Sunday, March 12, 2017
What is Fake News?
My definition of “fake news” is a person or organization that is attempting to purvey or present a story to the public that's made up or grossly embellished in order to promote some agenda or to be against some person with whom they dislike or abhor. You could say that both political parties have been guilty of doing that, but it seems that the liberals (a/k/a Democrats and Progressives) have taken it to a whole new level, especially since Donald Trump became a candidate and eventually the President of the United States.
It is normal for the news media or political opponents (in some cases they are one in the same) to “spin” information to further their views. That might be looked upon as “white lies”, but when stories are made up of “whole cloth” to be used as a negative weapon against someone or something you don't support or agree with, that is a “whopper” of a lie, and can be considered “fake news”.
President Trump, who is probably considered to be one of the most unorthodox politicians in modern history, has been the victim of this phenomenon, of the presentation of made up stories and outright fabrications by his opponents in the media and by the Democrats. Trump being Trump, doesn't take those “bogus” stories lying down, he fights right back and goes after those who he feels are trying to undermine him and his presidency. Some made up stories to make my point are: that he removed a bust of Martin Luther King from the Oval Office (not true), that the 1st lady Melania Trump was an escort, a prostitute when she first came to the United States (not true), that his White House staff is in disarray according to “unnamed” sources in the White House (not true) etc., etc.
The news media is overwhelmingly liberal and it's sympathies generally are “in the pocket” of the Democrats. Therefore, the stories they speak on or write about are generally unfavorable to the Republicans, and especially unfavorable to President Trump.
Now don't get me wrong, the president, Donald Trump, is not always accurate in some of his utterances he makes, but they are generally exaggerations and/or bravado, not meaningful or earth shattering untruths. But, the news media and the Democrats jump on those utterances and generally make “mountains out of molehills”, as the old saying goes, accusing him of gross misconduct, and of all things, “impeachable offenses”.
All during his campaign and during the initial phases of his presidency, President Trump has used the term “fake news” to label some of the stories promulgated by the news media, especially CNN, MSNBC, the N.Y. Times, and Wash. Post etc. These news organizations take exception when Pres. Trump labels them purveyors of “fake news”, but the public seems to agree with Pres. Trump that many of the stories that are put out for publication are made up, with no reliable sourcing, and meant to make Pres. Trump and his administration look bad and to undermine his presidency. That tactic seems to have backfired on the media, and the public is very disenchanted by the low ratings they give to the news media.
We do have “freedom of speech” in our country, but we also have a set of morals (which seem to be under fierce attack lately) and a Constitution which has been given to us by our forefathers. Honesty and integrity are two principles that should be followed by all who disseminate the news (the 4th Estate), and it should be fair and balanced in reporting of that news. Opinions should be reserved for the editorial page and not in the actual news stories, and made up stories (fake news) should be scrapped altogether, otherwise our whole system, our democratic republic, will be compromised and made a farce. President Trump says he will fight against “fake news” with all his might, and from his past record of achieving success, he might just succeed in reducing its incidence or he might even be able to get rid of it altogether.
Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann