Oh, how the gray-haired grandees of traditional doublespeak journalism miss the 1950s – the era when their influence upon their captive audience was at its apex. Mind-melds were so much easier to perform back then. Dear Old Dad could be readily persuaded as to the necessity of higher taxes for financing transglobal humanist endeavors merely by opening the paper and reading Council on Foreign Relations member Walter Lippmann‘s editorials, or perhaps Eleanor Roosevelt’s nauseating My Day columns if he was a bit of a pouf. Even better, since reading of any sort tends to trigger a potentially unwelcome analytical reaction, he could turn on the Zenith and settle back to be brainwashed by the off-the-cuff musings of Soviet agent Winston Burdett or of world federalist Walter Cronkite. That tiny ‘Press’ card in the hatband was the ephod of a modern-day Pharisaical priesthood.
The communications octopus has never been able to envelop the ungainly Internet without getting its tentacles tied up in reef knots, however. Hence, for the past twenty years its attitude towards the medium has digressed from condescension to contempt to resentment to (in the past year or two) outright hatred. With increasing numbers of print media conglomerate head offices coming to resemble ghost malls, this isn’t hard to understand.
So in a desperate gambit to justify their continued existence, the Fifth Estate has lately seen fit to educate us proles on the latest thing that’s gonna kill us all so that we all die: “fake news” circulating online. This bugaboo, which has been implicated in everything from Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss to Donald Trump’s electoral win, is being assailed with considerably less hysteria than Lutherans bedevilled the spread of Palatinate Calvinism within the Holy Roman Empire. So onerous is this Weekly World News on e-steroids that Hillary of the Putrid Pantsuits recently called for a Congressional clampdown on this vile trade. Not to be outdone, Ilya Ehrenburg in flip-flops and hoodie, aka Mark Zuckerberg, proclaimed that to fight the scourge, his vampiric site was prepared to become even more parastatal. From his Facebook page:
After the election, many people are asking whether fake news contributed to the result, and what our responsibility is to prevent fake news from spreading. These are very important questions and I care deeply about getting them right….
…we don’t want any hoaxes on Facebook. Our goal is to show people the content they will find most meaningful, and people want accurate news. We have already launched work enabling our community to flag hoaxes and fake news, and there is more we can do here. We have made progress, and we will continue to work on this to improve further.
In other words, Facebook’s well-known policy of ‘report anybody whose earthy expressions and impolitic opinions make you cry’ is now going to be expanded to incorporate any link that doesn’t meet with the FCC’s official seal of approval. But if you worry that Zuck is positioning himself as a secular Moses figure, fear not! Let him set your mind at ease:
This is an area where I believe we must proceed very carefully though. Identifying the “truth” is complicated. While some hoaxes can be completely debunked, a greater amount of content, including from mainstream sources, often gets the basic idea right but some details wrong or omitted. An even greater volume of stories express an opinion that many will disagree with and flag as incorrect even when factual. I am confident we can find ways for our community to tell us what content is most meaningful, but I believe we must be extremely cautious about becoming arbiters of truth ourselves.
See, it won’t be him issuing chits and banishing you to the nether regions should you type out your umbrage against the latest federal Noahide atrocity, but the ‘community’. That’s nice and democratic, isn’t it? And he’s giving you a LOT of leeway besides – mainstream sources may err on occasion, but they’re fundamentally responsible. Post Politico stories and vids from ABC News to your heart’s content without fear of retribution! And lest you still doubt Zuck’s ‘aw shucks, we’re all pals here’ sincerity, he also lets us know that:
In my experience, people are good, and even if you may not feel that way today, believing in people leads to better results over the long term.
If you can’t trust a Judaic humanist, who on earth can you trust, after all??
So what precisely constitutes ‘fake news’, then?
