Fake News at the OK Corral

A century and a half ago in 1881, a famous shootout occurred in Tombstone, Arizona at the OK Corral between the Earp brothers and the Clanton-McLaury gang. The OK stood for Old Kindersley, a livery and horse stable.

OK today is a variation of okay, a term of approval, acceptance or acknowledgement. Along with the word is a familiar hand gesture, the thumb and index finger touching end to end, forming a circle for the O.

Like so many other American cultural traditions, leave it to the left to find something as innocuous as the OK hand gesture to be a racist symbol, a secret dog whistle of white supremacy.

After all, even Christmas season isn’t immune from charges of racism. A Boston University professor claims the classic “Jingle Bells” is racist. Even a traditional cup of ice cream, half chocolate and half vanilla is deemed racist.

Another American tradition, the Army-Navy football game found itself in the middle of the latest racial controversy. Earlier this month, President Trump attended the classic annual game. Rather than reporting on the thunderous ovation he received, the media, who claims no one likes Trump, had to return to one of their favorite story lines, racism.

And they could conveniently write about white supremacism and President Trump in the same story. So, what exactly happened? According to Time, the same periodical that named a petulant teenager as their “person of the year” described the football game as follows.

West Point cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen in the stands appeared to display the hand sign during an ESPN broadcast segment. The gesture is similar to the one used to indicate “OK,” with the thumb and forefinger in a circle and the three other fingers splayed out behind.

The Anti-Defamation League recently added the sign to its database of hate symbols.

Since when is the OK symbol a hate symbol? From the ADL website, it apparently means far more than OK. Somehow it translates to white power as the image below illustrates. Unless viewed from the other side of the hand where it could be interpreted “qw”, meaning “quite whacky”, as a way of describing this entire story. Upside down the hand gesture would be read as “dm”, standing for “deficient mentation” to describe the media who bought into this nonsense.

Fortunately, to their credit, the ADL suggests, “particular caution must be used when evaluating this symbol” due to its long history in other contexts. For example, scuba divers learn the OK hand signal before they hit the water, as a way of communicating to their instructor and fellow divers that everything is OK.

The bastardization of the OK sign is another example of fake news, or a hoax. As reported by the Independent,

It started in early 2017 as a hoax. Anonymous users of 4chan, an anonymous and unrestricted online message board, began what they called “Operation O-KKK,” to see if they could trick the wider world — and especially, liberals and the mainstream media — into believing that the innocuous gesture was actually a clandestine symbol of white power.

“We must flood Twitter and other social media websites with spam, claiming that the OK hand signal is a symbol of white supremacy,” one of the users posted, going on to suggest that everyone involved create fake social media accounts “with basic white girl names” to propagate the notion as widely as possible.

Lo and behold, it worked. The media swallowed it hook line and sinker, just as they believed and reported that Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen had secret meetings with Russians in Prague, Devin Nunes met with Ukrainians in Vienna, and Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed.

After the Army-Navy game, the media went into overdrive. The New York Times reported, “When the OK sign is no longer OK.” MSNBC was all over this story as this video demonstrates. As was Twitter under the hashtag #ArmyNavyGame.

Forbes observed this disturbing media rush to judgement.

Early last week, many prominent media personalities were ready to expel a group of Army cadets and Navy midshipmen for the crime of flashing the “O.K.” sign on national television. It is a ludicrous sentence that embodies the ludicrous times in which we live.

Yet the service academies, instead of focusing on educating and training the next generation of American warriors, were forced to genuflect to the gods of political correctness by doing their own investigation. Not surprisingly it was a waste of time, as Newsweek reported.

After an investigation, West Point and the Naval Academy determined that cadets and midshipmen who came under fire for their hand gestures weren't showing support for white supremacy movements but were playing an innocent game.

The cadets were playing the “circle game”, not sending secret KKK hand signals to their fellow white supremacists. Urban Dictionary describes this nonsensical game as follows.

The game starts out when the Offensive Player creates a circle with their thumb and forefinger, not unlike an "A-Okay" signal, somewhere below his waist.

His goal is to trick another person into looking at his hand. If the Victim looks at the hand, he has lost the game, and is subsequently hit on the bicep with a closed fist, by the offensive player.

So the big story of President Trump somehow reaching out to his legions of white supremacist military youth was instead a bunch of teenagers, many bored with the football game, playing an innocuous game to pass the time.

Not just the cadets either. There was the story of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s assistant, during his confirmation hearings, flashing this same white power symbol. Or the White House intern making an OK sign rather than the thumbs up sign that his peers were making. Perhaps he didn’t get the memo. OK then.

Yet the media had no concerns when Democrat stars including Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and other woke liberals flashed the same OK hand gesture, as this Daily Caller article chronicles. Who knew progressive Democrats were white supremacists?

Twitter screen shot

It’s more than a silly story but instead the media piling on, in unison, a story that fits their worldview that Trump and his supporters, the military, and anyone in the Trump sphere are evil racist bigots. They seek out stories to fit this narrative and don’t let up even when their story is deemed to be a hoax.

Without an apology or moment of self-reflection, they drive by to the next story, fake or otherwise, reinforcing their moniker as the fake news media.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician, freelance writer and occasional radio talk show host whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum.

