(Vic Bishop) The fake news term appeared in the popular lexicon during the 2016 presidential election cycle, and has since run it’s course, done it’s damage, and been co-opted by Trump. And while many may like to believe that a meme such as this is organic and serves the purpose of identifying harmful news, the truth about fake news is quite revealing.
by Vic Bishop, February 22nd, 2018
A former CBS news correspondent and award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson is known for blowing the whistle on the ways in which mainstream media tries to shape your opinion on important issues. She’s the author of, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, and in 2016 she explained how media giants use the technique of ‘astroturfing’ to dupe the public.
She was recently featured in a TED Talk where she explains what she found when researching the origin and popularization of the term ‘fake news.’ Ultimately, she says, the term can be traced back to a non-profit organization called First Draft. Upon further investigation she found that the organization was funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who at that time was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton for president.
She goes on to explain how the term is one of many ways in powerful interests use their influence public opinion, or as some would call it, propaganda.
“There are two ways to tell that powerful interests might be trying to manipulate your opinion. Number one. When the media seems to be trying to shape or censor facts and opinions rather than report them. Number two. When so many in the media are reporting the same stories, promulgating the same narratives, relying on the same sources, even using the same phrases.” ~Sharyl Attkisson
As a final thought, she warns of the up and coming term ‘media literacy,’ reminding us that catch phrases like this are signals that someone very powerful is trying to tell you what to believe.
Take a look at the full talk here:
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