You mean everything I read on social media isn’t true?


Have you discounted the news media as a horde of fakes and narrative pushers? Do you rely on social media for your news and information on political candidates?

Either way, let me share this story with you.

Today, I researched a state House candidate from Downriver named Janise O’Neil Robinson, a first-time political candidate.

My LexisNexis searches showed her as a 56-year-old special education teacher from Taylor who spoke out publicly about protecting school kids’ health during the COVID-19 debate. She’s a Democrat. She was elected a precinct delegate in 2018.

I also found a Facebook page titled “Janise Robinson for State Representative.” That’s a pretty standard thing for a political candidate to create.

But the more I looked at the page, the stranger it seemed. The picture showed a woman in her late 20s/early 30s with a man of the same age. She was holding a young child. They all wore Detroit Red Wings gear in what looked like Joe Louis Arena.

Joe Louis Arena hasn’t hosted a hockey game since 2017.

The photo is clearly dated, but it is really dated. This was a younger woman posing with her young family, not someone who looked anywhere close to 56.

Next, I closely examined the “Robinson For State Representative” banner text. On the respective corners of the banner were typed “Free Palestine,” “#BLM,” “No Human Is Illegal,” and “A Teacher That Knows What Best For Your Children” (sic).

All of this was against a rainbow backdrop. Her intro describes her as a “Mom, teacher, LGBTQIA+ Ally, Democrat for Michigan’s 28th State House District.”

If Robinson was running from East Lansing, Ann Arbor or Ferndale, I might not have thought twice about it. But Downriver isn’t exactly a liberal haven. Someone running on an overtly progressive agenda will struggle in this blue-collar district made up of Brownstown Township, Taylor and Woodhaven.

Still, I brushed it off as maybe a true believer who was running to make a point, even though that’s more of a conservative Republican thing to do.

Then, I read Janise Robinson’s only post, dated Jan. 31. It read, “My name is Janise Robinson and I’m running to be YOUR State Representative! Like Gretchen Whitmer, I’m ready to FIGHT LIKE HELL for our children, I’ve been doing it for years.”

  1. The governor typically uses this vernacular when talking about the roads or abortion rights. I knew Robinson had been a teacher for years, so I kept giving this page the benefit of the doubt until I read this:

“In 2020, I fought to keep our children out of school. If it was up to me, we would have kept them out longer. Science is Science and we need to trust it. My kids are still wearing masks and all kids should be doing the same.”

At this point, I did a hard stop. Wait a minute. No candidate, regardless of where they are, is talking like that in 2024.

I called immediately called Robinson about the page. She said, “Thank you for checking; this is a fake FB account.”

Wow. This is a first.

This comes after fake Joe Biden calls in New Hampshire were sent to Democrats telling them not to vote in their party’s primary.

Sadly, we are in the misinformation age.

Donald Trump’s “fake news” mantra of 2016 drove scores of people away from professional news gatherers. In the void, they’ve relied on dark holes of the internet and unverified claims to gather their information.

It has allowed skeptical, cynical people to find what they seek instead of finding verified information on a situation.

We presume the worst because we want to believe the worst. And once we believe the worst, does the truth matter?

At a time when finding the truth of a situation should be easier, today’s quick, unaccountable technology, ironically, can make it harder.

(Email Kyle Melinn of the Capitol news service MIRS at


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