Fake. News.

Fake: [fāk] ADJECTIVE:   not genuine; counterfeit.

News: [n(y)o͞oz]  NOUN: newly received or noteworthy information, especially about recent or                                                    important events.

Fake News: a form of news consisting of deliberate disinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional news media (print and broadcast) or online social media.

I absolutely  hate the term Fake News.   First and perhaps foremost, it reflects the dumbing down of the American language that seems to prevail right now, even in the media.   You would expect better of journalists who are presumably trained in the use of language.  Look at the first two definitions above.  Of course, you could say not genuine news or counterfeit news but it really is a poor choice of words.   Inaccurate news or incorrect news is more precise, sounds better, and to be honest, sounds less dumb.  But bear with me as I dig a little deeper.  News is defined as newly received or noteworthy information.   But if I look at the definition of information, I find knowledge communicated or received concerning a particular fact or circumstance.   So if a statement is Fake … not genuine or counterfeit … it conveys no knowledge, hence it is not News.  So, that makes Fake News is an oxymoron, which speaks not to the intelligence of those who say it but the juxtaposition of two words that are contradictory, like original copy.

But my dislike of the term Fake News goes beyond mere linguistics.   Dismissing anything you don’t want to believe about what’s going on around you as Fake News is denying your ability as an intelligent being to think critically.  This world is complicated.   How can you possibly make decisions if you don’t think … or if you let someone else do your thinking for you?   I am not saying everything you hear in the news is true, especially in this age of social media.   I am saying that someone who routinely dismisses everything contrary to what their side says as Fake News is victim of confirmation bias, that most human of traits which drives us to not believe what we don’t want to hear.   Someone who never checks facts using the vast information systems at our disposal is worse than a lazy thinker … he might as well be a cheap computer.   You know what they say about computers … Shit in, shit out.  Which leads to shitty decisions.  Unfortunately our society has entirely too many of those being made these days.

Well, I certainly feel better getting THAT off my chest.  And if you are insulted by what I say, you can just dismiss it as the ravings of an old curmudgeon.   But think about it first.

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One Comment on “Fake. News.”

  1. barryh Says:

    Reblogged this on I can't believe it! and commented:
    Here’s an excellent post from Older Eyes on the term ‘fake news’ – ‘lazy confirmation bias; seems about right.
    There’s a lot of wisdom in old curmudgeons!


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