President Trump is credited with coining the term “Fake News.” Fake News reports are not only irritating but have become so pervasive and impactful that it threatens our very democracy.
Fake News has two elements – the use of Politically Correct language and blatant lies.
Americans are among the most compassionate and considerate people in the world. Today, by turning that virtue into a vulnerability, Americans have been conditioned to use “Politically Correct” language to ostensibly be kind and compassionate. Under the guise of political correctness, Americans have permitted themselves to accept Orwellian Newspeak that alters their understanding of critical issues. Humans think with words, consequently language control results in thought control.
The very term Politically Correct is Orwellian for Newspeak!
I focused on this threat in my article, Language Wars: The Road to Tyranny Is Paved with Language Censorship.
George Orwell understood the power of words and, in his novel 1984, devised Newspeak which exploited manipulation of language that enabled the mythical totalitarian government in his novel to maintain iron-fisted control over the masses. It was the contradictorily named “Ministry of Truth” that administered Newspeak.
Orwell sagely observed:
Political language — and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists — is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
Orwell also stated:
In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
The Founding Fathers understood that freedom of expression is at the foundation of our republic’s democratic form of government. Hence they made such freedom an element of the First Amendment.
Totalitarian regimes, on the other hand, rigidly impose strict controls on language and on the information provided to their citizens. What information is provided is thinly disguised propaganda formulated to maintain tight control over the population.
When governments are overthrown, those who stage the coup immediately seize control over the various news media and methods of communication to seize control over the masses.
There was a time when news programs in the United States simply reported on the news. Obviously folks may view events through a particular prism based on their experiences and inevitable biases, but as a rule, the news reports dealt with facts.
Today, however, the so-called “Mainstream Media” infuse their reports with political bias and subjectivity that turns supposed news reports into blatant political propaganda so seize power.
Donald Trump panicked the political establishment, in both parties, when he decided to seek the Presidency. As the quintessential “outsider” who did not need the massive campaign contributions that are sought by other candidates, Trump would not be beholden to those who provide the money and hence control most candidates. Let’s be blunt. Campaign contributions are all too frequently bribes!
Let’s not be naive. Some politicians will do whatever it takes to win. Consider the September 15, 2016 Washington Post headline, Harry Reid lied about Mitt Romney’s taxes. He’s still not sorry.
From the very beginning of his candidacy the Democrats pulled out all the stops to try to stop him. The campaign was not about different viewpoints and ideology. It was about doing whatever was necessary to derail his campaign. The entire bogus “Russian Collusion” travesty was concocted to undermine his campaign and then his administration.
This elaborate hoax that cost millions of dollars, also caused the malicious prosecution of those associated with the Trump campaign / administration and diverted the attention of our political leaders from critically important issues in a particularly dangerous era.
Fake News has spread like a wildfire and can be found in all sorts of areas you would never expect to see it.
Let’s consider two recent articles published by the Defense One website. I have for some time subscribed to this website which focuses on matters of national security and the military. It creates the impression of being a reliable source of important information. A couple of recent articles caused me to dig into this website which, as I discovered, is published by the leftist partner organization, Atlantic Media.
On April 15, 2020 Defense One published the outrageous article, Don’t Be Fooled. Trump’s Cuts to WHO Aren’t About the Coronavirus. That obvious “hit piece” began with the following excerpt:
Republicans have been hating on international organizations for decades. This is just a convenient excuse to take another shot, and it harms American security.
Don’t be fooled. President Trump and his supporters don’t hate the World Health Organization because of its coronavirus response. The far right hates the WHO because it is an international organization, and hating on international organizations has been a page in the Republican playbook for decades. This is just another opportunity to do it, with the added bonuses of diverting attention from the Trump administration’s slow and chaotic pandemic response and onto China, the enemy du jour.
Wow! So much for objective fact-based reporting!
As for reporting on the World Health Organization (WHO), on November 29, 2018 the New York Times reported in a hard-hitting article, Cuban Doctors Accuse International Agency of Profiting From Their Work. That article went on to state:
PAHO, a division of the World Health Organization, made about $75 million off the work of up to 10,000 Cuban doctors who earned substandard wages in Brazil, according to the allegations in a lawsuit filed on Friday in the United States District Court in Miami.
Dr. Matos and three other doctors who defected from Cuba’s contentious medical diplomacy program in Brazil accuse PAHO in the lawsuit of aiding in human trafficking.
The suit is the first against an international agency over compensation from Cuba’s medical mission.
Since President Trump decided to suspend funding WHO, in the wake of its complicity in covering up the China Virus Pandemic, the New York Times published a very different report on April 3, 2020 that was initially published by the Associated Press, Cuban Docs Fighting Coronavirus Around World, Defying US.
What a difference a decision by President Trump makes in how “news” organizations report on an international agency linked to human trafficking!
On April 16, 2020 Defense One published another report, The Owner’s Manual for Trump’s New Air Force One Cost $84 Million.
This was also an obvious “hit piece.”
The term “Air Force One” is the call sign used to describe any airplane on which the President of the United States is on board. (“Marine One” is used when the President is on board the Marine helicopter). Generally, the moniker “Air Force One” is associated with a pair of heavily modified Boeing 747’s. The current pair of those jumbo jets entered on service in 1991 and the new airplanes will never carry President Trump, unless his successor invites him onboard.
When the new planes enter service in 2025 the old ones will be nearly 35 years old.
According to the article, the $84 million manuals will contain more than 100,000 pages and provide instructions on flying, maintaining and servicing those highly complex aircraft. The price of those manuals, incidentally, was included in the overall cost of additional items that are traditionally included in the cost of such aircraft.
This story was, as the saying goes, “A big nothing burger”- however, it provided the publication with the opportunity to take a cheap and larcenous shot at the President.
Many years ago the Limbo was a popular dance where the participants would attempt to pass under a horizontal bar that was lowered with each pass. The question was asked, “How low can you go?”
Today “journalists” are doing a different sort of limbo, they dance under the bar of truth and integrity, even as the bar lies on the ground. For them there is no limit as to how low they will go to undermine the administration or our nation and our freedoms.