Vail Daily column: Sure, not all ‘news’ is correct
So-called “Fake News” should be rebranded as “Crazy Reports Altering Perceptions (CRAP).”
This EverReady battery election year of 2016 is finally coming to an end with all sides of the political spectrum using the popular buzz phrase as a rallying cry for whatever ails.
Put simply, regardless of the provable facts surrounding an issue, when the results or implications go against what one side wishes to believe, they quickly claim it is “Fake News!” and do their utmost best to sow the seeds of doubt within their flock, thus immediately flooding social media with even more salaciously false claims.
It is the proverbial, “and then he told two friends, and those two told two friends, and then they told two friends, etc.,” only with social media it expands exponentially faster than football fans jumping on the Dallas Cowboy bandwagon (New York Giant fans notwithstanding).
Bottom line is the proverbial ‘they’ use “Fake News” to perpetuate myths and falsehoods in order to further a narrative concealing true intentions, and the end game always — and I mean absolutely without exception — is for power, control and/or financial gain (not necessarily in that order).
It’s as if there is a religious branch of the journalism tree.
A news story is not true or false simply because you wish it to be or your parents told you it was, nor is your disagreement with a provable fact a basis for the fact to indeed be false.
A provable fact is exactly that: a fact that can be proven, and is the foundation for all aspects of science. No amount of misinformation or fabricated cow dung presented to imply otherwise changes anything without empirical data as evidence.
What we appear to be oblivious about is that clickbait-hungry websites are the culprit 99 percent of the time, yet no one is forced to click email links or join Facebook, nor is Facebook responsible for any of the fabricated nonsense people post. They are simply a technological outlet for users to manipulate in whatever way they can get away with before being shut down, after which they immediately open a new account under a different name.
It’s like telemarketers calling at 9 p.m. to offer credit card deals. You block the number and the next day you receive the same offer from another number. Besides, misleading headlines meant to confirm preconceived notions have been popular ever since the National Enquirer’s first issue, yet not every story on Breitbart or The Blaze is false any more than on the Huffington Post or Daily Kos. Same for NBC, ABC, CBS and FOX.
If you question what they report, the Internet gives you your very own personal portal to do research; most of the time taking less than 60 seconds to verify a claim as true or false.
Please use it.
Otherwise this “Crazy Reports Altering Perception” will continue to drive the rest of us nuts, and there is nothing fake or in the least bit useful or beneficial as a result.
Richard Carnes, of Edwards, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.