Pierce Pioneer

Mary Read- Going against the grain

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Mary Read spent most of her life disguised as a man. Read’s widowed mother needed money, so Read was dressed up as a boy to fool her grandmother into thinking her deceased older brother was still alive. Even after her grandmother died and there was no reason for her to dress as a boy, she dressed in boy’s clothing. She found work as a soldier and as a sailor.

While she fought for the British, she fell in love with a Flemish soldier. She confessed her secret to him and they were married. The couple operated an Inn called Three Horseshoes.

After his death, she knew she could not manage the Inn, so she resumed her life as a fighter. While sailing to the West Indies, her ship was overtaken by pirates. Read decided to join them and live life as a pirate.

In 1720, she was aboard the pirate ship of “Calico Jack” Rackham. Here she met another pirate, who she would later find out to be a disguised woman, named Anne Bonney.

As a pirate, she fell in love and married a sailor, whose ship was overtaken. In late 1720, a British Captain named Jonathan Barnet captured Rackham’s ship.

The crew was quickly tried and hanged in Port Royal, but Read announced that she was pregnant, which was true. She was placed in prison and her hanging was set to occur after she gave birth, but she died in early 1721 from a fever.

“Fake news” critics spread their own brand of lies

People upset over apparent “fake news” refuse to check their sources

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Whether it is a facebook friend or Trump’s campaign manager Kelly Anne Conway, Republicans and Democrats alike are vilifying the horrible shame that is “fake news.” Yet, ironically enough, they will continue to share news sources from places like The Patriot, Breitbart, or Occupy Democrats.

Bernard Shaw once said that “the currency of journalism is the objective truth, while the lifeblood is ethics.” News stations strive to be objective as possible. Channels like BBC news, NPR and C-SPAN are completely different from stations like Fox news, CNN, and MSNBC. To lump media into one huge thing is like lumping week-old cheese with milk.

The real issue at hand is not just the prevalence of fake news, it is the lack of fact-checking between the consumer and the news outlet. Part of a reporter’s job is to double-check their facts and sources. If a reporter becomes lazy, as there are quite a few guilty of this crime, it is up to the citizen to look for their sources elsewhere.

Becoming mindful of where you get your news is the first step towards finding the truth. Getting information from obviously biased news outlets only feeds their bias. If the news station or publication has a history of mangling information or libel, then avoid that source like a cancer. Articles that only serve to fit or justify an agenda are propaganda machines.

This goes for any political outlet. There is no such thing as a political party publication that is objective journalism. Whether it be Democratic like Occupy democrats, Republican like Fox news, libertarian like the Patriot, if it supports a certain belief system, it is automatically biased.

Of course, like any successful publication, the source needs to know their audience. If a biased political outlet knows that their audience will respond to a certain wedge topic (i.e. abortion, refugees, Trump), they will highlight a certain fact and expand it to outrageous proportions, setting up the ultimate click-bait headline and lure that reader in.

Check where you get your sources through Politifact or Snopes, or even better, the actual primary source of information (statistic report, law, etc.). If people realize that the lies do not bother them and share it anyway, fake news is not the problem. It’s the reader.

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