Fake News……(or is it?)

“Fake News:”  that term is actually an oxymoron, because as American journalism goes, if it is news it is NOT fake.  Boy is that fact changing!  During the run-up to the 2016 election we heard that term used by just about everyone, including news journalists, candidates, campaign officials, and politicians.  Then candidate Donald Trump made it front and center in his numerous campaign stops which caused many Americans to scoff — especially those in the media.  But now as the evidence of the existence of fake news piles up, the scoffing by most credible news outlets and politicians has slowed down if not stopped altogether.  What we face now however is how to determine what IS and what IS NOT fake news.  Wow…is that a job!

Before we go any further, let me say there is ZERO doubt fake news exists, that it comes from all over the World, it abounds in the U.S. from U.S. and foreign sources, and is well documented.  Before we continue, please click on the link below and read some of the actually confirmed fake news sources and some of their stories.  These are ONLY from U.S. sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_websites_in_the_United_States

I know some will say Wikipedia.org is not a reliable source.  Sometimes it is not.  But in this case read the page and checkout the links to some of the sources for this page.  It proves my point.  (Just for grins when you have some extra time, go to THIS page and see how much more numerous the verified world fake news sources are:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fake_news_website

Let’s look at some of the “Fake News” network headlines of note from recent days.  The first, from the NY TIMES:

“WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.  American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.”

Oh, I forgot to include the tag line to that story from the very end:  “The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.”  Subsequent to this story being published, intelligence community officials have told White House staff and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee “there is no evidence at all supporting the content of this story.”

This from CNN:

“(CNN)High-level advisers close to then-presidential nominee Donald Trump were in constant communication during the campaign with Russians known to US intelligence, multiple current and former intelligence, law enforcement and administration officials tell CNN.  President-elect Trump and then-President Barack Obama were both briefed on details of the extensive communications between suspected Russian operatives and people associated with the Trump campaign and the Trump business, according to US officials familiar with the matter.Both the frequency of the communications during early summer and the proximity to Trump of those involved “raised a red flag” with US intelligence and law enforcement, according to these officials. The communications were intercepted during routine intelligence collection targeting Russian officials and other Russian nationals known to US intelligence.  Among several senior Trump advisers regularly communicating with Russian nationals were then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and then-adviser Michael Flynn.  Officials emphasized that communications between campaign staff and representatives of foreign governments are not unusual. However, these communications stood out to investigators due to the frequency and the level of the Trump advisers involved. Investigators have not reached a judgment on the intent of those conversations.  Adding to US investigators’ concerns were intercepted communications between Russian officials before and after the election discussing their belief that they had special access to Trump, two law enforcement officials tell CNN. These officials cautioned the Russians could have been exaggerating their access.”  This of course was refuted by members of three intelligence agencies stating there was NO evidence to confirm any of this story being true.

 

February 18th at 8:39 AM, former CBS news anchor Dan Rather posted this on his Facebook page:

“I have resisted commenting on President Trump’s outrageous attack on the press with his tweet calling the media “the enemy of the American people.” It is a sentiment that is a deep betrayal of our national history. The evidence to the contrary is so overwhelming that to choose any one example is to play into the alternate reality Mr. Trump is seeking to exploit for his cynical political purposes.  My message is not for he who will not listen. Instead I wish to address his enablers, specifically those in the Republican Party who by their silence on this travesty normalize a behavior that is antithetical to our Constitutional principles. Future generations will not look kindly on profiles in cowardice.  And to my fellow journalists, I know you will not be bullied or intimidated. Keep doing your job. Your country depends on your service. Courage.”

You may remember that Dan Rather was dumped by CBS News in part because of his “creation” of fake news, reporting it as fact on their network, and ultimately losing all credibility in his reporting.  Obviously Mr. Rather has NOT allowed his firing to change his reporting methods.  Donald Trump never said “the media is the enemy of the American people.”  Here’s the actual tweet Rather “edited” and misquoted in his Facebook post:

Please note that in his tweet, President Trump stated “The FAKE NEWS media……is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”  It doesn’t take a real journalist to know the difference.  Mr. Rather purposely miss quoted the President deleting in his quote the words “FAKE NEWS” and stating Mr. Trump stated “ALL NEWS” media and not just “FAKE NEWS” media.  He lied!  200,000+ liked Mr. Rather’s Facebook post and it was shared 62,100 times.  I have no idea how many people read it.

I could keep posting and posting and posting fake news stories that have been debunked by numerous credible sources, but I would be wasting your time.  It is obvious there is plenty of fake news in the U.S. news marketplace.  Having this garbage out there is bad enough.  But with it comes a plethora of issues that I believe are planned and structured (along with their release timing), orchestrated by someone or some entity, and purposeful by the denizens of Liberal Land to attack all things conservative and the Trump Administration.  And implementing this avenue of attack is brilliant!  How so?  The authors of these fake news stories know that simply “being” a national news outlets gives whatever story they release some credibility — regardless of its content or accuracy.  Adding to that fact is that in news, “First is Best,” meaning whenever a story is released on television, in print, or via the internet, even if rebuffed later with factual information, the original story will always be more widely seen and more widely accepted as being  factual than any rebuttal.

That’s the major with Fake News.  Much of the damage it causes is permanent.  Its creators are well aware of that.  I do not necessarily feel that the networks and newspapers are all initiators of this fake news.  But they are most certainly complicit for publishing news for which they have not vetted and/or verified from actual sources the validity of what they publish with these and numerous other stories.  In American journalistic history, news sources that were partisan identified themselves as such.  This gave Americans the comfort of knowing when they digested news from each source they could rely on what they saw, read, or heard being from a particular type of news source.  This new 90 degree turn in the international news industry away from always accurate, vetted, and sourced news is very scary to many Americans.

This past weekend speaking to news media in Europe Senator John McCain actually compared the President’s charges against fake news sources as similar to what dictators do.  The fact that a ranking member from the Senate who is well respected by many Democrats as well as members of his own party would even mention any similarity between this President and any historical dictators is horrifying to me.  I expect such from the Liberal Left but not from a GOP leader.  No doubt the Arizona Senator and the President have sparred with each other.  But Senator McCain’s attack has crossed a line:  especially saying this in an interview to foreign media on foreign soil.

Americans had better awaken to the fact that the media is full of real “Fake News” and that it is coming from all news sources.  Americans had better take the time to get facts for themselves rather than relying on previously honest (even when partial) news sources.  American media members now more than ever in U.S. history seem to all possess political agendas.  Mr. Trump as President should worry about the dangers of fake news.  He will not be President forever.  As an American voter he like the rest of us will be forced to get factual information about all things news related no longer able to rely on the News.  Let’s hope the exposure of the reality of fake news will be sufficient to force the media to turn off the faucet of fake news and get back to the business of real journalism.


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