Apparently, we have a “fake news” problem in this country, where stories loaded with false information spread ignorance like wildfire all over the Internet. Some think this may even have cost Hillary Clinton the election and while I believe this fear to be inaccurate and overblown, I do say welcome to the party!
Some of us have been complaining, ahem, for years that biased, fear mongering is poisoning the electorate’s ability to make rational, educated decisions. The difference being this type of nonsense comes straight from the mainstream media and is masked as “hard news”, while the recent election oriented faux websites pushed outrageous headlines for clickbait a la National Enquire like sensationalism.
Discerning voters could smell a rat and I highly doubt many, if any votes where changed because of this. The left has only just now jumped on board the outrage train because well, oops, it turns out the masses are getting their news from sources other than ones beholden to the Democratic party and they have done the unthinkable by favoring Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Ouch.
Since a Clinton loss can’t possibly have anything to do with valid concerns over her political philosophy and overall vapidity as a person, it MUST be because of the spread of these faux news entities, which took those local-yocal Trump supporters for a ride all the way to victory. Cries for an investigation of course are rampant. I say yes, by all means, as it will be such great fun! Let’s begin now with a quick run down.
We’ll start with the time a national news anchor for a major network TV station was caught lying on air about the sitting president of the United States. Remember that? CBS’s Dan Rather fabricated a malicious story about George W Bushes’ National Guard service, actually made it up out of thin air with probable forged documents to boot. Does that count as fake news? Sure seems so to me.
And oh hey, remember when Hillary Clinton blamed the Benghazi fiasco that left four Americans dead on a Youtube video? Turns out that was completely false too, yet she and the rest of the Obama administration peddled this narrative for weeks after the attack, which the media dutifully reported of course as truth. Baldfaced lying I believe would be the correct term here.
Let’s not forget either the fun times during the ObamaCare wars, when Tea Party groups were egregiously smeared as racist by prominent journalists for merely opposing this massive government hijacking of the insurance market. Again, no truth to this vicious insult whatsoever but the media kept running with it.
Speaking of ObamaCare, how about that infamous whopper spoken by our own President some 30 something times, “if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan“, which the media refused to question until it became too uncomfortable not to and Politifact finally deemed it “lie of the year” in 2013.
Then there’s Rolling Stone having to completely retract a story about widespread gang rape at the University of Virginia because the star witness made up the entire thing, the tragically false, “Hands, Up Don’t Shoot” narrative and the embarrassingly inaccurate Gender Wage Gap myth that has been thoroughly debunked, but yet again the media still keeps parroting as gospel.
And finally, what to make of disgraced former NBC News Anchor Brian Williams whining about fake news playing a role in the election? Williams you may remember was forced to resign because he couldn’t stop LYING on the job! Seriously, you just can’t make this stuff up.
I could go on, and on and on about the on sided news the media perpetuates but I think you get the point. Everyone has an agenda, this is nothing new. The problem is news outlets like ABC, NBC, CNN, etc….operate under the guise that they are reporting facts, while these fly by night websites are usually pushing outrageous stories to bring in advertising dollars.
Of course something reported by sober Scott Pelley from behind the CBS anchor desk is going to seem a lot more valid than a clickbait headline and thus is a much bigger can of worms to explore.
It won’t be though, as that would require media elites to come to terms with their biases and how it affects their reporting and they are still in shock mode from the election. Maybe after they face denial and move on to acceptance and self reflection things will change, but until then keep a discerning and skeptical lens handy.
Fake news is not the problem, it’s fake impartiality.