The All-American History of Fake News
Richard D. Brown

How can Americans Know What is Fake News?

We are becoming dangerous believers of fake news. It is good for our spirit and our emotional well being IF such news makes us feel good. But it will also destroy this country.

I could give examples of “fake” news ad nauseam but I won’t. Three will suffice.

One: Trump and much of the right wing brainwashing media advanced the theory that Obama was not born in America (and that he was a Muslim too by the way). This fake news permeated the whole media scene for years. Today 20% of the American people still believe it!

Two: Seth Rich, a researcher for the DNC was shot to death last July in the streets of Washington, DC. The Metropolitan Police Department continues to investigate the murder and police say there is evidence to suggest Rich was the victim of a botched robbery.

The right-wing media outlets continue to purport unproven theories that Rich was the person who provided Wikileaks with thousands of internal DNC emails. No real evidence has been provided to support such claims.

Rod Wheeler who first reported this theory on Fox News said that evidence showed Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks before his death. Wheeler later told CNN he had received information from a Fox News reporter. He has now rescinded his story. Since the FBI never had possession of Rich’s laptop and did not conduct a forensic analysis of its contents, no one knows what is in it!

Three: Trump and/or members of his “Team” may have colluded with the Russians to influence the results of the election or to create chaos, uncertainty and instability in the American election process, media outlets and democracy.

This “theory” is being investigated by 3 committees and it will be many months before the results of the investigations will be announced. The only troublesome part of this debacle is a President who says it is fake news and there was no collusion then does everything he can to stop the investigation. He has now hired his own lawyer who refuses to turn over any documents related to the investigation. If you have nothing to hide then co-operate fully.

These three examples plus the fact that when Trump lies openly to his base, they cheer at every word, suggests that a large portion of the public does not want to hear the truth.

But we should not be surprised by this. Media outlets (TV and internet) have been spewing forth lies and conspiracy theories for years. Many people have enjoyed such conspiracy theories and lies because they want to believe them. It would validate their dislike for certain politicians, certain government policies, and for groups of people they have never accepted as part of their mainstream culture. The right wing media has been “brainwashing” their audiences for a long time. They have a President who supports these theories, creates his own lies continuously and encourages his base to embrace them.

Americans need to stop believing anything they read or hear. We need to begin with an open mind. We need to listen not to what we want to believe but listen to the facts. We need to determine their sources, the impact such statements make on society and to WAIT until all the facts are presented. We need to eventually acknowledge what the TRUTH is whether we like it or not. If the truth goes against our beliefs we need to swallow our pride and re-think our beliefs.

If we continue to believe ONLY what we want to hear and what we want to believe then we don’t need the truth or the media!

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