Fake-News Furor (Randyjw; December 18, 2016)
So, the news media are in a twiddle regarding the reportage of their own, assumptive predictions of the U.S. presidential election winner, to which they now wish to attibute its fault as being due to “fake news” stories? Isn’t it true that the media voices we heard, at least in most of the mainstream broadcast and cable arenas, as well as in a good chunk of internet forums, were those who foretold of a foregone conclusive victory, notwithstanding the actual election itself, of a Clinton victory? And, isn’t it now true that the same media who got it wrong all scratched their collective noggins at once and picked up on the talking points to first, one: provide a public mea culpa in the form of a supposed self-inquiry into the genesis of this phenomenon; and, two: also provide the easy answer by ascribing blame to others, where they consider that blame must, therefore, go?
The actual answer couldn’t reflect the blame for this across-the-board phenomenon in a “wishful thinking” mode, rather than based in an Electoral College, and the sentiment and wishes of the voting public in those states with a higher number of delegates being distributed toward a Republican vote won by Trump, could it? If the pundits were declaring an all-out case for the Democrat contender, Clinton, than how could reality have actually proved them all wrong?
We know that they spoke in a mostly one-voice concurrence about this, as they admit publicly to their pretty-much having done so. Does that not represent a one-sided initial “bias” in their reportage of these events? Well, the linear progression of logic would point to a high-likelihood of probability, given the “If, then” argument of separate factors being comparably equivalent.
And, what of the similar reaction by the self-same pundits? Did they all just come to the exact conclusion, independent of input from each other? One would see that this is not the case; each one concluded that their own incorrect analyses was due to a preponderance of “fake news” “reports”.
How did they come to pin their wrongly-stated assertions so full-heartedly on such a suddenly-devised known issue, considered the “fake news” phenomenon, when no such syndrome existed in its specifically-named capacity? They each made up the same name for the syndrome, independent of each other? Uh, no… I think not; the statistical likelihood of this actual happenstance, in non-statistical parlance, would be about “very unlikely” to have been the case.
Hmmm… So, they act in a uniform fashion to distribute their “fake news” conclusion, but this is supposed to be a suddenly-instantaneous result of separate inquiry by those organizations, which originally got it wrong, now being given as the basis for their conclusion? They all came to this just-made-up phenomenon, “non-existent” in its particular verbiage as a “syndrome”, per se, on their own? How could that be?
Well, it really seems so improbable as to be very unlikely. In fact, it would seem that some type of “script” must have gotten around, sent to all these “news organizations”, so that they would put forward a unified voice on the issue. Perhaps it read something like a “Talking Points” memo — those things actually exist. They are often put together in the form of an outline, with main points and their bulleted subsets listed neatly below in abbreviated punctuation to the main statement.
The existence of any such thing is an analogy I use; no actual claim of the existence of one is being promoted or alleged in actual reality. Lest I be accused of promoting “fake news”, my disclaimer is readily provided. Yet, the conclusion they reached independently, yet expressed in singular voice, is admittedly a strange phenomena, no?
We do find such one-voice phenomena in other examples, which conclusions were held continuously by the majority of media, and yet were continually questioned and proven to be riddled with inaccuracies, throughout. One such instance leads me to think of the Benghazi incident, where Chris Stevens and three others at the U.S. Embassy in Libya were killed, whose deaths were attributed to the assignation of blame on the maker of an amateurish video (Innocence of Muslims), Nakoula Basseley Nakoula (now Mark Basseley Youssef), and the videos’ apparent effect of being able to spontaneously incite a mob to murder our ambassador and his aides. It was later reasoned that pre-meditation to murder likely played its part in this crime, rather than a sudden “flash mob”, prepared to kill at-will. Not to say that violent flash mobs with ready weapons aren’t called to action in many of today’s reactionary, hair-trigger revolts, because they are…
Public-image branding, counterintuitively, includes the use of both positive, and negative, measures to counter bad publicity in the public forum. Public relations firms exist for this specific purpose, portraying companies and individuals in the best light to their interests. This could include ongoing “feel-good” campaigns associating the client to positivity-inducing thoughts in the public’s perception, such as being contributors to the local communities wherein they are located, for example via support of local or national charity issues, or sponsorship of league sports teams, or other measures.
It could also include incident-specific reactionary measures, including press conferences, or counterattacks upon the claimants or others offering contrary actions against the client. Public relations staff might be contracted outside the agency, or might exist in-house, in the form of a press office, a spokesperson, Media Relations departments, and others. They often present a public facade of the individual or entity to the public, and can exist in roles such as a Press Secretary, or even for governments or monarchies, such as Saudi Arabia, who might hire professional public relations firms to shore up their image and to provide damage- and spin-control, in the event of untoward incidents with perceived negative ramifications for the agency/individual in-question.
It must be that the “fake news” story was being punctured with holes in its reasonableness as an excuse obstensibly causing such widespread wrong reporting by the presently pontificating media. A new causative case needed to be found for this quickly-hatched patchwork fix, and one was, subsequently, to be found.
Something rather Saul Alinsky-like, the godfather of violent socialist radicals, had to be employed, in grand measure. And it was. No less than Russia, home of the Soviet-era KGB, a contender vying for top place against Hermann Goerring’s as the godfather of the beneficial practice of embedding repeated lies in the public domain as truth, has been conjured as the latest scapegoat upon which to pin the “agitprop” of the causation of such a fiasco. Never mind that an initial vote recount showed Trump still as the winner; now other states are halting their own recounts, leaving the militantly-decried calls for its essentiality an ambiguously abandoned question-mark. Better that, say, than learning the vote was actually the wishes of the reigning public, then.
