Fake news is the new version of Bigfoot. Everyone has heard of it, some claim to have seen it, but no one seems to know what it is or have any definitive proof it exists.
So what exactly is fake news, besides the left’s buzzwords du jour? Everyone seems to be harping on it, but no one has accurately described it yet as far as I’ve heard. The words would lead one to believe that it is news that has proven to be untrue, but apparently, that’s too simplistic an idea to cover it all. To the media, it seems to be news written or aggregated by those not steeped in the blessed waters of professional journalism. To the left, it just seems to be any news that doesn’t support their carefully constructed worldview.
The progressives, led by Hillary Clinton (who after the election has managed to be both a gracious loser and the worst kind of sore loser all at the same time), has propped it up as just another excuse that she lost. They claim that “anti-Hillary propaganda” being spread over social media led enough people to dislike her so much they couldn’t drag their butts from out of their La-Z-Boys to go vote for her.
Of course, that propaganda includes reporting of her email and private server fiasco as well as details of an FBI investigation she happened to be under at the time. It also seems to include reportage of her sinking popularity and honesty ratings, along with her decline in the polls as the election went on, all of which were factual stories. So in this case, the definition of fake news isn’t so much untrue as it is unflattering.
The left has also pointed to Wikileaks as a source of fake news. Again, these people don’t seem to understand the word fake. Wikileaks exposed some pretty damning information about Hillary and the Democrats, true, but no one other than a few people in the throes of desperation denied that the emails were real. (Donna Brazile comes to mind, but after quitting CNN, she was banking on keeping her role as DNC chair. “Handing a candidate debate questions” doesn’t look so good on a resume for that job). So now the definition has expanded past unflattering news to news that the mainstream media didn’t dig up and disseminate themselves, oblivious to the fact that if they had done their jobs well, there would be no need for Wikileaks in the first place.
In a news culture where it seems that it’s better to be first than to be right, we’ve seen fake news from just about every news outlet. Hours after James Holmes went on a shooting rampage in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, the media reported that Holmes was a Tea Party member. Once again, it boiled down to dangerous conservatives and their obsession with guns. Most media outlets picked up on this and reported in kind. The media went on blast denouncing the TeaParty and Republicans in general as domestic terrorists.
Except James Holmes was not only not a Tea Partier, he was a registered Democrat. The news had identified the wrong guy.
In a frenzy to find anything they could on the killer, reporters went into a frantic online search for James Holmes. Despite a large number of James Holmse’s on the internet, some intrepid reporter stopped at the wrong Holmes based on three things: His name was James Holmes, he lived somewhere in Colorado, and most importantly, he was a “right-wing nut job.” Who cared if it was right if it fit the narrative of a left leaning media? Better to be first than to be right.
When Adam Lanza went off the rails and shot up a school in Newtown, Connecticut, the same thing happened. Until there was actually any solid leads as to his identity, media outlets speculated that he had to be another crazy right winger on a vendetta. Once again, they scoured the internet for information. And once again they identified the wrong man. Outlets plastered the face and Facebook page of Lanza’s brother all over the TV screens. Added to that, once again they were wrong about Lanza being a conservative. The RWNJ narrative quickly turned into a push for gun control.
In June of this year, a Muslim terrorist went on a shooting rampage in an Orlando LGBT nightclub. Despite witnesses saying the man was shouting Allahu Akbar while pulling the trigger and without any facts, once again most of the left leaning media centered on the fact that this had to be another conservative. After all, RWNJ, according to the media, are notoriously anti-gay, so that had to be the reason. When it turned out the shooter was Muslim, the narrative changed again. Now they couldn’t be sure of the killer’s motives. Funny, since they were plenty sure of it before the facts came out. One reporter even went on air that he was hoping the shooter was white Cliff Kinkaid wrote a very good article on this subject. You can find that HERE.
The media propagated the “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative in the shooting of Michael Brown, some even after it was proven to be a complete lie.
