The Convenient Truth

Post-truth. Post-fact. Fake news.

The more I see these Orwellian buzzwords, the more frustrated I get.

And not because the subjects are unimportant. Quite the opposite. I believe these are the biggest problems facing us — not only as a nation, but as a civilization. As Thomas Jefferson (you know, the bad guy from Hamilton) once said, “an educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”

I get frustrated, though, the more I see these buzzwords, because we’ve turned a massive problem into clickbait headlines and unnecessary think pieces. The whole concept of fake news has been politicized. Media literacy is for the leftist elite. “Fake news” is just the democrats being sore losers.

And I get frustrated because these words imply that our biggest problem is the spread of misinformation. It is not. It is a symptom of a larger problem — a lack of trust.

Fake news has always been a problem. Leaders have always tried to bend the facts to suit their agendas, and we have always wanted to believe the truth we find most convenient. The problem now is that when the inconvenient truth becomes public, those in power are not shamed by it. They spit fire and attack the media. They brand it a conspiracy. They call it a lie from the other side. And those who want to believe…believe.

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