What is fake news? Most people just assume it is merely journalists or other people writing stories filled with lies, untruths and opinions based on totally false information. Of course it is.
But it is more — much, much more. In today’s media it is more likely to be news that is correct but crooked because it leaves out major facts which — if known — would give a totally different spin on the story.
As an example (stupid one perhaps) imagine you were told about this man who gave a woman a drug which knocked her unconscious. He then undressed her and slowly started cutting her with a very sharp knife. Anyone would be horrified by this butchery.
Unless you had the full story — that the man was a brilliant surgeon who was operating to save the life of a woman with cancer. Moral of this: you need to know all the facts before you can believe many of the stories on TV, newspapers, and the internet.
So that is why I decided to write this blog. I am ashamed of how today’s media distorts the news. And after many decades of being a journalist and the editor of a major national magazine maybe I can help the most important people — you, the readers and the viewers.
If I can help just a few people on how to spot the tricks of the trade and to discover how they are being manipulated … then I will be a happy man.
Do not think this is purely Republican or Democrat. The only reason the left wing is more likely to create Fake News is that most journalists in the U.S. have come through college and maybe journalism school, where the vast majority of teachers are seriously liberal. So the students are brainwashed by one point of view before they publish their first story. Be aware. And I will also watch out for you…
GOOD DEEDS NEVER GO UNPUNISHED
Oh, Boy! I just saw on CNN an interview with Kim Kardashian. She is in the news because she helped persuade President Trump to release from prison an African-American lady named Alice M. Johnson who had spent 21 years locked up for a non-violent drug offense. Obviously a cruel and unfair sentence. Good for Donald. Right?
Not if you are CNN. Their anchors had seen Johnson saying on TV that she was so grateful and thanking the president profusely and adding this promise to him: I will make you proud. They had seen Kim K. talking about how happy she was with the president’s decision and how proud she was of her part.
Yet when Kardashian went on their show the CNN attack dogs pounced. They asked her if she felt “used” by Trump as a pawn for his political purposes. Obviously startled by this shot out of “left” field, Kim stammered that she had gone to the White House and the president had listened carefully to her. Then he made the right decision. How could I be a pawn? … she asked.
Clearly it shows that many journalists will dig up the most phony and non-pertinent questions to change the angle on a story. Bad becomes good for the right people; good becomes bad for others who are targets.
This is more evidence that we cannot trust most of today’s media to be fair. And that’s the basis of most fake news.
EVEN LOCAL PAPERS TRY TO FOOL YOU…
Local daily papers often obtain and reprint their opinion columns from syndicated columns published in the country’s most famous newspapers. Unfortunately most the time the columns are from the leftist New York Times and The Washington Post. Some editors run these viewpoints under a heading “Balanced Views” with side by side pieces marked “From the Left” and “From the Right.” So often it’s just a trick to make readers think they get balanced opinions. But beware…
For example this week one “reliable” local paper ran two side-by-side syndicated columns. One by a Times writer was correctly labelled “from the left.” But the one “from the right” was written by a Washington Post writer named Kathleen Parker. But if Kathleen purports to be from the “right” she must mean she is right of California’s Jerry Brown or the late Mao Zedong! Certainly not right of center.
She blasted (correctly) Roseanne’s obscene racial attack that got her show cancelled but then went on to call Roseanne’s words a “threatening slur that was used to rationalize the enslaving, lynching and terrorizing of African-Americans.” She went on to link Roseanne’s words to the Ku Klux Klan and Jim Crow. Sounds me more of hysterical unsubstantiated rant than a journalistic opinion. And the paper had the gall to say this was “from the right.”
On the other hand, Samantha Bee’s crude attack on the president’s daughter using the vile “C” word was defended by saying: “…Bee being a woman is within her monologist rights to use the term as long as she is referring to another woman.”
So demeaning African-Americans is really bad. But demeaning women enemies with a gutter word is not. Surely both are.
There is nothing wrong with newspapers having opinions on any subject. But when they unfairly try to disguise these opinions as “balanced views” it tells you something about their senior editors trying to influence you. So expect similar distortions elsewhere in their pages.
DONALD’S BAD PR ON PITTSBURGH STEELERS
This is not fake news but the president and/or his advisors failed his supporters on the story of the NFL champs being “uninvited” to the White House. What went wrong? The Administration put out a story that, in early reports, just said that Trump had cancelled the White House visit.
At that point newscasters apparently did not know the reason. So the liberal media had a field day interviewing their trained guests who took potshots at the White House. Then the reason came out: The team had promised 81 players and staff. At the last minute they cut that back to under ten. Then later still it was revealed that then number of visitors would have been a maximum of two!
In effect the team had uninvited themselves. It would clearly have been an insult to the White House to promise 81 guests and then show up with two… Imagine if that had happened at one of your children’s weddings.
Seems to me it was one big goof from the White House. If they had waited a few minutes to give reporters and whole story, the principal angle would have changed into Donald’s favor.
MY TAKE ON THE NFL KNEELING STORY
I support anyone’s right to kneel or to protest actions they feel are unfair. So if football players find different ways to make their voices heard, I applaud then.
But … These men were doing it at the wrong time and the wrong place. For heaven’s sake they were at work. Wearing team jerseys means you are representing your team — and perhaps your community. Any actions, good or bad, might reflect on the whole team including owners and advertisers who pay to have their names around the stadiums.
Many, many fans who paid money (your wages) to see the game were/and are proud of their country and the flag and distressed to see it disrespected in their eyes. The protesting players were using a televised workplace, organized and paid for by their employers, to show their displeasure. TV networks whose billions were making the players millionaires suffered when ratings went down. Not really fair.
Now let’s imagine that the protesters’ backers approved total free speech at work. What would Ben and Jerry (or their customers) feel if a few of their ice-cream servers wore shirts with the words “Trump is making American Great Again?” What would CNN feel if one of their anchors wore a T-shirt printed “I Love Donald” or made some sort of protest move against Women’s Lib? Or Fox with a journalist who made some kind of protest supporting Hillary?
Few businesses could survive political protests among their workers in the workplace.
I praise the dissenting players for their courage in trying to draw attention to events that they deplored. The venue was the problem.
Political protests are among the great freedoms of America. Just don’t do it at work.
P.S.: Why didn’t you hear this “other side” on network TV?
Scottish-born Iain Calder was Editor in Chief and President of the National Enquirer for more than 20 years. He saw the weekly circulation surge from about 700,00 to nearly 5 million at its peak – with over 20 million readers. Magazines edited by Calder have sold a total of over 4 billion copies. He has no connection with the present day Enquirer, which was bought by new owners not long after he left the company in 2000. Calder has been interviewed by the likes of Mike Wallace, 60 Minutes; Ted Koppel, Nightline; Katie Couric, NBC; and Geraldo Rivera and featured in newspapers and magazines around the world including The New York Times, the Times of London, Time and Newsweek magazines. He has lectured at major universities and once at the Reagan Library, where he had lunch with Nancy Reagan. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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