By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – In this era of rampant fake news spewing through your Facebook page or your Instagram feed or a thousand other vehicles, I often hear from people wondering – how do I sort out the phony news from the real thing?

This is an important topic, so let’s look at a case study from a common source of sketchy news, a gossip column, in this case from Tuesday’s Boston Globe.

“Did Tom Brady once date Ivanka Trump?” asks an article there, which goes on to repeat speculation that this past relationship – and the antipathy of Brady’s wife Giselle Bundchen to it – might have been the reason Brady passed on attending the Pats visit to the White House where they were honored by President Trump for their latest Super Bowl victory.

kraft trump Keller @ Large: How To Spot Fake News

President Donald Trump holds a jersey given to him by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, April 19, 2017. (Photo credit SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

This is almost certainly false, and here’s how you can tell.

First, you always have to consider the source.

In this case, the sole source of the speculation is Anthony Scaramucci, the publicity-seeking clown who spent ten cringe-filled days as White House communications director earlier this year.

scaramucci Keller @ Large: How To Spot Fake News

Anthony Scaramucci. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Scaramucci qualified his suggestion of a Brady/Ivanka love connection by noting that “I don’t 100-percent know,” which in English means: “I don’t have the slightest idea.”

And it’s probably a good idea to verify anything he says, up to and including “good morning.”

brady ivanka Keller @ Large: How To Spot Fake News

Tom Brady (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images) and Ivanka Trump. (Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

With a little research, we find that the likely window for a Brady/Ivanka romance would have been the early 2000’s, when he was a Super Bowl champ in his mid-20’s and she was just out of college. And 15-odd years later, an accomplished woman like Giselle is supposed to be jealous?

I don’t think so.

I’m calling fake news on this one.

And that’s how it’s done.

Comments (2)
  1. Nice try. Yes, there’s nothing there. But that’s not what people are talking about when they talk about fake news. They’re talking about completely made up stories on news sites that aren’t actually news sites but temporary pages set up just to promote fake news stories. Giving credence to Scaramucci is dumb but you just did the same thing other real news outlets did. You showed the eyeball catching click bait photo of Tom and Ivanka to get readers attention. Fake opinion piece.

    1. I notice, too, that Jon, and the folks at the network that his station represents have no problems publishing Washington gossip about the Trump administration on the basis of anonymous leakers and confirmed by “anonymous sources” within the administration that turned out to be pure fabrication.

      In spite of all of warning signs of made-up allegations, Jon and his colleagues continue to pound the drum when there isn’t even a drum there to pound.

      Jon’s excuse? He doesn’t make the news, he just reports it. I invite Jon to come to my town and walk with me around the streets and talk to the people we meet. He can then ask them how they feel about major networks like his blathering away on a daily basis about things that come over the wire or mouthed by the idiots that call themselves “representatives of The People.”.

      Get out of the bubble, Jon, and find out what The People are actually thinking…No cameras, no microphones, nothing to intimidate them from expressing their views freely.

      You might find yourself wondering whether or not you are actually reporting matters that affect their lives.

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