A friend rightly pointed out that there are strict rules regarding the news media putting out false news. The FCC does have rules and regulations that must be followed. So does fake news from the mainstream media exist, and if so, how do they get away with it?
Yes, it does exist, sometimes blatantly. They get away with it because there is a difference between fake news and false news. False news is news the news agency knows at the time of broadcast is false. It is a lie and they know it. This against FCC regulations. A well-known liberal news anchor for a major network was forced to resign several years ago for false news. He reported a story he knew was false at the time.
Sometimes the reported news is incorrect, but this only comes out later. This is permissible only if the news agency issues a retraction. However, the FCC doesn’t care where the retraction is placed. In the case of newspapers, it can be a brief statement published where most people won’t read it, like between two long, boring articles. In the case of broadcast news, it can be placed between commercials, where few people will watch it.
That is false news. Fake news is a little different.
Let’s see if I can explain the way that fake news actually is.
Situation: Prominent conservative Joe Smith is driving down the street. He sees a car on the side of the street and it is pouring rain, but there is nobody in the car and it is a bad neighborhood. He drives a quarter-mile farther and he sees a woman with her 8-year-old daughter walking up the road, totally drenched.
There are no other people walking and the traffic is light. He stops, confirms that the woman owns the car and that she and her daughter are trying to get to the mall two miles up the road, so she can call her husband to come and fix the car. Joe offers to drive them to the mall so they don’t have to walk in the rain. They accept gratefully. A news team that reports using fake news sees this happen, then puts out headlines:
Joe Smith picks up adolescent girl right off the street, gets her into his car
Joe Smith refuses to stop for vehicle broken down beside the road
In the first case, the impression is that Joe is a pervert. In the second, he sounds like he is uncaring. Here is the thing, though. Both headlines are true. By its own rules and regulations, the FCC must allow them, yet it is fake news.
The above actually isn’t an extreme example. It happens frequently. The mainstream media was using this ploy against Donald Trump before he even declared for a run for the presidency. They tried to make him sound like he doesn’t care about blacks and minorities, though records show that he’s won awards for helping minorities, has literally taken people who were black or belonged to other minorities right off the street and has given them jobs, and has housed them. In fact, today the unemployment rates for blacks and minorities is lower than it has ever been in the history of the US.
The media has painted him to be a woman hater, yet the records show that he definitely isn’t. In many of his businesses, he’s put women in positions of authority. The first skyscraper built under the direction of a woman was hired by Trump to do the job. Women are making more money than they ever have, under President Trump. Unemployment for women is tremendously low. That isn’t the way the media reports it.
Fake news is also when the news agencies think that it is great when someone from one party says and does something, but vilifies it when someone they don’t like says or does the same thing. They report it without giving all the facts. That isn’t “lying”, it is “lying by omission”, which isn’t against FCC laws. The media has also done this with Trump. It isn’t false news, though at times it gets very close. Still, it is definitely fake news.
The media tried to slap President Trump for the separation of families that came into the country illegally. They neglected to mention that the law that was followed was signed by President Bill Clinton and has been the law ever since Clinton’s presidency. The press published a picture of a child in a cage and insinuated that this was done during the Trump presidency. The picture was actually taken during the Obama presidency. No retraction was necessary and it wasn’t in violation of FCC regulations because they never actually said that Trump caused a child to be put in a cage.
As for the law, the President doesn’t make laws, he only signs them into effect, yet the media vilifies Trump for following laws that were put into effect by liberal presidents and refuses to acknowledge that the laws were put in place by a liberal president.
Trump is outspoken about fake news, but he definitely isn’t the one who started the battle. Thankfully, a growing number of Americans and even those people who aren’t Americans, are beginning to see through the facade of fake news.
Fake news isn’t false news. False news is illegal. Fake news is not, at least not yet, though people should be aware of it. Fake news exists. It is an attempt to prevent people from thinking on their own. Yet, fake news is perfectly legal.
Do you think that it doesn’t apply to you because you don’t follow politics? Think again.
I can claim, “If you eat beef, you will die.” That can make you think that if you eat a steak, you will instantly die. That statement isn’t illegal because everyone dies sooner or later, so it is true. Actually, I just want you to give me your steak.