The leftist media, having invented the term “fake news” are now whinging and whining about the fact that their false narrative has been rapidly turned around and used against them by their independent media enemies.
In the lead-up to the U.S. election, the MSM collective suddenly discovered this thing they dubbed “fake news” – stuff from prank sites a reasonable person wouldn’t ever believe anyway – and then used the term to smear independent, right-leaning websites that published news from angles that make the leftists cultural Marxists extremely uncomfortable. In fact, truth-packed dissenting opinions trigger them to the point of complete meltdown and shutdown mode.
After spectacularly failing at polling predictions and being on the losing Hillary Clinton bandwagon as her cheerleading squad in the 2016 campaign, big media fabricated and pushed the baseless “fake news” narrative in a concerted and organized attempt to destroy independent media, hoping to salvage some scrap of their own lost credibility.
But, as things go, their plans just didn’t quite work out so well – at least not in the way they intended. The whole thing backfired … spectacularly.
Now, the once audacious establishment media are crying from the ground for mercy. Here is what we have now:
When Jim DeMint wanted to dis a TV interviewer’s suggestion that Obamacare has merits as well as flaws, the former senator and tea partyer used a handy putdown: “You can put all that under the category of fake news.”
When conspiracy theorist Alex Jones wanted to deny a CNN report that Ivanka Trump would take over the East Wing offices traditionally occupied by the first lady, he used the same label.
And when a writer for an arch-conservative website needed a putdown for ABC’s chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, he reached for the obvious: “fake-news propagandist.”
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.
The whingey piece was originally published in the Washington Post by media columnist Margaret Sullivan. Saying the term “fake news” was “tainted” and “a catch-all insult,” she called for it to be “retired” and “put out of its misery.”
“What comes around goes around,” is a phrase that immediately comes to my mind.
Quite naturally, the Post writer blames the current utilization of the “fake news” slam on – you guessed it – “right wingers”:
“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.
Glenn Kessler, who writes The Post’s Fact Checker, put it this way: “People seem to confuse reporting mistakes by established news organizations with obviously fraudulent news produced by Macedonian teenagers.” Kessler noted that he’s often asked by readers to investigate “fake news” that is nothing more than a correctable error in legitimate journalism.
Wow! They even admit that the “conservative media machine” has become so “efficient” that we now exist as a force to be reckoned with. Joseph Farah, Matt Drudge, Alex Jones and the late Andrew Breitbart should take this as a compliment for their tireless efforts as independent media pioneers.
At one point in time, independent media outlets were the underdogs of the media world, but they have now risen to higher prominence than the dying dinosaur media collective thanks to simply reporting the truth without compromise.
As to the proposal for the truth-based community to lay the term fake news to rest and start calling lies, lies and hoaxes, hoaxes – no, we will use the whole arsenal. We will mince no words, and we will continue calling the baseless, misleading, false narratives of the MSM what they truly are: lies, hoaxes, deceit, corruption, fake news. No apologies there.
Might I even suggest that the mainstream media crying uncle have, in fact, conceded defeat and acknowledged their once-prominent place in society is now gone for good?