If you are regularly shutting down political adversaries using the term “fake news,” you may be falling into a trap. Or worse, you may be intentionally using meaningless buzz words to avoid well-rounded truth or important conversation.
There has always been real news, journalists who uncover and present facts, and pundits who analyze and predict with varying degrees of competency. There have also always been liars, provocateurs and salacious reports meant to titillate. And there has always been obfuscation, propaganda, and talking points for a purpose. Americans who read and think know the difference.
We live in a country where journalists have access to find out things, take photos and videos and share findings across the media-sphere. Americans are smart enough to discern what is a “tip” from the hill, a “floated” policy and what is actually on the table in the form of a document, bill or order. We can read the actual documents, presidential tweets, and congressional policies and think through the ultimate benefactors and long-term consequences. We also know what words our leaders utter, when people are being harmed, when water is being polluted, and when war bells are being rung. We can read the words —and see the deeds —of our officials, analyze them, and hold them up to the principles in The Constitution. We also can talk with our countrymen and find out what they think about these same facts, floats and tips. And this is our job as Americans in a democratic country.
Attacking the ubiquitous media is exhausting and ridiculous. “The Media” is made up of fact-finders, source docs, lightly and deeply leaning publications both right and left, social commentary, and outright bullcrop. Oh yes, and also tweets, trolls, spin, press conferences and entertainment.
If you want to risk oppression served up as safety, or crony capitalism served up as good economics, well, you can keep on attacking your very important window to reality. You could then feed a very exciting propaganda machine that just found it’s first sticky buzz-word. If instead, you want your governmental hired-hands to uphold your ideals of fairness, and freedom, family and inclusion, then perhaps it is time to fight for your life.