I asked my Facebook friends for comments on fake news and there was just the sound of crickets chirping. In fairness, I've been asking them a lot of questions over the last week and maybe they are tired of being disturbed. However, I think the topic is important because how are people to decide what is fake and what is not unless we have a discussion on the subject.
If you'd like to comment you can post one below. If like most people you don't want to comment, don't feel like you need to, either. I just like the dialogue because talking or texting or commenting gets the brain thinking. I judge no one for their beliefs and opinions so there will be no fireworks from this department.
Who decides what is fake and what is not? Is it the reader, the writer, or the editor? Perhaps it is no one. No one at all.
News satire is what is traditionally called #fake news. It a type of parody presented in a format of mainstream journalism but the content is satire. Before election day last November, fake news was considered yellow journalism. You know the kind, the magazines that sit just inside the checkout isle, the ones with celebrity news that may or may not be true. The thing about yellow journalism was that you knew it might be true and you knew it might just as well not be true. Still, you bought it anyway hoping against hope that this time Big Foot really was discovered.
Now, however, fake news encompasses real news and a journalist can be called fake even when the facts are true. Fake news is replacing regular news on both the right and the left and the many places in between. A story might have a personal slant with very little in the way of facts. Or the facts may be slanted to confirm or deny the opinions of the writer. In any case, I doubt any one of us is getting anything in the way of real news anymore.
Real news is a calling to a true journalist, anything else is just opinion. Heaven knows you see enough opinion on all the news shows. News stories should just contain the facts and the facts only. If the journalist is going to insert himself or herself into the news then it is called #Commentary. When I write articles that are news that is what the article is about--the news. If I write commentary I am giving you my opinion of what the facts are. This article is commentary.
As usual, I went out on Facebook to gather people's opinions about the last news story I wrote, which you can see here. And since my posts are public you can see the comments here. While most people had their opinions about what happened in Syria last week, one person called out the story and shared it as fake news. There was nothing in the article that was fake, but someone, whom I do not know, made the decision without checking the facts that the story was fake. I found it disturbing that someone would do a shout-out about a story that was true. It is things like this that make people even more concerned about the facts they are getting, myself included.
To be clear, sometimes facts change. You might report what is fake when you think it is true, like when Susan Rice reported that the riot in Libya was based upon a movie or when she said during an NPR interview on January 16th, 2017 that claimed the Obama administration was "able to find a solution that didn't necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria..." Both those statements are untrue, but they are not fake. They were misrepresented which is an entire other dilemma.
Or how about these conflicting facts: The Syrians were responsible for the sarin gas attack on children last week because they wanted the U.S. to be blamed. Or maybe the United States was responsible for the attack because the U.S. supports the Syrian rebels who are mostly ISIS and they were the ones that bombed the depository. Or maybe it was accidental. That Syria or in some cases, Russia, accidentally dropped a bomb on the depository where the sarin gas was kept thereby killing numerous children and adults with a toxic nerve agent.
Shall I go on?
How is anyone to know the truth?
MSNBC claims that FOX is fake news while FOX claims MSNBC is fake news. CNN sits back thinking they are in the middle while most of the reporting and/or commentary you can easily look up and render it useless or at best just an opinion.
Seriously folks, do you see a pattern here?
The world needs a new order and it is not the New World Order. We need someone to tell us the truth. And so far both the left and the right and all the reporters in between have failed in their sacred duty to report fairly to the American people.
But then again, that is just my opinion.