Since the unopposed featuring of a retired German lung physician as "expert in air pollution and health" by a German TV station, German language mass media have seen an unprecedented hype. It crossed the borders to even reach the E.U. parliament. The physician - not a scientist - claimed that the WHO Air Quality Guidelines lack scientific evidence and that the air quality standards for NO2 and PM should be eliminated. His statement made to the German Society of Lung Physicians” was signed by 130 colleagues. Despite a solid science with more than 35’000 research articles on “[air pollution] AND [health]” published by >77’000 authors (none by the lung physician nor his signees), the hype entertained media discussions for weeks and months. Though the political background of the celebration of “fake news” is based on the policy aftermath of the diesel engine manipulation scandals, it is worth reviewing its broader context of 30 years of local, national, and international clean air policy making. The presentation puts the health science in perspective of policy decisions where public health science goals compete with vested interests and the side-tracking maneuvers of selective court decisions. ... mehrSome lessons learned from the waves of “alternative facts” will be relevant in the development and decisions related to future regulations of combustion-related ultra-fine particulate matter.