It is amazing that now we have to deal with such new terms as “alternate facts” and “fake news”. These accusations that are launched by our current resident in the White House have caused an expected polarization along the lines of supporters on both sides, but it does definitely make somebody wonder…just what, if any, “truth” is there in the assertion?
If you watch certain networks, it is clear that there is a slant on the delivery of the daily news from the commentary to the guests or experts that are interviewed. While this is painfully obvious even to the most naive viewer, we have to remember that all of these news outlets are a commercial venture. Every news broadcast is interrupted by a series of commercials that target their loyal audience. The broadcasters set up their news twist so elegantly prior to the commercial to keep you on their station through the advertisement. These advertisers want to keep their predictable audience and quite often their political views will affect their purchasing choices. I recently watched a news station that leans toward the liberal side and saw a number of ads for medical programs or devices that indicated that they will be covered by medicare. Government insurance is a commitment that comes from our Democratic party.
This type of news delivery has been around for a while now, so we should be used to it. The charge of “fake news” as issued by the executive branch of the federal government is something quite different. It is designed to inflame the electorate and believe that there is something genuinely evil about the news industry as a whole. News satire channels on TV and and Internet are definitely fueling the fire…but they serve the purpose of entertainment more than the responsible journalism that keeps government honest.
Our president is using this new phrase to deflect the focus off of his relationship to a totalitarian leader of a regime that stands in direct contrast to what America is at it’s core. He has refused to implicate Russia and continued to shower praise on their leader. If he had been forthright, honest and transparent then there would be no suspicion about his international dealings but he hasn’t.
There is a real difference between real news and fake news. So much of the “fake news” comes from discussions that are taking place on social media with no basis in fact and continues to polarize Americans. A leader who leads with tweets is no leader.
Twitter has it’s place…so does Facebook. It should not be a playground for misinformation particularly when it is being spread by the President of the United States. Enjoy my “tongue in cheek” musical lament inspired by number 45.