Fake News takes two basic forms, acts of commission and acts of omission by ‘journalists’ (I call them pornalists.  Like porn which radically distorts sex, many so-called ‘journalists’ radically distort the news).

President Trump and many conservatives have been complaining loudly of late about the proliferation of fake news.  By that, they mean that they read too many news reports that are either false or are written from a very biased viewpoint.  Often the media delivers opinion pieces under the guise of actual news.  Much of the highly biased reporting is due to simple laziness by ‘journalists.’   Reporters don’t take the time to investigate any other viewpoint but their own.  Some fake news is written deliberately to create a false or self-serving narrative.   These are ‘fake news’ acts of commission.

This has been a criticism of news media for longer than any of us have been alive, think “yellow journalism”.  In the past, it was not quite as noticeable, when almost every city had two or more news publications.  Then, almost everyone had easy access to media that showed each story as viewed from both the right and the left.

Today, with the consolidation of news media (newspapers, in particular), it seems most areas receive news that has been interpretted and presented only as seen from the left.  Nearly every recent study has shown that an overwhelming percentage of “journalists”  identify as Democrats, progressives or liberals.   Studies and polls routinely show that fewer than 10% would call themselves Republicans.

What is not criticized as often is the acts of omission by the media.  How often do you hear about the good work of people on the right or stories that don’t support the progressive agenda?  Here is a list of news stories that I contend have not been covered by the mainstream (left leaning) media or, at the very least, have been under-reported:

  1. Fear in Europe of a huge transfer of investment dollars from the EU to the U.S.A. because of the highly favorable new U.S. Tax law;
  2. The current low unemployment rate; 
  3. The huge and rapidly growing poverty in California which could be attributed to California’s highly progressive welfare state programs;
  4. Until recently, the depravity of the Hollywood Culture;
  5. The U.S. emergence once again as a top three oil producer in the world;
  6. The fact that Germany in particular, and almost all EU countries are falling far behind their commitments to lower carbon emissions as per the Paris Accord; 
  7. The fact that China emits more carbon dioxide than any nation;
  8. The current unemployment rate among african-americans is the lowest it has been in over 40 years;
  9. In April of 2017, Astronaut Peggy Whitson returned to earth after a record of over 534 days in space, longest for any American but hardly anyone has ever heard her name;
  10. Conservative Groups targeted by the IRS reached a settlement with the IRS where they were paid a seven figure amount, that settlement confirming that the ‘weaponizing’ of the FBI against the right was not just a political talking point for the right;
  11. etc.

It seems the biggest problem in getting real news rather than ‘fake news’ is that we all tend to get the majority of our news from very few sources.  Most often those sources report news that supports our belief system.  I often find myself discussing politics with people who never read anything but the New York Times and the Washington Post.  More often than not, these people will completely dismiss any reports that do not agree with those two sources.  

Maybe we should all make a new year’s resolution to try harder to see things from the ‘other side.’  It might just make us better informed AND more tolerant of other views.

 

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