Kanye ahead? Only in mock data

  • Kanye West answers questions during a service at Lakewood Church, in Houston. On Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that election results in Kentucky show the rapper and independent presidential candidate is ahead of President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the presidential race. West tweeted mock election data that the AP provides to customers as part of routine testing ahead of elections.

    Kanye West answers questions during a service at Lakewood Church, in Houston. On Friday, Oct. 16, 2020, The Associated Press reported on stories circulating online incorrectly asserting that election results in Kentucky show the rapper and independent presidential candidate is ahead of President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the presidential race. West tweeted mock election data that the AP provides to customers as part of routine testing ahead of elections. AP File Photo/Nov. 17, 2019

 
 
Updated 10/24/2020 5:01 PM

Rapper and presidential candidate Kanye West recently touted poll numbers out of Kentucky, which showed him leading Donald Trump and Joe Biden in that state's race.

"GET THE WEST WING READY !!! ... this is how I felt when I saw that Kentucky pole result," West said on Twitter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The poll numbers weren't real, according to The Associated Press. West was citing mock election data, "randomly generated and not based on any predetermined scenarios," that the AP uses during testing before an election.

The false data, a screenshot from LEX 18 News in Kentucky, had West in third place, behind Libertarian Jo Jorgensen and independent candidate Brock Pierce, but ahead of Trump and Biden.

"Someone discovered a cached web link that we used during June's primary election to post Associated Press election results," LEX 18 News explained on Twitter. "The results shown were not valid. They were simply part of a test."

West's campaign filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on July 15 and his name will appear on ballots in several states, including Kentucky, the AP said.

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West's post showing the false data was retweeted 11,000 times. A tweet from a self-described hip-hop news site, asking, "YE 2020 AFTER ALL?", was shared 1,500 times.

Twitter flagged both posts as "manipulated media."

Ad uses partial Biden quote

A deceptive ad from President Donald Trump's campaign uses an out-of-context comment by Democratic candidate Joe Biden making it appear the former vice president contradicts his position on gun control, according to FactCheck.org.

A narrator in the deceptive ad says, "Joe Biden openly admitted his plan to violate our Second Amendment rights." The clip then shows CNN host Anderson Cooper asking Biden, "To gun owners out there who say, well, a Biden administration means they're going to come for my guns," Biden responds, "Bingo. You're right."

Although the ad gives the impression Biden will ban all guns, he was actually referring to assault weapons. His entire response during the interview was, "Bingo. You're right, if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is they should be illegal, period."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Biden said he doesn't believe it was unconstitutional to ban assault weapons.

"The Second Amendment doesn't say you can't restrict the kinds of weapons people can own," he said. "You can't buy a bazooka. You can't have a flamethrower."

Biden said his plan would allow people who already legally own assault weapons to keep them.

"There's no legal way, that I'm aware of, that you could deny them the right if they've ... legally purchased them," he said.

Feds providing masks to schools

During a town hall in Philadelphia last week, Biden blamed the Trump administration for not following up on a promise to provide face masks to schools.

"The government initially said they were going to provide masks for every student and every teacher and then they said ... the president or whomever said, 'No, no. That's not a national emergency,'" Biden said.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency in September said they would stop reimbursing the cost of masks for schools, but the Department of Health and Human Services said it will step in and provide as many as 125 million face masks to schools, <URL destination="https://www.factcheck.org/2020/10/factchecking-bidens-town-hall-2/">according to FactCheck.org.

</URL>FEMA official Keith Turi, during a Sept. 1 call with state and tribal emergency managers, said the change is a result of schools being classified as nonemergency locations, NPR reported.

On the call, Turi said masks and personal protective equipment in nonemergency sites will be classified as "increased operating costs" not covered by FEMA.

On its webpage, HHS said it would provide 125 million cloth masks to students, teachers and staff, "with an emphasis on students who are low-income or otherwise with high needs and schools providing in-person instruction."

Tweet shows former Biden home

The president's son, Eric Trump recently posted an aerial photo of a large sprawling home, falsely claiming it belongs to Joe Biden, and questioned how the presidential candidate could afford such a place.

"The salary of a U.S. Senator is $174,000 per year. This is Joe Biden's house ... seems legit," Eric Trump captioned the photo.

But the residence hasn't belonged to Biden for 26 years, according to Snopes.com. It is a current photo of property Biden purchased in 1974 for $185,000.

The Twitter post shows a five-bedroom, 10,000-square-foot former DuPont mansion in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1974, Biden, a freshman senator and recent widower, was able to afford the property because it was "badly run down and in need of major repairs," Snopes said.

Biden fixed up the home and lived there until 1996 when he sold it for $1.2 million.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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