With the revelations that fake news sites had a hand in deciding the election, the industry itself is struggling to figure out how to best handle an ‘anything goes’ kind of world.
While journalists ponder the issue, I think we need to understand a couple of things about fake news: it’s always gonna be around and those who are programmed to question nothing will consume the saccharine stories the way Santa overindulges in cookies.
The church, or Christianity, or religion if ya wanna get right down to it, can only thrive if it keeps a closeted, cloistered community. This means instilling the literal fear of god into anyone who might question the bible, its authenticity, or its credibility. Simply put, those tied up in religion aren’t accustom to dubious thinking: it’s forbidden, it’s certainly not encouraged, and it’s hell damning.
It should come as no surprise, then, that fake news and propaganda gained the strong foothold it did during this past election cycle. With a large population programmed to just eat whatever comes along the conveyor belt without taking into account the ingredients, the chef, or the restaurant serving the dish, many of America’s voters were ripe for picking by a not-so-smooth talking showman.
That same showman takes up the mantle of ‘I can fix everything’ and wraps it in a god-like presence that disavows anything which contends with it (something, something, “I am a jealous god” comes to mind). With a goodly portion of our citizenship still clinging to the idea that a single entity has the cures for all mankind, they have no problem conceiving that one man, who claims he’s all that and a bag of chips, can fix our government and rule with the same totalitarian hand as their ‘heavenly father’ – and that folks, is how we ended up with a Trump presidency.
Fake news won’t go away, unfortunately, because fortunately we live in a nation whose founding document guarantees free speech. One would hope that education would help bring balance, however when religious tenets such as accepting anything and everything without question are still quite prevalent, then fake news will always have it’s sycophants.
There is hope: So far, ‘God’ has stayed silent for a few thousand years, and that mystique has kept his followers in suspense, just waiting for a word that will prove his omniscience. Our newly elected government ‘god’ can’t seem to keep his own mouth (or twitter account) shut however, and his actions are utterly at odds with his promises, so at least there are some who are coming to understand that not everything can or should be believed – this is the real blow to fake news.