Well, we are told that the Comet Ping Pong child trafficking ‘Pizzagate’ atrocity is fake. Despite the mountains of circumstantial evidence pointing to something monumentally loathsome going on behind the scenes, not in the least proprietor James Alefantis’s propensity towards perverted flippancy on Instagram and his satanic taste in art, the entire case collapsed when this pillar of the temple claimed not to have a basement in his restaurant, and the NY Times bought it. That’s fake news. We are told Hillary’s seeming bouts of Parkinson’s- or alcoholic delirium-related illnesses are all vast right-wing conspiratorial smear jobs, and can be easily rebuked by the multitude of recent photos extant where she appears as glistening as the morning dew. That’s fake news. We are told that boorish jeers over Jill Stein’s totally principled drive for a counterproductive electoral recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are the cruel catcalls of a chauvinistic blue-collar white male demographic, not untouched by anti-semitism. Those rednecks even have the temerity to allege she’s receiving kickbacks from the $5 million she raised and they don’t even take into account that she’s donating every last cent to a campaign to promote ‘electoral integrity’, which will likely be stored safely away in the Clinton Foundation’s general revenue account! That’s fake news. We are told that rumors of saboteur Evan McMullin’s homosexuality aren’t worth dignifying with an answer, save for a full-length refutation by the eponymous NY Times, and never mind your speculations about all the red flags being raised by a confirmed bachelor displaying such flamboyance as would give most heterosexual men serious pause! Fake, fake, fake news. Aren’t you glad you haven’t cancelled your CNN subscription yet? You don’t want to make social gaffes in polite company, do you?
Of course, in the case of Facebook an extra dimension must be added to the concept of fake news to accommodate the sensitive skins of the Millennials who still make up the majority of its users, media reports about their abandoning it in droves for more avant-garde sites like Reddit to the contrary. (The criteria for what constitutes fake news is obviously very selective.) Ergo, in keeping with Zuck’s existing corporate policy, voicing any kind of an opinion that isn’t on the approved reading list must ipso facto be false. Notice in his voice-of-reason post how he mentions that some hoaxes can be completely debunked, inferring a lamentation that other hoaxes can’t be? And that the ultimate arbiter of truth will be what ‘our community’ (shudder) finds ‘most meaningful’? If you guessed this means ratting is about to get a whole lot easier, you just won the Internet! A new feature now allows users to report so-called fake news stories under the ‘I don’t think it should be on Facebook’ option. No doubt this will eventually sweep every ‘bad’ site down the memory hole (including this one), but one wonders if it will be held to such a high standard as to eventually prohibit the posting of Onion and Babylon Bee links as well.
So it’s safe to assume that all conspiracy theories will fall into this category too, yes? Well, not quite. Those theories that come from the top down are still perfectly acceptable. So if Hillary wants to persist in lobbing amazingly false accusations of Russia’s hacking the election, you can share that amidst your friend list with a clear conscience. The balm on the udder is that McConnell, McCain, Graham, and the rest of the whole GOP Hee-Haw Gang are supporting the queen-in-exile in her delusion – D.C. has always considered ‘bipartisanship’ a satisfactory substitute for God’s irresistible grace. It would be a good idea not to bring up such ridiculous questions as how Putin managed to hack all of Michigan’s nearly five million paper ballots, though – you don’t want this observation to get flagged as ‘meaningless’, do you? If that happens, your dutiful labors will be consigned to the same conspiratorial rubbish heap that contains 9/11 and the notion that the Jews had any role whatsoever in crucifying Christ.
The entire premise of ‘fake news’ is obviously subject to the severest mockery, but at its core lies a grave reality. These megalomaniacs will control the public discourse one way or another, using the carrot or the stick to attain this purpose, as circumstances permit. Gone forever are the 1990s, when political correctness seemed as mere idiocy from those sequestered in ivory towers, asinine but relatively benign. The cobra has hypnotized us, and now is the time for it to bear its fangs and to strike. Are we going to play their game on their own terms, shushing those who fall outside acceptable parameters of reason? Or, like Paul, will we soldier on for our Christ regardless of how often we receive forty stripes save one?
Like Hillary and Zuck, Pilate was fond of moral ambiguity as the price to be paid for retaining power and reputation, as his infamous question ‘What is truth?’ documents. Why then should we be amazed if, after miming a consultation with the ‘majority’, these interlopers attempt to foist a Barabbas upon us as a poor substitute for Life Indeed?