Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Badly Burnt By Their Own Meme

It’s time to retire the tainted term ‘fake news’

"Fake news has a real meaning — deliberately constructed lies, in the form of news articles, meant to mislead the public. For example: The one falsely claiming that Pope Francis had endorsed Donald Trump, or the one alleging without basis that Hillary Clinton would be indicted just before the election.

But though the term hasn’t been around long, its meaning already is lost. Faster than you could say “Pizzagate,” the label has been co-opted to mean any number of completely different things:
Liberal claptrap. Or opinion from left-of-center. Or simply anything in the realm of news that the observer doesn’t like to hear.
Actually, the concept fits the MSM so readily and so accurately, that it has become a significant liability to their presumption of public credibility. They started this attempt to discredit with their standard ploy: labeling and branding in order to demonize without evidence. And they got bit with the application of the pejorative to their own biased reporting.

“The speed with which the term became polarized and in fact a rhetorical weapon illustrates how efficient the conservative media machine has become,” said George Washington University professor Nikki Usher.

As Jeremy Peters wrote in the New York Times: “Conservative cable and radio personalities, top Republicans and even Mr. Trump himself . . . have appropriated the term and turned it against any news they see as hostile to their agenda.”

So, here’s a modest proposal for the truth-based community.

Let’s get out the hook and pull that baby off stage. Yes: Simply stop using it.

Instead, call a lie a lie. Call a hoax a hoax. Call a conspiracy theory by its rightful name. After all, “fake news” is an imprecise expression to begin with."
Go ahead and try to ban yet another word; I think it is here to stay.


Steven Satak said...

I'd agree, retire it, but then this crap from CNN - "Exxon ordered to turn over 40 years of climate change research" - can't be described any other way.

Stan said...

Between the Leftist shrieks of "hate", "racism", "misogyny", "fake news", and other sins which the Left commits daily, I believe I'll keep them all, and apply them to their real, actual, factual sinners: the Democrat/Leftist, totalitarian, haters-racists-feminists-chronic liars, who project themselves onto peaceful, non-racist, non-war-on-women, non-post-Truth "Deplorables" who are hated for even existing.