Sarah Palin and the LL Cool J saga

Real American Stories airs tonight!

The furore around Sarah Palin's new Fox vehicle, Real American Stories, has been well documented. Is LL Cool J in or out? Are any of the interviews real? Is it all a bit ironic that the show's title is Real American Stories?

But has anyone checked out the show's own website? Please do so here.

There are many wonderful things about this promotional vehicle. So I'm going to pick my top three.

1. The Palin introductory video. There's so much here -- the filmic soundtrack, the first line ("As Americans, we aspire to greatness." Really? All of you? How exhausting), the strange moment when she's talking about entrepreneurialism and a guy selling beetroot (?) pulls a funny face. But above all that there's a brilliant, brief moment of synchrony between words and pictures as Palin says "our love of country" and the film cuts to a shot of soldiers firing machine-guns as they pound through an unidentified desert war. It's one way of expressing the love, I suppose.

2. Chase Lucas. One of the videos submitted to Fox and hosted on the site. Wow. This is one patriotic child.

3. The comments. I can't believe they meant to leave the comment thread so enticingly open beneath the Palin film. A choice extract: "Biggest waste of television ever." To counterbalance: "You liberals are pathetic." Yup, there's some pretty hectic debate going on over there . . .

Sophie Elmhirst is features editor of the New Statesman

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Quiz: Can you identify fake news?

The furore around "fake" news shows no sign of abating. Can you spot what's real and what's not?

Hillary Clinton has spoken out today to warn about the fake news epidemic sweeping the world. Clinton went as far as to say that "lives are at risk" from fake news, the day after Pope Francis compared reading fake news to eating poop. (Side note: with real news like that, who needs the fake stuff?)

The sweeping distrust in fake news has caused some confusion, however, as many are unsure about how to actually tell the reals and the fakes apart. Short from seeing whether the logo will scratch off and asking the man from the market where he got it from, how can you really identify fake news? Take our test to see whether you have all the answers.

 

 

In all seriousness, many claim that identifying fake news is a simple matter of checking the source and disbelieving anything "too good to be true". Unfortunately, however, fake news outlets post real stories too, and real news outlets often slip up and publish the fakes. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes to really get to the bottom of a story, and always do a quick Google before you share anything. 

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.