I scan as many items each morning as I can from many different sources…especially those posing as middle-of-the-road that couldn’t find the middle of the road vis a vis opinion if a line were drawn down it.
You know, when you read this, that the likelihood is you will have read a conservative’s take on things of the day or week or month. Unlike that, when you read quite a few national publications, either hard copy which is less popular every day, or simply the Internet versions, you get a dose of “news” that often poses as something it is not. It is opinion, no more valid than mine and more dangerous, I think, because it doesn’t always make public the point of where it comes from politically. Unless you are an avid consumer of the goings on in our country and the world, those versions may or may not reflect the best effort to lay out the facts before a position is taken.
There is a significant difference. I tell you I am a conservative. You can take it or leave it. Too often, however, the liberal-leaning organizations simply express their take on the days’ happenings and permit you to take those writings as ‘gospel’ without bothering to confess their slant. I think this is where our President finds most of the ‘fake news’ since those writings, even though tending to be nothing more than opinion as are mine, can come across as something they are not…and those who are gullible or simply intentionally unknowing can easily find information that looks to be innocently presented, therefore passing as “news” in their worlds.
The Internet has made it easier for people like me to gain a forum for opinion, and that is great. The Internet has also made possible the obfuscation of leanings so that writers can engage in the subterfuge of saying something they know to be an untruth, or at the least a carefully edited construct that is intentionally misleading.
There is another very subtle thing at work in this respect. Entities that used to be simply newspapers as we knew those have taken that earlier reputation into the fray thus causing others to lazily accept their writings as middle-of-the-road presented by “the press”, therefore true. That is, unfortunately, not always the case but these entities have established large reader bases, and those readers tend to not be nearly so discriminating as might be advisable in the gathering of truthful information.
I also try to watch as many White House press briefings as I can, as much for the nature of the questions posed as for the answers provided. The questions and the follow-ups by the questioner tell you precisely where that organization comes from on the scale of liberal to conservative. The New York Times and Washington Post people are easily identified, and those publications are also easily identified for what they are: essentially liberal media outlets still, but passing themselves off as legitimate middle-of-the-road news entities.
So, yes there is ‘fake news’ if you measure that by the place it occupies on the liberal to conservative scale, and by how that story plays out over time since time can show the political leaning for what it is.
Conservatives have skin in this game as do liberals. Conservatives are typically more able to determine what they’re reading/hearing/seeing while liberals seem less capable or less concerned in that quest. The plain reason for this is that liberals get what they want from the typical news organization and that conservatives don’t. Liberals are happy with the liberal reporting and writing. Conservatives are not happy and are committed to helping others see the difference.
Conservatives know what to look for as we make our determinations of news and its reported leaning. That is sometimes based on the place we see it, and sometimes on the reporter to which it is accredited, but that knowledge base takes time to develop. There seems an almost uncanny ability on the part of some to be able to discern the difference almost immediately. I like to think I’ve been at this for long enough that I can detect the subtleties almost without thinking about it. It simply rings true to the conservative ear or it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, I look at source more thoroughly and usually find the ‘tells’ that are present in the storyline.
We conservatives need to be considerate of those who do not yet have that sense developed as keenly as we might. They may well be conservatives who simply haven’t been able to define themselves as such at this stage in their political formation. Our nurturing may well be exactly what they were hungering for without knowing. I found one of these neophyte conservatives in my midst a while ago. He will be a textbook example of the conservative we’d all like to see join this club. He came out/is coming out of a conservative family and a liberal college experience.
Have you found a potential candidate who needs a bit of nurturing? It is fun to watch them blossom. They often can be emerging from their education endeavors and are still searching for more than that experience provided to them. They are still wondering if there may be something better than being a liberal. You and I know the answer to that question and we can share that answer.