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Fake News Hysteria Will Make the Fake News Problem Worse
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  • Fat_Man

    Fake news is only a problem for the left when it makes them look bad. When they peddle fake news it is a higher truth. When Dan Rather went on the air during the 2004 election with an attack on President Bush based on documents that were obvious fakes, he was propounding a higher truth, and Hollywood made a movie about his suffering. When Rolling Stone published a bizarre fake story about a gang rapping fraternity at the University of Virginia, it was peeling back the mask covering white male privilege. The $7.5 million lible judgment against Rolling Stone well that was just an embarrassment.

    I could go on for a long list of leftist fakes and libels, but I would bore you. If the left is complaining about fakes, the problem is that their own temples of truth have so completely discredited themselves that they can no longer rebut even the most obvious nonsense.

    • Johnathan Swift Jr.

      Ah yes, the birth of “Fake but Accurate!”

    • Larry J

      In the case of the false Duke Lacrosse Rape story, one “journalist” was heard to say that “the narrative was right but the facts were wrong.” This whole narrative business is at the root of modern journalism’s problems. Instead of reporting the who, what, when, where, how, and why of an event, they had to fit it into their preferred leftist narrative.

  • Anthony

    “Everyone is vulnerable to misinformation and spin.” (TAI)

    A question comes to mind: are there correctives beyond citizens automatically seeking confirming information? Confirmation bias (which we humans incline towards) is the tendency to seek out and interpret new evidence (news information perhaps) that confirms what we may already think.

    The Post underscores the idea that people consume information and make decisions on sensible analysis as well as on the actual value of the options available to them – cognitive science suggests otherwise. That is, our unconscious impulses and how all information (fake, legitimate, propaganda, etc.) is utilized to market to them combines with the public’s tendency to run in herds thereby reinforcing perceptions knowingly or unknowingly via news dissemination. There is no hysteria but a salient fact that the effectiveness of digital technologies (fake news perhaps) has increased the opportunities and ability to provide the fractious populace with what it’s seeking – reinforcement, reinforcement, not dissonance.

  • rheddles

    To be sure, sensationalist websites and tabloids and inflammatory social media accounts, often peddling falsehoods, have proliferated over the past few years, as the edifice once known as the “mainstream media” starts to lose authority.

    The author is obviously too young to remember Rathergate. That’s why the MSM lost authority; they lied. Check this for a full list of the MSM liars exposed.

    • Fat_Man

      Did you mean to put a link in your post?

      • rheddles

        I did and it seems to be working for me. Click on “this” in the last sentence above.

        • Fat_Man

          On most websites, links are rendered in a contrasting color, usually light blue. For some reason TAI does not do that. At this site, links in the text of the main post are underlined but not colored, but links in the comments are neither underlined nor colored.

          If you don’t do something to draw attention to the link, it is very easy to miss.

          • rheddles

            True dat. I’ll bold it next time.

  • KremlinKryptonite

    Leave it to lefty wing nut, American elitists to cozy up to such ideas (led by the lamestream MSM like the Clinton News Network, and by Mark Zuckerberg whose cozying up to the unelected regime in Beijing and interest in censorship is jus gross).

  • Beauceron

    “Much of the public believes that big city reporters do not understand them or their way of life, and hold their values in contempt.”

    It’s not just that they believe it, it’s that it’s true. The media do hold them in contempt. Heck, it’s actually even worse than that. Not only do they hold them in contempt, they casually dismiss them all as racist white supremacists. And since they’re all racists their concerns don’t matter.

    • vepxistqaosani

      “nearly all”? Do you know of an exception?

      • Beauceron

        Yeah…me!

  • FluffyFooFoo

    Yep, nothing like doubling down on stupid by berating fake news while creating fake news day in and day out. Bye bye media riches.

  • FriendlyGoat

    The mistake of mainstream media in chasing “fake news” is in trying to identify the sources of it. This is explained by the first sentence of the fourth paragraph above. Today’s technology makes planting of any ideas quite possible and accurate identification of the source nearly impossible. So the goal is to spotlight those who are believing fake news, not those who are originating it. After all, it is “we” who are to be blamed for not having sense whenever that has apparently become the case.

    I have an old conservative friend who put me on the distribution list for chain e-mail stuff circulating to members of his church, often being distributed by the pastor (yes, I know his name). This has gone on for years, and I know first hand the kind of junk which has been flying around in that particular rural-based community during the entire Obama presidency. It operates to the same effect as “fake news”. As much as I was tempted to ask my friend to not send me such things, I do my arguing in comment sections, not with real friends. It has provided me quite an education in “cause”. The Trump election is now “effect”. A full half of the country now knows this, the other half is split between those who don’t know and those who do know but won’t admit.

