by G. Brown
A mainstream media reporter recently asked actor Denzel Washington about the rumor that he switched his political support at the last minute from the Democratic candidate and ended up backing current president elect Donald Trump. Denzel didn’t answer the question head on, but instead opened up an entirely new conversation by asking the media some questions.
Washington’s response was, “If you don’t read the newspaper you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed.” Well said. The conversation originated with all the chatter about “fake news” websites and content like the site that claimed Washington made an “awesome move. Denzel is now team Trump!”
Washington said what most people are seeing and hearing is the end result of what happens when people are bombarded 24/7 with news, information,updates. Washington says, “…one of the effects is to be first…not even to be true anymore“. The “Magnificent 7” actor continued by pushing it back on the media saying its their responsibility to present truth…not lies in their zest to be the first with the story. Washington ended with, “We live in a society now where it’s just first. Who cares…just get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if its true. Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you’ll get good at, including B.S.”
Washington hits a nerve that should make everybody stand back and think about the sources you are trusting. The days of bringing you “objective” and “honest” reporting went out with the advent of the information highway. Now, it’s about content and driving clicks with sensational headlines, eye-catching GIFs and click bait stories that are half truths or all lies.
Many people think fake news stories like “Hillary has Parkinson”, which is running rampant on YouTube complete with a man who claims to be a doctor giving his diagnosis, were not only a daily occurrence of the election, but seems to be the only “news” the president elect lives by.
Trump has shared, reposted and retweeted more than his fare share of fake news stories including: “Obama and Hillary are the founders of ISIS”; “Thousands and thousands of people were cheering in Jersey City, when the World Trade Center fell on September 11, 2001; Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was murdered as reported by Trump supporter/buddy Info Wars and bat ish cray-cray Youtube conspiracy king Alex Jones; Anti-Trump protesters were “professional” actors hired by the Democrats. Later a professional fake news writer fessed up to having completely fabricated, the story. And of course, his most famous and longest running fake story-President Obama was born in Kenya and produced a fake birth certificate.
The term “fake news” is even fake and misleading. These stories are out pulled out of the air, or out of somewhere, and are nothing more than absolute lies. There was so much misinformation and flats out lies confusing all the issues doing the election that some have speculated it’s part of the reason Trump won. People believed the president elect when he tweeted three million illegal immigrants voted in California—a state he lost.
The main stream media…the watchers on the wall, the gate keepers, the people who are supposed to separate fact from fiction, fell victim to the predatory fake news hustlers. Often they were paid “experts” who helped boost ratings by making outlandish claims and sitting back while political opposition tried to argue against it. It wasn’t news…it was all fake stories and lies spewing out the racist remarks, repeating the ignorant rants and counting the number of views and hits per story.
Sites like TRN also tries to be a source of information, but we try to do due diligence and cross check and fact check what we put out there. Sometimes we get it wrong or fall for the fake stories, but we try to correct it as soon as we catch it. Some sites are well aware the information is bogus, but they still front and let you think their opinions, conspiracy theories and conjecture are facts they can prove.
Washington lays all the fake news at the door step of the mainstream media, but we put it back in the control of readers and viewers. There’s an old saying about ‘believe half of what you see and none of what you hear’. Start there…and fact check everything else.
What do you think…should mainstream do a better job at bringing you the truth? Or is this a new day where if you think it, say it, truth be damned?
Here’s that clip of Washington on “fake news”…watch it and let us know your thoughts on the conversation.