No Democrat should ever Legitimize Fake News by Calling it Anything but what it is: Propaganda
The responses by the various candidates to the first question of the debates in Los Angeles yesterday were all over the map.
“Why, if impeachment is so necessary, are more Americans not on board with it” Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour asked, referring to the polls that show a nearly 50-50 split on the issue.
Of all the candidates, Andrew Yang came closest to the real answer when he replied:
“We’re getting our news from different sources,” – Andrew Yang
While at least there is, in his response, an almost subtle hint at the iceberg of issues beneath it, the mountain beneath the surface is one that ought to be addressed, not just danced around.
In a nutshell the question would be better phrased: “with all the lies and high crimes of this president how could so many people not support impeachment and removal?”
Then unfortunate response would almost certainly bring up the issue that dare not speak it’s name: Fake News.
And by fearing to even mention this massive problem in our society, and allowing Trump to parade around calling real news “fake” for two years without an effective, specific retort, the media, and now the candidates, are potentially creating a dictator, impeached or not.
Because this question goes further: “How can millions of otherwise reasonable people support this parade of lies and deceit”?
The answer to all of this is, unfortauntely, the massive and electronically turbocharged propaganda machine that is creating a parallel fake, dangerous and destructive reality which is literally brainwashing people into thinking that it, and not the real fact based information reported in the “traditional” media, is “real”.
Naturally, anyone who has been paying attention already knows this. But knowing that there is literally a separate propaganda reality, starting with Fox News and going all the way down to the troll bots and fake accounts on twitter and facebook, and being able to do anything about it, let alone stop its growth and becoming established, are two different things.
Turnabout is FairPlay? Or Confront every Lie until the Truth Wins Out?
The victory for the Trump propaganda machine came when he started repeating the phrase “fake news” over and over and over while referring to the real news, singling out CNN and the New York Times in particular.
The response, en masse, from the so called “mainstream” media? Not much. Admittedly, getting into a playground style match with the President of “You are, no you are, I know you are but what am I?” is not what the NYT is known for.
But the response should have been, to use a favorite term often applied to Trump, to double-down and expose the depth and breadth of the “lies propagated as truth” problem. Perhaps that would confuse people, with an endless war of each media “army” calling the other “fake”.
But the alternative, that we are now saddled with, is to give legitimacy to an endless tsunami of lies and falsehoods and to confer on them an almost institutional status:
“We’re getting our news from different sources”
Oh really? As in, one source is real and the other one is filled with insane, ridiculous propaganda, like the now famous Putin initiated propaganda that, instead of the fact that Russia interfered with the 2016 election is was Ukraine? That kind of “different source”? That “news”?
Allowing even one lie to see the light of day without being attacked by anyone with a mouthpiece; a real media outlet, a twitter account of a citizen, presidential candidates and so on, promotes the idea that the “two realities” are separate and equal, not a matter of truth and lies.
Proapaganda lies are dangerous, insidious and very hard to fight against. That is no excuse, that is the fight that matters and could make a difference. Every candidate on that stage should have answered that 50% of the people, if that poll is to be believed, are being lied to and the lies are winning. And that the situation is a larger danger, potentially, than the man inhabiting the White House.
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