“Fake news” is a fool’s term.
News is information prepared and dished up to entertain media consumers. The terms “entertainment” and “information” are essentially the same, both delivered on the same media platforms, and financially supported by advertising measured by ratings and shares.
Information is packaged using variable amounts of accuracy, so buyer beware. The terms “fake” and “real” news recently presented for public consumption are only an illusion. Placing the term “fake” in front of “news” implies the polar opposite exists – “real news.” What nonsense!
Even fictional media contain strong elements of accurate historical context, accurate human observation, and accurate analysis. Both fiction and nonfiction entertain and inform using varied amounts of accuracy and inaccuracy in their content.
Information does not solely exist in one of two polar extremes, fake or real. The term “fake news” panders to the human proclivity for quick labeling sensory experiences as good or bad, right or wrong, left or right, holy or evil, us versus them, and republican or democrat in the dichotomous U.S. culture. An intellectual media consumer would focus upon the preponderance of evidence when aligning one’s opinion or coming to a summary conclusion, not fake or real.
Media consumers infected by extreme institutionalization and collectivist training are conditioned to quick-judge information into one of two opposing categories, true or false. Consumers gleefully swallow the ready-made conclusions and opinions from their favored entertainers without applying any critical analysis.
“My favorite news station is right. The other stations are wrong.” So the story goes.
Media consumers lose their cognitive immune systems thanks to years of advertising consumption and attendance in education systems that require memorization and regurgitation of answers to questions fed to them in factory schools. An internal voice that should unceasingly shout into a healthy skeptical conscience “one man’s truth is another man’s deception,” becomes silenced.
Advertising, marketing, public relations, political strategists, government, and intelligence agencies are deception industries by their very nature. Media consumers ingest daily heaping portions of these industries’ deceptive news and information programming. Consumption of media products often includes suspension of reality and skepticism, but this practice occurs at a great cost.
Advertising is perhaps the best example of information illusion. One must suspend logic when absorbing vapid terms such as “freshest,” “newest,” “boldest,” “biggest,” “cheapest,” “healthiest,” “tastiest,” and “all-natural.” Suspending one’s discernment is necessary when consuming such deceptive messages, but this is the nature of advertising.
Media consumers accept it’s not real, but it’s also not totally fake. Advertising exists somewhere in a swirling vortex of real and fake; it’s both, all mixed up. Advertising discernment is a practice in measuring the relative accuracy of the message, or inaccuracy.
Institutionally crafted information is smartly packaged, presented with flashy props, and polished spokesmen. News and information served is analogous to the nutritionally void, gussied-up, highly-processed-fast-food meals we consume.
Is fast-food fake or real food? Certainly some people like to debate such a question. But food is neither “fake” nor “real” when edible, and food is neither “natural” nor “unnatural.” These are simpleton marketing terms for the uninformed, like “real” and “fake.”
For many consumers it feels comforting to believe a food is “natural” when slurping down factory-assembled concoctions with ingredients a chemistry major cannot recognize and presented in bright-colored packaging with tantalizing designs. Sexy models pitch the so-called natural foods just like models sell the “real” news. The similarities are abundant.
“Real news” is a term like “natural food.” Food labeled “natural” is just as illusory and insipid as the term “unnatural,” and it is interesting to note that no one considers purchasing food labeled “unnatural.” No marketing agency uses the label “unnatural food.”
The term “fake news” is analogous to “unnatural food,” and equally as ridiculous. “Fake news,” “real news,” “natural food,” and “unnatural food,” are all equally illusory, foolish terms.
Consumers should reject ridiculous, insipid labels such as “fake news” or “real news.” Ridicule the purveyors of the phony dichotomous mumbo-jumbo-nonsense and provide them no cognitive quarter.
We all need to sharpen our own cognitive immune systems, apply analysis, and hone our critical thinking skills.
Do the homework. Search beyond insipid labels. No shortcuts.
The Jurassic Media Professor
“Copyright © 16MAR17 by Steven A. Schwab”