Corporate Media Will Not Save Us From “Fake News”
The post-2016 election moment of self-reflection is over for the mainstream media. How sincere or substantive that moment really was is an open question. What we know now is that it was a prelude to a panic-induced frenzied search for official enemies.
The mainstream media threw everything it had against now-President-Elect Donald Trump and only really succeeded in gaslighting themselves into thinking Hillary Clinton was a sure thing. The subsequent sense of impotence and irrelevance has manifested itself in a quixotic crusade against “fake news.”
So, what exactly is “fake news”? No one is quite sure, but the best definition might be: news the mainstream media does not agree with or feels threatened by.
If “fake news” was simply incorrect information then the mainstream media’s election coverage would certainly count.
— Daniel Wright ? (@DanSWright) November 26, 2016
But the hunt for “fake news” is perhaps best epitomized with The Washington Post publishing a piece where most of the alternative left-leaning media was labeled part of a Russian propaganda operation. The neo-McCarthyite list contained names like TruthOut, the Black Agenda Report and Naked Capitalism-journalistic outlets with well established reputations for independence.
The story started falling apart when the group of “independent researchers” failed to do basic research and were clearly biased to the point of being propagandistic. Ironically, it was The Washington Post that was publishing news that was fake. The enemy within.
That mainstream outlets would label independent publications as fake and lump them in with those peddling rumors and conspiracy theories is rich after this past year, but such efforts could not come at a worse time—a time when public confidence in journalism and government have hit rock bottom, and a time when Americans desperately need better sources of information to fight for their best interests.
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