Fake News

Some old fart decides to confront a bunch of high school students in MAGA hats. The teenagers try to act cool, hiding behind the safety of numbers to mock the confrontational old fart. In other words, a normal afternoon in any residential neighborhood in America; this is crabby Mr. Smith who lives on the corner, shouting over the fence at the noisy kids as they walk past, to which the kids respond by shouting “Crabby Mr. Smith” and maybe vowing to egg his house on Halloween. 

How often does this boring, run-of-the-mill story get reported as the top headline of the week on CNN? Never, of course — unless the old fart happens to be a “native American” and the kids are wearing Trump hats. Then, suddenly, this utterly meaningless incident becomes a scandal of world-historical proportions, evidence that Republicans are white supremacists, and miraculously also an implicit argument for gun confiscation, transgender rights, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ 2020 presidential run.

It is quite old news among non-Americans, along with Americans who take the time to peek outside their national borders occasionally, that the American press — all constitutional protection aside — is the least free press outside of the communist world. The perfect symbiosis of the corporate media elite and the Washington political elite makes the very idea of a free press laughable. The United States news media — every damn bit of it, beyond the local level — is a pure propaganda machine, which has no purpose but to keep private American citizens as uninformed, as narrowly-focused, and as emotionally-malleable as possible. 

CNN is indeed fake news. So is Fox News. So, for that matter, are the Democrat and Republican parties, which are merely the on-air performance artists of CNN and Fox, respectively. Donald Trump is fake news. Mitch McConnell is fake news. Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and that old guy pretending to be Elizabeth Warren’s grandfather in the fight against red hats — fake news, all of them. 

“Oh, but the conservative ‘alternative media’ is different.”

Please, don’t get me started. The conservative media — talk radio, the online opinion sites, and now the YouTube “intellectual dark web” frauds — are nothing but the next generation of the same old fakery. It’s all about money and power, with the only distinctions between factions or individuals being whether this one or that leans more toward the infatuation with money or with power.

I call “Fake News!” on all of it. Seek your information elsewhere, Americans — unless the information you are seeking is evidence of how far American soft despotism has progressed, which I admit is a personal hobby of mine. Escaping from reliance on the American media has become almost as vital as getting your children out of government-funded schooling. In fact, the American news media, collectively, and in all its iterations, traditional and “new” (we must recall that CNN and Fox themselves were once considered rebel outsiders), is essentially nothing but government-funded schooling for adults.

This is the progressive dream come true: John Dewey’s “social mind” come to fruition. This is the real “artificial intelligence.” 

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