Friday, 24 February 2017 11:51

Talkin' fake news blues

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A handy chart explaining what is and isn't fake news. A handy chart explaining what is and isn't fake news.

Everybody’s talkin’ about fake news this and fake news that.

Everybody’s talkin’ about what they think fake news is and fake news ain’t.
Even though the press, legitimate press, that is, tries to educate the masses, many can’t separate fake news from the holes in their … heads.
The way the man in the Oval Office tells the story, when he’s not putting out fake news tweets about Sweden, it’s the big boys who are wrong, the right wing bloggers who are right.
Mind you, now, there are left wing bloggers who are just as wrong as the right and they would be included in our little talkin’ fake news column, yeah, they’re just as bad — see the graphic above for what you should and shouldn’t be reading.
So why is everybody talkin’ about fake news this and fake news that?
The problem is, as we sit in our catbird seat, not high and mighty, but looking at it from years in the business, TV news is what gets the goat of many, what confuses them.
Gone are the days of a single newsreader like Cronkite delivering objectively what reporters have collected, what the AP and at one time the now slowly dying UPI sent out on the wire.
You can go back as far as NBC’s Today to cast the blame, then Good Morning America, which set the tone for the rest of networks, turning the morning news into a frenzied mass of talking heads, spinning and spitting out opinion so much the lines between news and opinion have been crossed.
Between sharing recipes for whatever holiday it is at the time and talking with the latest celebrity of the day about their divorce, marriage or babies, you may get a small dose of actual objective news. Then it’s back to the spin masters and pundits blaring their opinions.
To make it worse the networks, instead of being apolitical entities, for whatever reasons, have to have their left or right wing bent so, unless it’s local news, stay away from the national cable TV news networks.
Newspapers, yeah, they mainly tailor their trousers to the left on the opinion page, but on the news pages, that’s where you’re gonna find your true fair and balanced news coverage nine times out of 10 is our best guess. Some folks challenge our thinking on this, but they’re typically the ones with their faces stuck in Breitbart — or “Reichbart” as we like to call it these days — Red State and Infowars on the right. Then there’s the left fake news sites, Occupy Democrats, Natural News and Addicting Info.
The problem is most people reading “Reichbart” or Occupy Democrats don’t want to read AP, the New York Times, the Reuters news feed. They would rather read Western Journalism or the Huffington Post because it bolsters their beliefs.
And that’s the problem, folks on either side of the fence would rather be convinced their stances are right, even when a sentence is tweaked here or there, a fact is left out or blatant opinion is put in its place.
It doesn’t matter if the fake news bloggers are flat out wrong. It makes the partisan crowd feel safe rather than being uncomfortable or developing a rash when reading the news pages of the Washington Post or Los Angeles Times. We trust science just as long as it tells us what we want to hear and we want our truths all fair balanced as long as our notions lie within it, one of our favorite songs of 2016 says.
When we want our Libertarian ego massaged some, we resort to Reason Magazine, but go into it knowing there’s an agenda and don’t take everything in it as gospel because we’re not totally drowning in the party’s rhetoric, just as we’re not convinced the Republicans and Democrats are right.
Sometimes it’s just best to stick with the tried and true, the so-called enemies of the people, who are not really the enemies of the people, just reporters out there on the beat trying their best to strive for accuracy every day.
Don’t confuse the talking heads on your TV screen as news, take it as opinion, and don’t confuse what you read on the opinion pages of newspapers as news, either. The opinion page of a newspaper is clearly marked, just as this one is, to let you know it’s opinion.
Don’t believe the president when he blurts out fake news a couple hundred times a day. He’s just a man and the biggest one talkin’ fake news this and fake news that — Lance Martin, editor and publisher

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