NBC edited audiotapes of phone calls to paint George Zimmerman as a racist. MSNBC edited a Katie Couric “expose” on guns to make gun rights advocates appear stupid. They edited a piece for Melissa Harris-Perry’s show to make a University president appear racist. (VIDEO HERE via Young Conservatives). They edited out footage of a reporter asking ex-President Bill Clinton about allegations regarding Juanita Broddrick. (HERE).
The list goes on, but point made.
These are great examples of fake news, but they aren’t included in the new definition. They’re just the fuzzy pictures that could either be Bigfoot or just a large stump.
Going with the fake equals untrue hypothesis, reputable news outlets engaged in it regularly in this election in some pretty insidious ways. One tactic of the MSM was particularly blatant. They had a habit of directly quoting Democratic Candidates while quotes by a Republican candidate were “interpreted” for the audience. It led to headlines like these:
Pro-woman candidate Clinton says if wanting equality is using the woman card, deal her in.
Trump blows racist dog whistle asking African Americans what they have to lose by voting for him.
One can make the case that the definition of fake news lies not in what the media prints, but what it actively chooses not to report. Coverage of Benghazi when the scandal broke was limited primarily to conservative news outlets. Reporting in the MSM was scant, if at all. Reporter Sheryl Atkisson even quit her job at CBS news, reportedly because of their deceptive editing of her Benghazi reports.
Even Hillary Clinton’s email scandal was largely ignored until so much evidence had mounted, it was impossible to ignore. Her use of the server got very little coverage at all, again except from conservative outlets. The pay for play allegations made in Peter Schweizer’s Clinton’s Cash was deemed not newsworthy from the start. Sometime in the last few decades, investigations require a smoking gun before reporters will even ask a routine question. When they do ask the question, they’ll just print the reply.
Hillary says there was no classified material in her emails.
Well, there you go. Investigation over.
Reporters happily reported fake news that came from the Obama administration. When the unemployment rate continued to drop despite the fact that more people were out of the workplace, there was no need to look into it. They just printed the number. Ditto with the jobs reports. It’s much easier to just take them as fact rather than to look into what the number represents. No one cares that the only jobs created were mostly part-time and low paying. The number is all they need to know.
Right now, Fake news is running rampant with stories of the Russian government interfering in our election. Once again, Wikileaks has been brought up as purposely printing Russian propaganda. (To reiterate, nothing in the Wikileaks has been proven false.) So has the Drudge report and Breitbart news. Julian Assange has gone on record as saying the source of the leaks was NOT Russia. Judge Andrew Napolitano says he has spoken to sources that say the leak came from the NSA. No one’s sources can seem to agree on what is actually going on. The press will just go with the source that already fits their ideological bent.
According to a new site of self-proclaimed avengers, Propaganda or Not (Propornot.com, @propornot), they have identified upwards of 180 news outlets, mostly independent and mostly conservative, that have either been in cahoots with Russia or were just unwitting dupes who printed Russian planted stories. Prop or not will neither reveal the names of the shadow panel that decided this nor the sources through which they have gathered this information.
That didn’t stop the Washington Post from reporting it as fact, though.
The gist behind the left’s definitions of fake news is that you, the consumer, are too stupid to weed out stories that are obviously false. They point to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory as proof of this, even though it is a small sample of people who are spreading it. It’s curious that there wasn’t a liberal and MSM outcry about 9/11 truthers, though.
Here are a couple suggestions help spot possible fake news.
First, get your news from more than one source. Read Politico, Huffington Post, National Review, and Breitbart. Tune into MSNBC every once in a while as well as Fox News. Knowing both sides of the argument will actually help shape a more informed position, and it will not turn any conservative into a raging liberal.
Most importantly, think for yourself. Liberals are stuck in groupthink, and it has been detrimental in the extreme. They live in a bubble made up of people who think exactly like they do. As conservatives, we don’t need to have our opinion given to us.
I have to go now because I’m sure I just saw some fake news flash by on my TV screen. I need to grab my camera. Hope my pictures won’t be blurry.