Monday, December 4, 2017

This is Fake News

Fake News.  I'm sick to death of the term.  Like most things today, it has been so overused that it doesn't mean anything.  Basically it means a story that rubs against our preferred narrative.  Facts, of course, be damned.  More than once at Patheos I saw commenters simply wave their hands and dismiss out of turn a story because, well, because.

Nonetheless, there is such a thing as fake news.  That is where things that aren't true, things that are purposefully untrue, and are flagrantly false presented as true.  Like lies in general, the method can take on many forms.  One form includes purposefully omitting key elements of a story in order to present something in a way that is erroneous.

Which brings us to Brian Ross.  Since Trump won the election - before really - the Democratic propaganda ministry has, with the Democrats, liberal pundits, comedians, and all of America's leftist establishment, insisted that Trump and Russia were busy working behind the scenes to subvert our democracy and steal the election.  Evidence to be presented soon.  Real soon.

Now, I'm the first to say that if evidence is presented that Trump did so, or in any way acted illegally, that he should pay the piper.  I'm a Not Trumper, however, not a Never Trumper.  That means I'm willing to wait for things to play out and in the meantime hope he does a good job for the country.  It means I'm not holding my breath in eager anticipation of proof that he stole the election and the political destruction that follows, or that he might send the economy into a Great Depression, or start a nuclear war, just so I can prove how right I was to hate the man.

It also means that when I've spent a year hearing 'breaking news: smoking gun discovered' only to have nothing really to show for it, and when more than once, it turns out stories or 'facts' released about Trump's endless illegalities turn out to be false - or fake - I'm inclined to lose just a little bit of faith in all the forces arrayed against Trump who are seeking his destruction.

In this case, ABC did the right thing.  It would have been better to not do it at all, since even sympathetic outlets to ABC's agendas admit it had a detrimental impact on the Stock Market.  That little detrimental impact means actual people and actual funds and actual lives.  Some of those lives might just be poor people, low income workers, immigrants - why everyone we're supposed to care so much about.

So when a reporter chooses to omit a crucial part of a story that paints the story in a way opposite of the actual facts, and causes harm to others, I think the least the Never Trump forces can do is admit the problem isn't always around Trump and his followers.  Sometimes, in fact, Trump might just be where he is because the little ABC problem is hardly unique to this particular bungled story.

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