What is “fake news?”
To some, it’s anything news network other than Fox News. To others, it’s any negative story about Donald Trump. You might have seen people who identify #fakenews as any news story that doesn’t satisfy their mindset or worldview.
Unfortunately, this term has been spun around so many times that no one really can place a definitive meaning to it. If you mosey on over to the Wikipedia page dedicated to this term, you’ll find all sorts of definitions, historical examples, differences by country, and much more. But what actually is it when it’s broken down to its basic components?
It’s just as its name suggests. “News” that isn’t real, authentic, or legitimate. It is simply stories that have no legitimate backing or source or documentation. For our humor, some websites are completely dedicated to writing and posting stories that are completely made up. For our dismay, these stories are usually crafted based on current events and can easily be confused for actual stories seen/heard on NPR, New York Times, PBS, or other legitimate news sources.
As a nation, our sense of credibility and desire for authenticity in the reporting of current events has been completely thrown by the wayside. We read an article (or better yet, the title of an article) and immediately react without taking in the context or the source from whence it came. Of course, there are publications that have obvious biases and agendas. Examples of that would be Conservative Tribune, Independent Journal Review, Liberty Writers, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo, Chicks on the Right, etc. These articles may stretch the truth, but cannot be considered satirical or completely bogus.
Satirical websites (website that intentionally publish made-up stories) are strictly there for the sake of humor. Examples would include The Onion, Babylon Bee, The End Times, National Report, Christwire, Weekly World News, and a host of others (for a complete list, click here). These websites must not be taken seriously and if shared, should only be for the sake of humor. It wouldn’t hurt to include a comment explaining that what you’re sharing is not real.
Also, http://www.officialmikepence.com is anything but official. Bogus in every sense of the word.
I urge each of us not to call something “Fake news!” simply because we disagree or are angered by what is being reported. Sometimes, the people we like mess up, and the people we don’t like do good deeds. When President Trump does something stupid (threatening North Korea with nukes and firepower) and CNN reports it in a cautionary fashion, it isn’t fake news. When you hear a news network/station interview someone and they say that the Confederate flag is offensive to them because it reminds them of slavery and racism, it isn’t fake news. It’s that person expressing their honest opinion.
Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not real. That just means you won’t accept reality and are living in a fantasy world.