It’s funny how much has changed since the Internet became a ubiquitous part of our lives. Only twenty years ago the most up-to-date news was usually found on cable news networks like CNN or Headline News. The most authoritative news still came from legacy news programs like the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather or antique newspapers such as the New York Times.
In 2017, those are all officially #FakeNews media outlets.
Sad to say, the Internet today is often not much better. The proliferation of endless, conflicting, often unsubstantiated, and biased reporting has made the Internet almost as problematic as the old news marketplace. News media websites are pretty busy places with multiple headlines and multiple images. They are chock-full of things that draw your eyes and entice you to click to read or see more. Basically their headlines are a few levels of decency above actual clickbait links like “Megyn Kelly drops bombshell live on NBC!” and “Presidential advisor warns: stock to crash in 2017!”, but it is only a difference of degree and not of kind.
While the Internet has given a few good anti-globalist media outlets the chance to exist and reach large audiences, the vast majority of web-based media outlets are just as skewed as Dan Rather was several decades ago. The fact that news journalism has not been immune to the society-wide decline of manners only compounds the problem.
So today when I pulled up DrudgeReport.com and saw the headlines, “China moves troops,” and “America edges closer to war,” as well as “8-year-old dies after Calif. elementary school shooting” on CNN.com, and “Assad is worse than Hitler: Syrian chemical weapon attack survivor” at FoxNews.com, I had to tell myself that they were not far off from being #FakeNews media themselves.
The fact is that balanced, carefully thought-out journalism is hard to find. This isn’t to say that what we need is “neutral” journalism or more “objective” reporting. R.J. Rushdoony was certainly right to say that there is no such thing as neutrality.
One of the most pernicious and evil myths to plague the human race is the myth of neutrality. It is a product of atheism and anti-Christianity, because it presupposes a cosmos of uncreated and meaningless factuality, of brute or meaningless facts…
It now has also the meaning of not taking sides and, supposedly, the law and the courts are neutral. This in itself is nonsense. No law is ever neutral. The law is not neutral about theft, assault, murder, rape, or perjury: it is emphatically against these things, or should be. Again, no good court or judge can be neutral about these things without destroying justice…
The myth of neutrality is most congenial to man’s fallen nature. Dr. Cornelius Van Til has pointed out that, if there were one button in all the universe, which, if man pushed, would give him a small realm of experience outside of God and in freedom from God, fallen man would always have his finger on that button.
Like in the realms of science and history, the most legitimately “objective,” “rational,” “logical,” and verifiably true reporting would be that which examines current events through the lens of God’s revealed Word. They should especially be reported on through the lens of the biblical injunctions regarding truth-telling and justice. Therefore, while Matt Drudge and his ilk might be right to think that troop movements are worthy of our attention, for news media to (1) distort events in order to (2) favor an anti-biblical political agenda leads to the conclusion that they, too, are #FakeNews.
This issue is relevant today. Literally — today. Every day, there are thousands of well-aimed volleys of half-truths and innuendos that get lobbed at innocent passersby on the information superhighway known as the Internet. They come at ordinary people through their news apps, through commercials on YouTube and Pandora, through ads on browsers and games they play on their phones.
It should matter to advocates for godly, pro-white, Western civilization, because just as real muscular strength cannot be built upon poor diet and exercise habits, and just as a structurally-sound building cannot be built upon an unstable foundation, our pro-white Christian movement cannot succeed if built upon clickbait.
News media journalists are not the only ones who produce clickbait. We produce it in our everyday, private conversations when we tell half-truths or lead people to believe what is not entirely true. We produce clickbait when we retweet and share items that evoke strong emotions but do not consist of strong logic. We do it when we make daily choices about work, relationships, worship, and so on based on whims, trends, and societal norms rather than biblical truths.
The impulse to sweet half-measures is deeply rooted in our fragile, fallen human natures. That’s why without the Holy Spirit working in us through His Word to give us the new birth, new nature, and a continual process of sanctification, we’d remain dead in sins and trespasses. We cannot seek to do good without God’s divine aid. But once we have it, we ought to use it for all its worth. This in fact pleases God, who promises that He will liberally provide for us to grow in our sanctification. Depending on your view of monergism/synergism in sanctification, we could also say that we have to do our part of the work. But since this is not a post about monergism vs. synergism, I’ll move on.
What everybody can agree on is the imperative to pursue and practice holiness. Truth is essential to holiness. It is the truth that sets us free. Unlike the CIA and secularists who have no idea where that phrase came from, we know that the truth is a Person and that He does indeed set us free. As free men and women, then, we must walk in truth in order to walk with Christ. Our adversary is the father of lies, who told a half-truth to our first parents in Eden. How can we do the same or have fellowship with those who do the same?