. 8.

True, this story’s purveyors apparently believed it. But it turned out to be fake nonetheless – just like Jill Stein’s money-grubbing “recount campaign” will soon prove to be. (Who knew “Green Party” meant the size of her bank account?)

“Fidel Castro was a patriot who served the Cuban people.”

This fake story has been going on for half a century.

After his death at age 90 last week, we were told Castro was “the George Washington of his country” (Jim Avila, ABC News); he “will be revered” for “education and social services and medical care to all of his people” (Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC); and he was a “legendary revolutionary and orator” who “made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation” (Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada).

Education matters little when the regime censors information, and visitors to ordinary hospitals (not the elite ones shown to foreigners) report beds without sheets and no antibiotics – or even Band-Aids.

Castro’s fortune was estimated at $900 million, while the average monthly wage in Cuba is $20. And his executioners slaughtered between 7,000 and 10,000 political opponents while imprisoning scores of thousands more.

While President Obama issued a bland statement of ill-defined regret, President-elect Trump, who promises to push for real change in Cuba, knew exactly what to say: “Fidel Castro’s legacy is one of firing squads, theft, unimaginable suffering, poverty and the denial of fundamental human rights. While Cuba remains a totalitarian island, it is my hope that today marks a move away from the horrors endured for too long, and toward a future in which the wonderful Cuban people finally live in the freedom they so richly deserve.”

That’s attested to by a genuine Cuban patriot, Armando Valladares, who spent 22 years in Castro’s prisons.

In one, La Cabaña, he said, “Each night, the firing squad executed scores of men in its trenches. We could hear each phase of the executions, and during this time, these young men – patriots – would die shouting ‘Long live Christ the King. Down with Communism!’ And then you would hear the gunshots. Every night there were shootings. Every night. Every night. Every night.”

 “There were no real scandals in the Obama administration.”

The president recently repeated this claim, which requires that you forget about his doubling the national debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion in just eight years; or the veterans who died while on Veterans Administration waiting lists; or the conservative groups excluded from the political process by his Internal Revenue Service; or his promises that Obamacare would save you $2,500 on health insurance and let you keep your doctor (a major fake news story all by itself); or that his secretary of state let four Americans die at Benghazi by denying them military aid and then lying about it, and also transmitted secret data using a private server; or his bypassing the Constitution with “a pen and a phone.”

No scandals, nope, none at all.

 Finally, ponder “climate change.” Sure, it’s happening because it always has and always will.

But the real issues are how much human action influences it; is what’s happening actually persistent and harmful; and can we somehow identify an “ideal” climate state and then fine-tune the entire planet to achieve it?

Claiming we have definite answers to those extremely complex questions is the epitome of “fake news.” Trump appears to know that, because he’s appointed a climate realist to address the actions of the rogue bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency.

I also read that there’s an excellent way for Trump to deal with the Paris climate treaty that Obama has pretended to enact: Simply follow the Constitution (for a change) and submit it to the Senate for an up-or-down vote.

There will be nothing fake about what happens to it then.

M.D. Harmon, a retired journalist and military officer, is a freelance writer and speaker. He can be contacted at:

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