Some Day Soon, it may be a Crime to Label Something ‘Fake News’ — Then How Would a Republican Respond to a Damaging Story?
Every time a republican reads a headline that they don’t like, they can dismiss it by stamping it with a ‘FAKE NEWS’ classification. Isn’t that really convenient? The intellectual capacity has remained stagnant since the middle school playground when they would shout, ‘I know you are but what am I?’
It is embarrassing to think that so many of my fellow citizens actually shun an article whenever they find out that those two terrifying words are associated with it.
Check the comments to any of my articles, and there will be at least one comment accusing it of being fake news. My story yesterday about republican hero Milo whatever, for example, was mangled by lots of disheartened conservatives.
Upon reading the headline, they were so devastated that their instinctive response was to call it ‘fake news’. Maybe they slept better, but their label did nothing to nurse the wounds the story inflicted on the entire party.
The only thing I can do is reiterate the sources from my article. Such tactics should remind them that my article is nothing more than another news story I read or heard. So if it is fake news they should contact my sources. Incidentally, this route is never taken. Despite my suggestions, they never contact the original source of the “fake news”, which is quite indicative. If you really thought The New York Times, for example, was writing articles defaming your idol, of course you would contact them. But no.
Fortunately, this middle school playground taunt might be coming to an end.
As a result of a ‘fake news’ label, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel in Colorado is threatening to sue state Sen. Ray Scott. This lawsuit would be the first of its kind and could potentially set a legal precedent. Heatst article
I would assume it would be simple legal case to make. There are already defamation laws to protect people from the harm caused by a fake news story. Accusing a newspaper of publishing ‘fake news’ is just as defaming.
The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel published an opinion column urging Sen. Scott to move forward on a bill that would give journalists greater access to public records.
Scott responded on Twitter: “We have our own fake news in Grand Junction.”
and then on Facebook:
The very liberal GJ Sentinel is attempting to apply pressure for me to move a bill. They have no facts, as usual, and tried to call me out on SB 40 know as the CORA bill. They haven’t contacted me to get any information on why the bill has been delayed but choose to run a fake news story demanding I run the bill.
Republicans may regret the day that they called anything ‘fake news’. Ironically, conservative websites like Breitbart are entirely creepy conspiracy stories that have nothing to do with reality. Once this ‘fake news’ law is set in stone, and those alt-right conspiracy websites are taken down, lots of unemployed republicans will have nothing to do all day. Bummer.
Originally published at Disrupt Fake News.