We have heard the term “Fake News” a great deal since the election of Donald Trump as our President. Did ‘fake news’ originate with President Trump being sworn in or has it been around for awhile?
For the most part, ‘fake news’ has been around almost since the beginning of ‘news’. What makes ‘fake news’ so fascinating today is how quickly it can be created, posted and digested by enough people that it becomes fact to many who do not take the time to verify, or who believe anything and everything that is anti-this or anti-that. If it sounds good to us and fits our preconceived notion, then it must be true. We spread it as factual information and it takes on a virtual life of its own.
Consider that this occurs every day, and we begin to see that ‘fake news’ is, in fact, real for many people. Those people who can be easily convinced by ‘fake news’ are those who want to hear what the latest revelation said and that it was true. Or, they are the people who are too trusting of media reports. Or, they are the people who already subscribed to the particular notion that is being conveyed, therefore the fake news simply serves to convince them they were right all the while.
We tend to cluster in groups of others who are like-minded. That simply breeds the propagation of ‘fake news’ whether intentional or unintentional. Are the believers of ‘fake news’ nut cases? Not necessarily, although some may well be closet nut cases who hide it well. Some are simply so angry with us having a person such as Donald Trump in office as our President that anything that even remotely questions the validity of that vote is instantly believable since they’ve thought that ever since it was announced.
We have, unfortunately, politicians in high office who are quite willing to fan the flames of ‘fake news’ since it gets them face time on TV and since it lends some kind of credence to their stories. I suspect, after careful observation, that some of our elected officials actually believe the ‘fake news’ since they do not appear to be the brightest bulbs in our Washington chandelier. You know who they are as well as I; they tend to be like moths attracted to the bright lights and TV cameras. And, of course, the networks love them since they, deep down in their heart-of-hearts, cannot believe Mr. Trump is actually our President either.
Is President Trump correct in every case where he has branded something as ‘fake news’? Certainly not, but he knows this gives him cover from the reverberations of the latest and greatest preposterous claim. He has this readily available as a put-down tool and you or I would probably do the same given the circumstances he finds himself in having been duly elected but summarily denied the victory by those who didn’t vote for him.
Washington, D.C. has become a mosh pit of politics with players who think there are no rules involved except to win at any cost. To too many of them, ‘fake news’ is simply a tool they choose to employ without regard to the costs of its deployment. They diminish themselves but are not bright enough, or simply don’t care enough, to protect their own images. And, I guess why should they, if they continue to get re-elected time after time, except to do the right thing…but that is another blog.
- A final note: Bergdahl received a dishonorable discharge and no time served. That is a travesty of justice in my mind as both an American and a former soldier. I truly wish this were ‘fake news’.