In further measures, Mark Zuckerberg has been notoriously scapegoated as the face of Facebook’s technology, which provides solely a content platform upon which individuals may voice their innermost thoughts in written form. To what purpose must we hold Mark Zuckerberg accountable for the expressed idiosyncracies of individual entities?
Once upon a time, we considered as sacrosanct the inviolable rights of an individual in a free society to express their viewpoints freely without undue constraint and fear from recrimination. This extended to the same rights found in the written word, of those of the printed press and their publishers.
It would seem that those same promoters of a free press and the rights of a journalist to secure unwarranted search and seizure by the government of the information given to them in confidentiality by their “sources” are now calling for the censure of contrarian views not pre-approved by their select arbiters of “true news”; those tasked to be fact-checkers of news which, on the whole, they cannot rightly report, let alone check. Many news agencies rely on wire services to act as their on-site news bureaus for additional insight and where they have no press correspondents in specific locations. The slant and bias by these agencies on issues pertaining to Israel filter down regularly to the local papers and regional syndicates relying upon them for factual information.
The press still espouses journalistic freedom for its reporters, yet there seems to be a pigeonholing of Mark Zuckerberg by the Left to make him do something to stop the occurence of this supposed “fake news”. Is it his fault what others say? Meanwhile, he has acquiesced to provide a consumer-directed filter whereby anyone can flag a site in deeming its trustworthiness and veracity in its “reporting” of truthful information, to be fact-checked against hand-picked arbiters of newsworthiness.
It’s pretty amazing that Jewish groups, both on the Right and on the Left, have for years been fighting Facebook and the other main platforms to get them to remove inciteful accounts by sympathizers to Jihad against the Jews, meeting with indifference and reticence to do so, at best. In these cases, known activists and perpetrators of the call to murder Jews and Israeli people are being allowed the right to air their viewpoints without recrimination or repercussion. That was a mostly off-limits intrusion on the rights of said perpetrators, it was declared. Yet now, it is okay for any disgruntled reader to flag a viewpoint with which he disagrees, and where, once flagged, will result in this individual’s rank to remain low in the search results, permanently, without redress. This is censorship and bias, with the convenient responsibility for its direct implementation foisted off to the public, so that blame can, as always, be ascribed and passed on to another, elsewhere.
The United States already has enough agencies in place limiting the unregulated consequences for the falsity of expression. These can be found in the regulation of goods via commerce laws and state lemon laws. The Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Communications Commission and, to an extent, other organizations, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, and others, are the entities responsible for being an inside clearinghouse, of sorts, to untangle the rules and laws of commerce, product claims, and the general codes of conduct, including decency over the airwaves.
Such industry-imposed and external government mandates have brought about such rulings as: the Fairness Doctrine, regarding the mandate for broadcasters to present opposing viewpoints, although not necessarily in one place or one show. Due to the high costs and limited availability of the airwave spectrum, licenses were finite, and stations were limited in ownership. Rules were changed as more diversity was achieved, and cable operators with multiple channels meant that divergent views were available with the increased quantity of choices available — hence, the need no longer existed to regulate compliance and the ruling was deregulated.
Another ruling provides for the equal-time alloted to politicians on-air, so that no particular side could receive favored treatment from those fortunate enough to hold broadcast licenses.
Products cannot promote unfounded benefits toward which no truthful attributes are rightly due, and a product cannot be advertised to lure a customer to which it is found to have not existed or been available, via bait-and-switch methods.
Since patents cannot be assigned on naturally-occurring products of nature (hybrid and genetically-engineered items may have different specifications), drug companies cannot retain the rights of these items, as such, and tend to create their own syntheses and products. These are also highly regulated, as is the labeling, procedures, and processes of both food and drug production, under the aegis of the Food and Drug Administration, as well as a host of other agencies.
We often further define, or not, our laws and regulations via the courts. Our basic operating assumption goes by the United States Constitution, signed by a number of Founding Fathers of our modus operandi, our general rules of society. These have seen further enhancements by the Amendments affixed to them, as well as the definition by specific case precedents outlining the parameters of given rulings, or showing them to be unconstitutionally feasible in continuance. Certain of these parrot societal tradition and custom, perhaps specific to the era and societal mores during the time in which they were enacted, many of which carry big-name recognition, such as Brown v. Board of Education, or Roe v. Wade, dealing with the ramifications of societal rules.
In all of these cases, there are many rules regulating how citizens and government employees may behave in regard to society at-large. Many of the most important ones were enshrined into the Constitution — free speech, free press, and freedom of religion among them.
Why is it that the supposed bastion for the protection of peoples’ rights and their human rights to express themselves freely are now being subverted by the so-called protector of these rights on the Left? Because the Left has been devolving into a top-down movement. They believe in a government-controlled mandate OVER the people — not BY the people. These are the methods of authoritarian regimes — those of fascists, dictators, Communists and others. These are not the makings of our people-controlled Constitution.
Some of this information, a body of knowledge learned over the years, was rechecked for terminology at Wikipedia.org (Fairness Doctrine and Equal-Time).
Other information was provided through a second-source news source, The Telegraph, in an article provided by its first source, a news wire service (Reuters).
Reuters, via The Telegraph. “Facebook to Roll Out News Tools to Tackle Fake News”. Appearing on The Telegraph, part of Telegraph Media Group Limited; December 16, 2016: