WHAT IS FAKE NEWS?

Image result for trump on the phone

The mainstream corporate media is losing its Big Brother authority.

The internet is making news more democratic.

The mainstream corporate media will, of course, try to fight back, and their chief strategy, at the moment, is calling non-corporate news “fake news.”  And, further, saying that conservatives are more likely to report “fake news.” And further, implying that most “conservatives” are “white nationalists.”

But the genie is out of the bottle.

The latest federal election, and democratic conversation/sharing on the internet (because news is more than facts—it is also which facts one chooses to share) has exposed corporate media as the most dangerous purveyors of fake news.

There’s democracy.

There’s crazy.

And then there’s the truly crazy: the mainstream corporate media.

Here’s a radical idea. We don’t need anything resembling a mainstream media.

There’s only two things that matter: 1. The people and 2. the government. These two are sacred. Human happiness on one hand; keepers of the contract, on the other.

The media is merely an extension of how these two sacred entities talk to each other. And, if “the media” can’t agree, if “the media” is full of “fake news” agencies, and is a chorus of warring opinions, this is good for democracy.

A ‘one voice’ media is the greatest enemy of democracy.

So if president-elect Trump talks to Taiwan, he does so as our elected official.  The media should not 1. Talk in any official capacity to Taiwan. 2. Be privy to exactly what is spoken between our elected official and Taiwan. 3. Tell the elected official whether or not he can talk to Taiwan. 4. Tell the elected official what to say to Taiwan.  The “media” is nothing but a meddling interloper if it assumes it can do any of these things. The corporate media in the United States, until very recently, has been such a powerful influence in every person’s life, that this may come as a surprise to some. But soon it will not be a surprise, since the corporate media is being replaced by the democratic internet, and the truth is now apparent: all along, the media was simply a physical entity to help government and people communicate with each other—it was not meant to replace the government’s role, nor the people’s role to interpret all actions of government for themselves.

There is nothing sacred about CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post or CBS. Or even PBS. These organizations belong to a physical entity—which serves not government, not the people, but the widest possible interpretation of the government’s actions and the people’s responses to those actions. The media’s job is not to be the final word, or fact, on anything. This is absolutely not what the media is for, and, in fact, anyone who believes this is the media’s role, believes in tyranny, not democracy.

We can argue about “fake news” forever as we wander into that accusatory hall of mirrors, in which various media outlets claim a sacred legitimacy—but this would be to miss a much larger, and much more important point.  Warring opinions mean less war. Freedom of speech means disagreement, never agreement; for if agreement were ever reached, freedom of speech would then be irrelevant.

The greatest enemy of civilization is slander.  We should not fear “fake news,” per se; what we truly need to guard against, beyond simple errors of fact (a mundane topic), is slander.

In a recent Washington Post piece, “How The War Against Fake News Backfired,” which attempts to be the ‘voice of reason’ on “fake news,” the term “white nationalist” is affixed to “conservative” in a (fake casual) manner that implies these terms mean the same thing.  This Washington Post rhetoric is dangerously fake and injurious—as bad as anything a “fake news” outlet might serve up.

The media belongs to the realm of opinion, not governance.  The media impacts government in the same way the opinion of a jury impacts the law—the opinion of the media is not, in itself, important; only the freedom of opinion presented in the media is important.

The only way to keep this great wrong—slander—in check, is to seek facts, and how they are being interpreted, in many quarters—to listen, not sometimes, but always, to every side.

Long live democracy.

Long live fake news.

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20 Comments

  1. December 9, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    Have you gone completely nuts, now? You always were a little weird, Mr. LoveWestBradyGraves.

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 10, 2016 at 12:18 am

      Look, it’s Walter Cronkite. 😉

    • Desdi said,

      December 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      I thank Mr. Graves for this well-worded post presenting a valid critique through words of truth and reason.

  2. noochinator said,

    December 10, 2016 at 12:26 am

    “Poème inexcusable”

    I worry now that net control’s
    No longer under U.S. purview—
    And always thought that “fake news” meant
    News that simply wasn’t true—

    Like “Clinton no doubt
    Will beat that sub-human”

    Reminiscent of
    “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN”—

    “It’s tough to make predictions,
    Especially about the future”—
    Said Yogi Berra,
    With linguistic couture—

    “Fake news truly is the worst,”*
    Quoth Mr. William Randolph Hearst—
    No reason to fret, no reason to cry:
    Fake news is as American as apple pie.

    *Nah, that’s a fake quote

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 10, 2016 at 12:33 am

      “fake news” = news Big Brother doesn’t like.

  3. December 10, 2016 at 12:32 am

    You know I love you, dude, but thank God for newspapers. Otherwise everybody would be shooting up Hillary’s child prostitution Pizza Parlors.

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 10, 2016 at 12:35 am

      funny how unrelated facts and incidents get us all confused

  4. December 10, 2016 at 1:48 am

    You are a true original, Mr. Graves, one of a kind. The world’s first pro-fascist poet. Wow!

    • December 10, 2016 at 2:07 am

      Oh, wait. I forgot Ezra Pound.

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 10, 2016 at 2:12 am

      Wow. So you think free speech is fascism? What?

    • Desdi said,

      December 11, 2016 at 6:06 pm

      When in doubt, call them Fascists !
      (throw in “White Supremacist” for full effect.

  5. December 10, 2016 at 2:31 am

    You know I believe in free speech. So, I guess I’m free to inform you that Hillary Clinton was born in 1947 in Roswell, New Mexico when her mother’s ship crashed. This was confirmed by her father, Bigfoot.

  6. thomasbrady said,

    December 10, 2016 at 3:18 pm

    Bigfoot is Hillary’s father. Poetically, that’s true. And we can only find out the mundane truth about Hillary Clinton in the New York Times. And no where else, right Gary? 😉

    • noochinator said,

      December 10, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      Hillary’s dad was Rodham (Hugh)—
      Pleasing him was a hard thing to do—

      Hill handed to him her report card—
      Beaming with pride (she’d worked real hard)—

      He scanned it with a grunt, said with harsh cool:
      “It looks like you need to go to a harder school.”

    • December 10, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      At least the Times, unlike Breitbart, maintain some journalistic standards.

  7. noochinator said,

    December 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    RE: the Russians, the 80s called,
    Saying they sensed a dire lack—
    And so, they said (the timing’s amazing),
    Now you can have your foreign policy back.

  8. noochinator said,

    December 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

    From a news story about a PowerPoint presentation by Democratic Party strategist Anson Kaye:

    “Another lesser-known factor that contributed to the former secretary of state’s eventual defeat: The democratization of news. To put it plainly, Kaye told his audience, there are simply too many voices and not enough gatekeepers.

    ‘It used to be … that the media could help America come to terms with a common set of facts to lead us to consensus and understanding,’ he said as he paced back-and-forth at the PowerPoint luncheon event…at a high-end bistro in Washington, D.C.”

    http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/defeated-clinton-strategist-offers-lots-of-excuses/article/2609338

    But media “consensus” can bring us harm—
    Anyone remember Vietnam?
    The Tonkin Gulf in ’64—
    “Hello Lyndon,” hello war—
    Nowadays he’d be pilloried online
    Right from the get-go, which I think is fine….

    • thomasbrady said,

      December 11, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Totally agree, Nooch. Let Gary weep for the days of Big Brother Walter Cronkite and talk about these illusory “standards” of that partisan rag the Times. A Taoist poet? Buying into the Neo-Liberal status quo of the Bushes/Clintons? Yikes.

  9. Desdi said,

    December 11, 2016 at 6:09 pm

    Fake news indeed:
    Is this a fox in the hen-house or a hoax in the fun-house ? It’s news to them that it’s views from us. Weaning ourselves tit-for-tat while we wet-nurse the networks net-worth, they pull the wool over their own press-cards, spinning yarns fit to knit a seamless weave of tailored narrative (free alterations post-laundering, free press with dry-cleaning). Ironing out the irony, the ship of state suddenly mixes metaphors: it’s a freak gyre of Greek fire: leak-proof talking points for caulking joints on a sinking vessel, a showboat floating fake liars, gloating, into lakes of fire. Let us light a naked fuse to the faked news until their networks ignite like an information overload. Fake news indeed. News to me…

    now watch them form a phalanx as we farm the faux links:

    https://connecthook.wordpress.com/2016/12/06/faux-news/


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