The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Fake News

The main stream media (and many Democrats) are aflutter about "fake news"—stories that often originate within social media or on some sketchy websites that have little of no basis in fact. To give these stories a dark tinge, the usual suspects argue that the "Russians" or the "alt-right" are sometimes the originators and that during the past year, the fake news effort was a devious plot to sway the election. Talk about paranoia!

There is no question that poorly sourced and/or completely erroneous news stories do exist (and are sometimes published with the main stream media itself), but recent suggestions that the news be "curated" so that "fake" news can be eliminated are very dangerous.

Karol Marcowicz writes:
To be sure, there is such a thing as actual fake news: Made-up stories built to get Facebook traction before they can be debunked. But that’s not what’s really going on here.

What the left is trying to do is designate anything outside its ideological bubble as suspect on its face.

In October, President Obama complained that we need a “curating function” to deal with the “wild-wild-west-of-information flow.” Who would be doing this “curating” is unclear — but we can guess: “Obviously,” Noah Feldman writes at Bloomberg View, “it would be better if the market would fix the problem on its own . . . But if they can’t reliably do it — and that seems possible, since algorithms aren’t (yet) fact-checkers — there might be a need for the state to step in.”

In other words, censorship. And who might the government look to target in this crackdown? In an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone last week, Obama said again that the “The biggest challenge that I think we have right now in terms of this divide is that the country receives information from completely different sources.” Uh-oh.

Seemingly with a straight face, Obama then told Wenner: “Good journalism continues to this day. There’s great work done in Rolling Stone.” Rolling Stone, of course, ran a sensational, and false, story last year about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity that was thoroughly discredited. The magazine was forced to pay a university administrator it defamed $3 million in damages, and there may be more lawsuits in store. “Good journalism” and Rolling Stone do not go hand in hand.

And then Obama removed all doubt. He blamed Trump’s win in part on “Fox News in every bar and restaurant in big chunks of the country.”
Image, for just a moment if Donald Trump suggested a "curating function" that would filter news. The Dems and their media supporters would be apoplectic—and for once, they'd be right.

In fact, the MSM is as responsible for as much 'fake news' as any other outlet. Left-leaning newscasters and commentators at CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, and the remaining usual suspects desperately want to validate their narrative that Trump is a loose cannon, doesn't understand the government or foreign policy, and is really an 'alt-right' fanatic. Therefore, the trained hamsters spin every story so that the headline fits that meme. For example, to demonstrate Trump's lack of foreign policy experience, the trained hamsters would have us believe that we're on the brink of war with China over a simple congratulatory phone call from Taiwan. What utter nonsense! Yet, the trained hamster's 'fake news' on this topic has become conventional wisdom.

Because most sources within the mainstream media are demonstrably biased, it's the reader's/listener's/viewer's responsibility to examine multiple sources and viewpoints and to be skeptical about reporting that just doesn't feel right or worse and promotes one political viewpoint to the exclusion of others. That skepticism should be applied equally to borderline websites and to the main steam media—the past eight years have demonstrated that both are fully capable of producing propaganda rather than real news stories.


Steven Hayes writes:
This background [the post-modern meme that there is no objective truth] needs to be kept in mind when surveying the media freak out about “fake news” and how Trump lies. More so than the usual politician? More so than Al Gore, the Clintons, and Harry Reid? It is a curious thing that it took Trump to make the media express outrage at the “terminological inexactitudes” (to use Churchill’s wonderfully obfuscating phrase for “lie”) of politicians. But beyond the selective outrage, it is especially fun to take in the media’s indignation that Trump is supposedly getting away with it, despite relentless “fact-checking,” because we live in a “post-truth” world.

... Who is it that created this “post-truth” climate? Once again, it was liberalism. And just how vigorously has the mainstream media ever stood against this nihilist undertow? That would be zip, zilch, nada ... But like the time an independent counsel was used against a Democrat, liberals hate it when their doctrines are used against them.

To the contrary, speaking of “fake news,” I recall a certain prominent journalist—I’d rather not repeat his name—who trafficked in a wholly fake news story about a president, and whose forged documents were defended as “fake, but accurate.” So the media doesn’t have a lot of standing to complain about “fake news” just now, let alone a “post-truth” world they helped create.

Memo to the Mainstream Media: Welcome to the world your intellectual comrades created. What Trump is doing is saying, “Okay, this is the world you created. Have some of this!” I’m going to enjoy watching the media meltdown of the Trump years.
Among the many reasons that progressives hate Donald Trump is that he punches back—hard. The media demonizes Trump, and guess what? Trump flips it around and demonizes them. If you're comfortable dishing it out, you damn well better be equally comfortable when it comes back and smacks you upside the head.