By wantonly labeling anything and everything “fake news,” we are helping Donald Trump and the Republican party in their continued quest to make the public completely and irrevocably distrust the U.S. media system.
With each new “fake news” listicle, we are drawing further and further from an important tenet of a free and fair Democratic system. In this effort, it almost seems as if Donald Trump and the corporate media are colluding to create a total distrust of media which performs mostly or solely online.
Why do we suspect that the corporate media may have a hand in this “Fake news” takeover? Mainly because they are constantly losing viewers to online, corporate-free news sources that primarily use social media to spread their information. Do you sit down and watch the nightly news on your cable tv each night? Likely not. More and more, consumers are cutting the cord and getting their news from these independent news sources on places like YouTube, Facebook, and more.
We’re also aware that the internet has created a tendency for consumers to isolate themselves in a bias bubble, choosing to only trust the media sources that confirm their biases. While that can be a major issue, corporate media has latched onto and enforced that narrative to such extremes in the hope that they might encourage viewers to return to the fold of nightly news. At its root, it is a last-ditch effort to save television.
The next step in this encouragement of distrust would be for Donald Trump to try and propose or support some sort of legislation which would censor or punish so-called “fake news.” While some may support this, does anyone doubt that Trump would try to use those same laws to restrict real, honest journalism that doesn’t paint him in a favorable light?
That is what makes the recent #Pizzagate scandal so complicated: While we worry about fake news inspiring real violence, we are unwilling to compromise the freedom of speech we currently enjoy. It is vital to our Democracy, and we won’t be letting it slip away by hook or by crook.
Instigating this continued distrust of online and social media-based news is just the first step in what could be Trump’s master plan. If you have any question about this, all you have to do is take a look at Trump’s Twitter feed on any given day as he attacks anyone and everyone that doesn’t bow to him.
Though Donald Trump may not succeed in censoring the freedom of the press, making each man woman and child think that no news is good news is even better.