Ted Malloch: THE EVOLUTION OF FAKE NEWS
So how did we reach this point?
Where journalism is no longer about presenting fact-checked news, but rather presenting ad hominem attacks on political figures and catholic schoolboys.
Where Buzz Feed becomes the beacon of truth.
Surely the media hasn’t always been this totally slanted, disregarding facts and truth for unverified gossip or outright lies.
For instance, CNN, or what many conservatives jokingly refer to as the “Clinton News Network,” didn’t start out that way.
Founded in 1980 by Ted Turner, the flamboyant entrepreneur with a pencil mustache resting above his upper lip and Jane Fonda clinging to his arm, CNN originally was a mega-radio station based in sleepy Atlanta, labeled the “Mouth of the South.”
Evolving over time and making the switch to television broadcasting, CNN’s reputation took off during the Gulf War in 1990, through their extensive coverage and reporting from the scene with the live feed of troops in Baghdad.
Quickly, Turner gained raw media power and became the most powerful news outlet on cable television.
CNN was on 24/7 worldwide, so you couldn’t escape it.
Though it had a reputation for flamboyance and in-your-face journalism, it was anything but phony.
However, during the Bush years, CNN drifted politically to the left, as Turner was highly critical of US policy.
As his personal politics began going beyond his person, Turner and his ego became increasingly more controversial.
When his parent company, Time Warner, made a deal with AOL, Turner got squeezed out, losing his once-tight control over CNN and its direction.
Over the ensuing years, to recuperate from their losses, CNN commercialized and tried to extend its coverage, shows, and bureaus, but it was soon handicapped and faced new competitors, like Fox News, who had a more conservative approach.
Perhaps to overcompensate for their rival’s conservative views, CNN took an even sharper turn left, to cater to their dwindling viewership.
CNN brought in Jeff Zucker to bend its programming even more to the hard left and to also compete with MSNBC, a subsidiary of the larger NBC, which was overtly leftist and exclusively Democrat in its outlook, favoring Obama and his entire thrust.
It was therefore inevitable that CNN would be one-sided in the 2016 election.
It had backed Clinton so strongly that claims of bias were abundant.
It never took the Trump campaign seriously, instead ridiculing him and his followers on both the nightly news and all their various hosted programs and slanted panel shows.
The panels were particularly biased with a normal four Clintonistas versus one Trump surrogate per show.
And panelists themselves were outrageous and not only opinionated but bigoted and often mocking of Trump and his ideas, hair, color, followers and rallies.
But it wasn’t just CNN attacking Trump.
The majority of left-leaning outlets (95% of them we now learn), following in the shadows of CNN, approached their so-called journalism in the same way: as a personal attack.
Part of it has to do with ownership.
In 1983, 50 companies controlled 90 per cent of the American media.
Today, six conglomerates control the same 90 per cent.
They are National Amusements (CBS, MTV, BET, on and on), Disney (ABC, ESPN, Marvel, on and on), Time Warner (CNN, HBO, TBS, on and on), Comcast (NBC, DreamWorks, Universal, on and on), 21 Century/Newscorp (Fox, NatGeo, FX, on and on), and Sony.
The other part is ideological.
The leftist Huffington Post dragged Trump and his character through the mud.
The Washington Post (owned by Amazon’s Bezos) didn’t hold back any personal punches, either.
And, of course, the radical chic New York Times did exactly the same.
But it didn’t stop at just the media outlets.
Even search engines like Google and Yahoo were in on the muckraking.
We see that for example at Google, when the Trump campaign put out a press release it was marked as “Promotion.” When the Hillary Clinton campaign put out a press release it was marked as “Update.”
Now these tech giants censor speech they don’t like, shadow conservatives and demonetize views they disagree with.
This is what is called—monopolist power.
An analysis of the mainstream networks and CNN during the 2016 election empirically showed what was self-evident. The bias was extraordinary: 95 percent of mainstream media was pro-Clinton and anti-Trump.
In true Trump fashion, however, he fought back in a comedic way.
Armed with his explosive Twitter account, Trump created the “Fake News Awards” and, through tweets, awarded CNN with four out of his eleven awards.
To date, undoubtedly, this is CNN’s greatest accomplishment.
Though clearly in jest, there is a grave danger with all this new media and the degradation of journalism, which has evolved into what we now know as
See: Giphy Face News
Like most trends, this isn’t a new invention; it’s a cyclical crutch that media and government rely on to advance an agenda, to perpetuate propaganda, and spread disinformation.
Dating back to ancient times, fake news is just the modern reincarnation of what’s previously been termed “misinformation” or “yellow journalism” to single out a few.
Regardless of its nomenclature, this type of news is dangerous.
Marc Antony, the Roman general, killed himself because of such misinformation.
Though an extreme example, the danger of fake news is its increasingly difficult nature to spot and separate from real news.
Take for instance, the comedic routines featured on Saturday Night Live.
SNL is not news, rather an attempt at funny political satire, even if most of it is anti-Trump in nature.
Similarly, the Onion is a satirical political newspaper.
These two media forms don’t pretend to be true and factual representations of the news. Though they do project an agenda and opinion, it’s easily discernible.
However, shows like Jake Tapper’s State of the Union and Becky Anderson’s Connect the World on CNN are not comedies.
They parade, as do other shows like them, as real news.
When in fact, they are not.
They push their own opinions, and opinions are not facts.
They push an agenda.
That agenda is a globalist liberal leftist agenda.
It’s a dangerous, slippery slope we’re sliding down, where opinion is being misconstrued as fact and disguised as news.
The end result is undoubtedly dire.
Yet, is there reason to remain even a bit hopeful?
Hopeful that somehow we can correct and recalibrate this decline in journalism?
Maybe, just maybe with scrutiny, debate and correction—Hope can make a comeback.
That after all is the slogan and tagline of one