Sunday, December 11, 2016

Fake News

For the life of me, I can't figure out what the big deal is. No matter the source, you always have to view the news with a certain amount of skepticism. When I used to watch 60 Minutes, every time they covered something I knew about, I could tell their stories were heavily slanted and full of misinformation if not outright lies.

So what? It happens all the time for a variety of reasons. Above a certain age or a certain level of experience-based sophistication, you stop being a credulous nitwit, sitting slack-jawed and ingesting every morsel you read or see like it was God's own truth.

In any case, what difference would any of this have made in the election? How many votes did this sway?

When you get right down to it, there are two underlying messages being peddled with the fake news hysteria.
  1. The news media is honest and forthright and professional and unbiased.
  2. You're such a moron that you can't differentiate between the National Enquirer and PBS.
The solution is obvious. You need the government to protect you from your own gullible stupidity.



Foxfier said...

Fake News is evil because more folks are going "...seriously, you want me to take YOU at face value?" to folks who are use to being able to do anything they want with the 'narrative.'

It's getting so the push-back from pointing out inconvenient facts(with evidence) are "you're evil!" rather than "that can't be right, I saw it on ____."

tim eisele said...

Yes. If you look at who is busy being all upset and railing about "fake news", who is it? Why, it is the "old media", particularly newspapers. The ones who have been sliding into irrelevancy. I don't think it is about politics at all. It is about the papers trying to win back readers by convincing people that these new upstarts are fundamentally untrustworthy, and that therefore we should go back to the old, "trusted" media.

It probably isn't going to work, but they'll try anyway.

Anonymous said...

The former Soviet Union had 2 newspapers: Izvestia and Pravda, "News" and "Truth" respectively. The joke was that the News contained no truth and the Truth contained no news. Hasn't that always been the case here too, to a certain extent?

Anonymous said...

I've told this story a million times, and probably here already: I spent my junior year in Jerusalem. Found a nice bar that happened to be near an office building that housed NUMEROUS foreign news agencies, so I met a TON of "journalists" that year. Most of them knew little Hebrew and no Arabic. Most of them had little knowledge the Middle East and we're looking for a big story to make their name -- and transfer to Europe or the US. They relied on stringers. They'd make up what they didn't know, convinced they were right. and the pretty much just converted the entire Middle East sitting their a$$es in a Jerusalem bar.

There's a scene in "The Year of Living Dangerously" that pretty well sums it up.