How did we get here? the making of fake news

David Wilsoncultural issues

By Pastor Dave Wilson

If you are concerned about what has been going on this week and feel like many people have just lost their minds you are not alone. If you feel like you are being lied to every day by the media its because you are.

In 1987 the Fairness Doctrine of the FCC was repealed. What was the fairness doctrine? In a nutshell, it dictated that if you were to share a political opinion over the public airwaves you also needed to give time for the opposing viewpoint to be shared.  Rather than be fair it actually served as a muzzle for anyone who would dare to challenge the narrative of what today we term the “mainstream media”. Back then the News media could easily shape and edit stories that promoted a “liberal viewpoint” in a positive light and a more “conservative viewpoint” in a more negative fashion. It was done with such subtly and sleight of hand that you would think nothing of it unless you knew what to look for. For example, a news anchor would refer to a Pro-life organization as Anti-Abortion. The trick is to always highlight what your opponent seems against not what they are for. Labels are important as they would use their own labels to put down opposing viewpoints. All this was done in a monotone presentation to give the appearance of being unbiased.

Once this doctrine was repealed the playing field was leveled, sort of. We saw a rise in radio talk shows and one prominent cable news network that began to take on the narrative that we had all been used to hearing. With the explosion of the internet it became increasingly difficult for the guardians of the sexual revolution and Left leaning ideologies to defend their positions.  The so called “Culture war” started coming to light. This prompted many in the media along with their political cohorts to pivot and start talking about how divided America was.  Of course, it wasn’t that America was divided but that many were beginning to awaken from a slumber and refused to just blindly accept what they were being fed.  This of course prompted the other side that had been in control of the narrative all this time to panic and start ramping up their attack on more conservative Americans. Particularly Americans that believed in traditional marriage and God and church. They viewed us as being obstacles to their progress.

Although those with various shade of liberal ideologies still maintained majority control of our education system, our news, and entertainment media as well as our judicial system, they started to cast themselves as the victim in order to draw sympathy from the American public. Why would such a large collective of concentrated liberal power stoop to playing the victim and tug on American heartstrings? One word. Desperation. When a group that has been in power in this country for half a century perceives they are losing power, especially in the judicial branch and that their plans for globalism might be disrupted they will do just about anything to maintain their power including but not limited to accusing a sitting president of collusion with a foreign government, condemning churches for following centuries-old teachings of scripture and labeling everyone who does not wholeheartedly agree with their political agenda as racist and bigoted. And just straight out lying to the American public. Knowing this we should not be surprised at the drastic action we are seeing across this country by those who would take tragedy and use it for their own political means.

Be aware of these common tactics used to twist the truth. These are used everyday on TV and in print. see if you can find them next time you watch the news.

The strawman- misrepresent an opponent’s position in order to make it look weak and then easily knock it down. This is accomplished by not telling the whole truth and leaving out particular facts. This is a regular staple of daily news sad to say.

The Steamroller– Ask a question and before the person has a chance to fully form an answer ask them a 2nd and then a third question. This makes them look like they don’t have an answer and supposedly makes you look like you have all your facts. The best way to deal with a steam roller is to ask them questions back this will take them off their game. Observe the latest White House, press secretary. She is very good at taking on steamrollers.

Ad hominem attack- Attacking a person’s character as a means of attacking the issue. A perfect example is to call the president a racist because he wants to strengthen the borders of our country even though many on the other side of the political landscape also have run on border security in the past and have had similar policies, they were not given the same label. Rather than debate the issue you detract from it.

Conversations out of context– pulling soundbites and quotes out of a conversation to make a person sound like they are saying something the never said. Unfortunately, another daily occurrence.

Negative labeling– Not prolife but Anti-Choice, not pro border security but anti-immigration. Always labeling your opponent with a negative sounding term infers they are on the wrong side.

Appeal to authority– “Experts say”-or “a study by so and so says” this tactic has been used for years to make it seem as if there is a consensus where there might truly be varied opinions as we have seen with this latest virus.

These are just a few of the regular tactic that are being used daily in the media.

My recommendations

  1. Compare both right leaning and left leaning news sights. Watch Fox and then go to CNN and notice how they report on the same story.
  2. Learn to spot the tactics I mentioned above. What used to be subtle is now overt and kind of in your face and hard to miss
  3. Read some History books (besides the ones your assigned in college) about the last 300 years to understand where our culture and civilization came from and the ideologies we fought against to preserve our country
  4. Watch the movies Animal farm, 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 to understand the dangers of what can happen if we forget history.
  5. Never assume you have the whole story.