Fake News Is Fake News - Ain't Nothing New About It
"Fake News" is getting all kinds of play these days - from all sides of the political spectrum. Everyone's knickers are muy knotted at the suggestion that "the other side" is manipulating media in order to make points that may or may not be true.
The word "News" contains the word "new" and is supposedly "information not previously known" or "newly received ....information" according to dictionary.com.
Fake News ain't new information nor is it something not previously known. As soon as mankind figured out how to broadcast information to large groups of people, said information was "tweaked" by the spin doctors du jour to make a point. When printing was the sole medium for information dissemination, many times out right lies were printed - especially in the area of politics when it is beneficial to tweak how folks think.
As technology has raced ahead so have the methods used to fake the news.
I was not the best student in school, but there are a few lessons that were burned into my brain. One of them concerned a piece of fake news about Adolf Hitler that was done by manipulating a short clip of film. When France surrendered Hitler wanted their folks to sign ze papers in the very train car in which Germany had surrendered after WW1. The event was captured on film and at the end of the ceremony Hitler stepped back from the table with a rather odd bit of foot work, he lifted one of his legs very high. A Canadian realized that he could loop that step and make it appear as if Adolf was dancing a joyful jig after the surrender. (You can read about it here: "Hitler's Silly Dance")
(Funny side note - this manipulated film clip is STILL used to show the mad dictator dancing in delight all over the net, even though the truth behind the clip has been available since before Al Gore invented the internet! Also, please understand that I am not calling Adolph a victim - just trying to point out that the fake shizzle has been around far longer than anyone reading this post.)
Printing fake information in the US started shortly after printing presses showed up in significant numbers. Fast forward to today when anyone with a computer or access to one can "print" any damn thing they want and put it out to the entire connected world (like, ah - uhm, this blog) and the true value of actual or virtual news should be questioned. Yup - even my efforts. Please, double check anything I write about to your heart's content. Form your own conclusions - think for yourself - do not take my word or the words of any person in the media - CHECK ON IT.
The dubious value of "video proof" was shaken in 1940 with the dance video. Digital manipulation of images has progressed in massive proportions - good rule of thumb these days is to reserve your wholehearted belief only for things you actually saw with your own peepers (and maybe double check those with anyone who was there with you!) well before you put stock in some video.
In the vast majority of cases, the point of news fakery is to fan the flames of fear and point out how much different and/or horrific and/or out stupid things are "on the other side." With such great efforts being taken by both extremes on the left and right is it any wonder that our country swallows more pills to deal with fear and anxiety than any other country? My perusal of charts indicating such drug use indicates that the countries with greater access to "news" and technology in general also seem to be leading the world in anxiety, but that is a quick take on it.
My minor point: Fake stuff ain't new.
My bigger point: We are all made of the same materials. We are all in this together. We need to focus on REAL stuff, and quit allowing the Trick Masters to blow smoke up our collective skirts.