A century and a half ago in 1881, a famous shootout occurred in Tombstone, Arizona at the OK Corral between the Earp brothers and the Clanton-McLaury gang. The OK stood for Old Kindersley, a livery and horse stable.

OK today is a variation of okay, a term of approval, acceptance or acknowledgement. Along with the word is a familiar hand gesture, the thumb and index finger touching end to end, forming a circle for the O.

Like so many other American cultural traditions, leave it to the left to find something as innocuous as the OK hand gesture to be a racist symbol, a secret dog whistle of white supremacy.

After all, even Christmas season isn’t immune from charges of racism. A Boston University professor claims the classic “Jingle Bells” is racist. Even a traditional cup of ice cream, half chocolate and half vanilla is deemed racist.

Another American tradition, the Army-Navy football game found itself in the middle of the latest racial controversy. Earlier this month, President Trump attended the classic annual game. Rather than reporting on the thunderous ovation he received, the media, who claims no one likes Trump, had to return to one of their favorite story lines, racism.

And they could conveniently write about white supremacism and President Trump in the same story. So, what exactly happened? According to Time, the same periodical that named a petulant teenager as their “person of the year” described the football game as follows.

West Point cadets and Naval Academy midshipmen in the stands appeared to display the hand sign during an ESPN broadcast segment. The gesture is similar to the one used to indicate “OK,” with the thumb and forefinger in a circle and the three other fingers splayed out behind.

The Anti-Defamation League recently added the sign to its database of hate symbols.

Since when is the OK symbol a hate symbol? From the ADL website, it apparently means far more than OK. Somehow it translates to white power as the image below illustrates. Unless viewed from the other side of the hand where it could be interpreted “qw”, meaning “quite whacky”, as a way of describing this entire story. Upside down the hand gesture would be read as “dm”, standing for “deficient mentation” to describe the media who bought into this nonsense.

Fortunately, to their credit, the ADL suggests, “particular caution must be used when evaluating this symbol” due to its long history in other contexts. For example, scuba divers learn the OK hand signal before they hit the water, as a way of communicating to their instructor and fellow divers that everything is OK.

The bastardization of the OK sign is another example of fake news, or a hoax. As reported by the Independent,

It started in early 2017 as a hoax. Anonymous users of 4chan, an anonymous and unrestricted online message board, began what they called “Operation O-KKK,” to see if they could trick the wider world — and especially, liberals and the mainstream media — into believing that the innocuous gesture was actually a clandestine symbol of white power.

“We must flood Twitter and other social media websites with spam, claiming that the OK hand signal is a symbol of white supremacy,” one of the users posted, going on to suggest that everyone involved create fake social media accounts “with basic white girl names” to propagate the notion as widely as possible.

Lo and behold, it worked. The media swallowed it hook line and sinker, just as they believed and reported that Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen had secret meetings with Russians in Prague, Devin Nunes met with Ukrainians in Vienna, and Trump hired prostitutes to urinate on a bed.

After the Army-Navy game, the media went into overdrive. The New York Times reported, “When the OK sign is no longer OK.” MSNBC was all over this story as this video demonstrates. As was Twitter under the hashtag #ArmyNavyGame.

Forbes observed this disturbing media rush to judgement.

Early last week, many prominent media personalities were ready to expel a group of Army cadets and Navy midshipmen for the crime of flashing the “O.K.” sign on national television. It is a ludicrous sentence that embodies the ludicrous times in which we live.

Yet the service academies, instead of focusing on educating and training the next generation of American warriors, were forced to genuflect to the gods of political correctness by doing their own investigation. Not surprisingly it was a waste of time, as Newsweek reported.

After an investigation, West Point and the Naval Academy determined that cadets and midshipmen who came under fire for their hand gestures weren't showing support for white supremacy movements but were playing an innocent game.

The cadets were playing the “circle game”, not sending secret KKK hand signals to their fellow white supremacists. Urban Dictionary describes this nonsensical game as follows.

The game starts out when the Offensive Player creates a circle with their thumb and forefinger, not unlike an "A-Okay" signal, somewhere below his waist.

His goal is to trick another person into looking at his hand. If the Victim looks at the hand, he has lost the game, and is subsequently hit on the bicep with a closed fist, by the offensive player.

So the big story of President Trump somehow reaching out to his legions of white supremacist military youth was instead a bunch of teenagers, many bored with the football game, playing an innocuous game to pass the time.

Not just the cadets either. There was the story of Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s assistant, during his confirmation hearings, flashing this same white power symbol. Or the White House intern making an OK sign rather than the thumbs up sign that his peers were making. Perhaps he didn’t get the memo. OK then.

Yet the media had no concerns when Democrat stars including Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, and other woke liberals flashed the same OK hand gesture, as this Daily Caller article chronicles. Who knew progressive Democrats were white supremacists?

Twitter screen shot

It’s more than a silly story but instead the media piling on, in unison, a story that fits their worldview that Trump and his supporters, the military, and anyone in the Trump sphere are evil racist bigots. They seek out stories to fit this narrative and don’t let up even when their story is deemed to be a hoax.

Without an apology or moment of self-reflection, they drive by to the next story, fake or otherwise, reinforcing their moniker as the fake news media.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver based physician, freelance writer and occasional radio talk show host whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum.