There’s been a lot written about today’s social feeds serving as news providers imperiling democracy as people no longer base their opinions on truth but on lies. Unfortunately, America, and societies all over the world, have accepted lies as truth for decades at the very least.
I say that with the JFK assassination in mind. There’s no better example of lies being accepted as truth. Sure people will cite polls suggesting that Americans doubt the findings of the Warren Commission, but when someone asks Siri or Wikipedia who killed JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald is said to be the lone assassin. It is quite clear this is false, yet there is little up roar beyond dedicated JFK researchers. Most people simply don’t care.
Why do we accept lies as truth? Because it is easy and comfortable. We don’t like hearing facts that make us question how we view the world. People simply will not search for news that upends lies that they have come to accept as the truth.
Are legitimate journalists from reputable sources the answer? Nope. Need proof? Good, don’t just take my word for it. Journalists take the easy route all the time. The JFK assassination is just one example where the media are all too willing to spread government lies that do not add up to reality. Consider the build up to the Iraq War? Where were journalists questioning the official government statements then? The beauty of the American media is that they appear to be neutral entities dedicated to finding the facts. The facts they rely on are those provided by government agencies and major corporations. Press releases make the job of being a journalist much easier, and it may be a pipe dream to expect journalists to question press releases like they do unsubstantiated sources. Public relations divisions of government agencies and corporations ALWAYS have the ear of the media.
Here’s a truth bomb for you: no one does more work than they have to especially when that work penalizes your career. The journalist that publishes the first story that breaks open a scandal (think Watergate) is lauded. We want the latest news, not the late news. Because of the demands of the job, it is understandable that a journalist would rather go ahead and produce the article expected by the editors than attempt chasing down a story that may not be a story after all. All the while, the media can appear as separate entities since they are not state owned, but information coming from the state is the media’s lifeblood. When the state lies, the media lies ignorantly along with it claiming to help inform the public.
Why we shouldn’t worry about fake news
We shouldn’t worry about fake news. There. I said it. Why? IT DOESN’T MATTER. People believe what conforms to the world they view as reality. Anything that does not fit into that puzzle is discarded and ignored. There could be an article that proves beyond a doubt there is no god, and people would still believe in god. Why? It is too unsettling for people to live a life in which there is no god since they have believed from a very young age and have structured their lives around this belief. God exists to them even if there is not really a god out there somewhere. Fake news is not the problem in my eyes. The problem is a lack of understanding within society of its own self. We need to come to terms with the fact that people are still animals who are programmed by our society. Within America, we are programmed to consume. Consume what? The individual has power by choosing what to consume. Very few people choose to consume things that do not agree with them in some way. Consider your friendships. Your friends more often than not see the world the same way as you….that’s partly why they are your friends. They are also the ones most likely to change the way you view the world. Not an article you read on a news site or this site. Why? Because it is much more difficult to dismiss a puzzle piece (view of reality, information, fact, idea) coming from a friend who you respect and have invested your own emotions and time in. What we really need to stop are friends who spout bullshit! People will consume what they want no matter what Facebook plans to do to combat fake news. If they inadvertantly read something that is contrary to their beliefs that construct reality, they will just ignore it.
What are the CATO Institute and the Heritage Foundation? To me they peddle falsehoods to the congressmen and the public, but very few people are concerned about them. They likely do more harm than any fake news article ever has by influencing actual laws being made. I ignore them because I view society differently. That’s a topic for a different day though.