Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Fake News

                Both Democrats and Republicans are complaining about the amount of “fake news” during the campaign. Of course, the parties are blaming each other for the spread of false information. I believe they are right to do so!

                This site defines fake news as “hoaxes, propaganda, and disinformation to drive web traffic inflamed by social media. These sites are distinguished from news satire, as they mislead and profit from readers’ gullibility.” This sounds like a reasonable definition to me.

                Recently Denzel Washington blasted the mainstream media for not living up to their responsibility to be truthful in their published stories. Washington was the victim of one of the false stories about switching his support from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. 

                As reported by Sara Gonzales at The Blaze, Washington said some very harsh words to mainstream media: “`If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed,’ Washington began. He elaborated that he believes one of the effects of `too much information’ is `the need to be first, not even to be true anymore.’
                “`So, what a responsibility you all have – to tell the truth,’ he said. `In our society, now it’s just first – who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true.’
                “Washington concluded, `Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you’ll get good at – including BS.’”

                I personally have a difficult time knowing what is fake news and what is real because so much of it seems plausible. As I study the published information, I find myself wondering what is true and what is false and am becoming leery of most sites.

                Sabrina Tavernise explains in her article at the New York times that many people have the same problem and fake news has been around for years, “but never before has it played such a prominent role in an American election and its aftermath. Narrowly defined, `fake news’ means a made-up story with an intention to deceive, often geared toward getting clicks. But the issue has become a political battering ram, with the left accusing the right of trafficking in disinformation, and the right accusing the left of tarring conservatives as a way to try to censor websites. In the process, the definition of fake news has blurred.

                I have read a lot of stories that say “Hillary is about to be indicted” or “Donald Trump can never be elected” or something similar. After weeks and months of reading such information, I no longer know what to believe. I have taken the attitude, “I will believe it when I see it.” I think that many other Americans have done likewise. We definitely need more honesty in our news outlets.

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