I rarely use the term “fake news” in my writing. In fact, out of the nearly 2,000 op-ed pieces I have written, I can only find a couple of times I used it in the title of one of my articles.
One reason I’m hesitant to use the term is because it is so overused. Everything these days is “fake news.”
Another reason I don’t use the term a lot is that it is often our convenient way of dismissing a story we don’t like. “That’s just fake news!” we exclaim.
Yet fake news really does exist. And once it circulates online, it becomes canonized, fixed in the popular mind of the day as if irrefutable truth.
Yet it’s becoming more and more difficult to separate truth from fiction when following the news.
You’ll read a juicy headline, promising some bombshell information, only to read the article and say, “That’s it?”
You’ll see the sensational title of a video only to watch the video and ask, “Where was the shock and awe?”
You’ll see a chyron (a TV news banner) running across the screen, but it doesn’t match the content you are hearing.
Worse still, you’ll see that the headline or title or chyron is merely an interpretation of the events, someone else’s spin on a quote. The facts are obscured by the opining. Yet you think you’re getting the facts.
And how often do we fail even to read the full article (or watch the whole video or TV report), let alone research the information for ourselves?
I was struck by this phenomenon in recent days when reading reports about President Trump’s rally in Tulsa this past Saturday. (For the Trump-lovers or Trump-haters, here’s a spoiler alert: This is not a politically partisan article. This is not pro-Trump or anti-Trump. It is pro-truth.)
Before the rally, there were reports of as many as one million people registering for the event. There were plans for Trump to address an overflow crowd outside the arena. And it was fully expected that the arena itself would be packed.
None of that happened. Instead, according to the local fire department, 6,200 turned out for the rally, leaving many empty seats in the building.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Brown