    • Anthony

      “So the goal is to spotlight those who are believing fake news….” (FriendlyGoat)

      From your keyboard to God’s eyes!

      • FriendlyGoat

        We have the simple gist of the message of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and we have always had it in the modern era. As Christians, it is our ears which were supposed to have heard and not be out imagining that God will fix what we reject.

        • Anthony

          Nothing to add (though whether you’re aware or not those sentiments parallel WRM’s [and you and he are same age, I think]).

          • FriendlyGoat

            How then does WRM manage to attract the nest of cynics (not you) who reside here in the TAI comment section? One would think that enough would have been said here to attract another group of readers, no? It’s true that more is printed here on religion, in the longer articles especially, than in many other political commentaries, but why doesn’t the kind of Christianity we could have expected from Robert Fulghum (Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten) break through here? We are to love one another as we love ourselves. We are to want Heaven for everyone who will ask, seek and knock. We are to tell each other the truth as we would want it told to us. We are to want to help each other. We are not to be spin machines and perpetually seeking to “take advantage” of everyone and everything.

          • Anthony

            When WRM initially opened his blog, he attracted commentators of the type like Gary Novak and Wayne Lusvardi (who were Peter Berger respondents generally but a fine example of WRM’s prototype respondent). ViaMedia then collapsed into TAI and over several years many of the originals left and we are now where we are – though, I think his guidelines still apply for those who remember. TAI leans center right and forums has given both the agitated and ostensibly aggrieved a convenient internet portal to wax polemic. Also, the practitioners you seek (and there were quite a few -Jon Robbins come readily to mind) probably have better things to do with their time than subject their ideas to… But, your presence (voice) gives resilience to many who may not write but continue to read. Please continue.

          • FriendlyGoat

            I’m aware TAI leans center-right which is why most of the commenting readership is now far right. Saying the “blue model” is bad without any replacement other than Uber and AirBnb is rather problematic. This goes on here too much. The main reason I have stayed at all is that the topics are varied and the comment section participants are few enough in number to be manageable.

          • Anthony

            I know you’re aware of center-right orientation; my intent was/is context. The blue model (Fordist Model) labeling/criticism take with grain of salt – audience patronizing. For real, legitimate, weighty, economic/social/political analysis (as you know), you must go elsewhere. Continue, when you choose, to give another perspective or way to judge our world. And remember audience is more than regular respondents.

          • FriendlyGoat
          • Anthony

            Garrison Keilor has always gotten it (generally noting)!

          • Anthony

            See his November 9th piece also in Washingtonpost.

      • FriendlyGoat

        Historians will be writing about the 2017 “shift” of America long after we’re dead. “A decision of the gravest consequence”, per Fallows, is probably going to be seen as a “light” description after sufficient time for retrospection has passed.

        • Anthony

          You may be on to something; he (Fallows) says your idea like this “whether the election will be a dire but survivable challenge to American institutions or an irreversible step toward something else” remains a question to yet be answered.

  • Johnathan Swift Jr.

    Instead of having the good grace to simply withdraw the fake expose on “fake news”, the Washed Up Post has ammended it. The fact that they would bite on such a hash of propaganda and a “report” by a secret team “experts” with an agenda says everything about the state of despair the old Legacy Media finds itself.

    “Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda. A number of those sites have objected to being included on PropOrNot’s list, and some of the sites, as well as others not on the list, have publicly challenged the group’s methodology and conclusions. The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so. Since publication of The Post’s story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its list.”

  • Rick Caird

    “Fake News” is just another attempt by the left to rationalize away the loss to Trump. The left is just flailing away trying to find some kind of plausible explanation. Of course, the real explanation is Hillary was a poor candidate whom no one trusted. But, that narrative is too simple nad reflect badly on the left since they were “all in” for her.

    • Terenc Blakely

      Actually, the ‘fake news’ hysteria serves two purposes. One, to cover up the incompetent, biased election reporting of the MSM and two, to open up another front to suppress any information sources that doesn’t hew to the MSMs narrative.

  • TheDarkHelmet

    “People say believe half of what you see
    Son, and none of what you hear . . .”
    The ‘mainstream’ media and the alphabet networks in particular forfeited their credibility long about 1998 when they decided to stand by Bill Clinton — i.e. not hound him into resignation as they had Nixon. They were forced to condone the lying, rationalization and excuses of the Clintons on a daily basis and once they got into the habit they never stopped. That was when I cancelled my subscription to the NY Times and quit watching network TV news. I suspect I wasn’t alone.
    The media have proved themselves manifestly untrustworthy. How could anyone on either side seriously expect objectivity from institutions that are 90%+ partisan to one side?

  • Terenc Blakely

    The easiest people to con are those who think they are to smart to be conned.

    “Our elites aren’t elite but they are elitist.”

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