By Jason Taylor
It used to be we all knew what fake news was — we all saw the fake headlines in the National Enquirer and the Star in the checkout line at the grocery. Then conservatives realized that their audience would gobble it up like a dog on his breakfast, helping to promote their aims. So now they are further obfuscating the issue by accusing mainstream media of wholesale fabrication of news.
This is a very dangerous time for our country as we have reached a point where facts may not matter. Reality will catch up to the Breitbart and Limbaugh crowd. Then the challenge will be for democrats to avoid being the scapegoats. The democrats need to keep pounding home in very simple terms the news that is factual. Every month. How many jobs does Trump return to rural areas? How many coal jobs have been returned? How many manufacturing jobs have returned? And if they repeal Obamacare, how many people lose their insurance. Not all people will believe the reality based news, but enough will. And turn out your base in all elections. There are individuals in any population that you cannot reason with, they simply have to be outvoted and diluted.
The GOP’s unrelenting attack on education, facts, science, and pluralism is just sad. You can tell they are playing politics because every time they scream “fake news” they have no facts to back it up. And every time someone calls their “news stories” for being false, they scream “fake news” but again provide no verifiable facts to back up their claims. It’s a pack of liars leading a pack of idiots. It’s sad for America — that these people continue to waste our time and resources fighting them on stupid things, but I guess that’s the only way they can explain their failure to lead by example, to blame the news.
This attempt to destroy the credibility of the news media is among the most frightening of the horrible proposals coming from Trump’s soon to be administration. FACTS matter. We can have no functioning discussions based on emotions and opinions, and no comprehensive helpful legislation.
We are entering the era puppetry and the end of democracy. Decisions, votes, are made from information. If all information is viewed as false, then good decisions can’t be made. The situation is so bad that many can’t distinguish being wrong from lying. A prediction that does not come true is not a lie. It’s making a wrong prediction. I have news for those of you out there that don’t know the difference. Predictions are usually wrong.
We are entering the era of mob rule where merit and qualifications are unimportant. Just tell the mob what it wants to hear and then get it all riled up. That’s not leadership. Leaders have the courage to tell the mob what it doesn’t want to hear. The truth often falls into that category. The destruction of the truth was done in the quest for profit and power. The power was sought to make more money for the profiteers. Fox News is not a humanitarian operation. Neither is Limbaugh. They exist to make money, period.
The problem is this continued and puzzling reluctance by those who actually practice professional, conscientious journalism to call this garbage what it is — garbage.
The faux conservative, rabid right has excelled in denial and disinformation for a long time. Whenever a serious issue has arisen — from real sources — that grows too big, or too vivid in the popular imagination, to be ignored, they co-opt the term and reassign a meaning in line with their aims. ( The rabid left may do it as well, but without the broadcasting power and welcoming audience, it has less of an impact). And they simply deliver what their audience expects — “facts” to fit their views.
The real news media doesn’t get it right, but its supporters are more critical, or so I like to think.
Since we have learned that we all tend to read what we want to read, the general trend may be difficult to counter. I cling to a belief that if our education system were better — people would exercise better critical thinking skills. It may be unlikely, but the only other course seems to be to create better propaganda for alternate views.
We’re in for a long slog, people. There was a time when truth, read reality, was a given. Liars simply worked outside it. Now, however, we’ve apparently entered a period in which received wisdom is no longer a given, in which disputatious responses to verifiable falsehoods are dismissed out of hand. Which, history bears out, has long been a weapon wielded by tyrants. The current forecast calls for four years of dark days. Let’s pray it doesn’t become eight.