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Fake News? Film at 11…

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary.”H.L. Mencken, In Defense Of Women

I hear often these days that we are doomed, because the media has been taken over by ‘Fake News’.  This sentiment, of course, is itself, fake news.  Nothing could be further from the truth, actually.  I write about this today, so that you can rest easy and be better able to go about your work.

What we are now calling ‘fake news’ crap is the norm, and has been in the USA since at least the 1780’s.  We merely got to experience a few decades where it was in remission, that’s all.  It’s had other, better names over the changing decades: mudslinging, Yellow journalism, etc.  But it’s nothing new at all.  The rise of Journalism schools in the 20th century really helped to tamp it down.  Or, to be honest, the rise of a class of professionally trained journalists just barely restrained it; enough so that we mostly forgot that all news is by necessity biased.  Now their day is waning, and so of course our media has relapsed into partisan hackery, fakery, and outright lies.

Now, while it may be normal, it is certainly not ACCEPTABLE.

Like with any other trend in history, there will soon enough be another swing of the pendulum, and this cycle will become a sad memory.  We can all act now to hasten that day: call out lies and deception where you find them.  Don’t be shy about it, be loud and clear.  Support local news sources, and where you can stomache it, support the national media sources too.  Mostly they are beyond repair and will die off on their own (due to their own credulity).  So, be ready to support the systems that are forming to replace them.

We can get information a bit faster nowadays than 20 years ago.  Yet that was also the case in the early 1900’s when every city suddenly had numerous papers that printed several editions per day. It was ‘shocking’ and ‘different’ and ‘new’ to those folks, but ultimately was mostly just garbage, like now.  We tend to get hubristic and think we’re the first people ever to have to solve a problem and that is in itself a barrier to actually solving problems.  So please keep in perspective the fact that ‘fake news’ is not a new thing, not actually something that we cannot overcome, nor something that is inevitable.  Just like every other time in history, we overcome it by steadily piling truth upon truth.  It’s not even hard to do so, but it does take time.

For an excellent example of what I am prattling on about, read up on the rise and fall of Fr. Coughlin.  He was a racist demagogue who happened to be born just as the idea of Radio was catching on – he used that medium as a weapon.  He once seemed to be everywhere; and his influence unstoppable.  But he was, inevitably, stopped.  He was, rightly, hounded from the world’s stage.  So it shall be with the hucksters of the present era.

There are plenty of good media sources out there right now, such as  This site aims to be one more asset on the side of truth and integrity.  In the immortal words of muckracking journalist Scoop Nisker, “if you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own!”  You can help us, hold us accountable.  And you can break stories in your area, too.  

{ed. note: Original headline was changed, to avoid being seen as ‘click bait’.  Suggested alternate headline “Headless Body In Topless Bar” was rejected because the NY Post did that one already…  for a selection of other vintage Sensationalist or stupid headlines, here’s an article from a true clickbait-farm.}

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About Daniel Franco 25 Articles
I'm the best philosopher, in your price range.

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