And now for a slightly philosophical query regarding “fake news.”
If news is “fake,” does this mean that reporting about it is in itself an act of fake? If you, as an allegedly reputable news organization, publish an article about fake news, are we to infer that your article, and everything you write about the fake news story, is in fact, innately fake by association?
And fake news. What is the opposite of “fake” news? Is there an antonym?
What constitutes real news when we speak of the framework of third-party intermediary reportage? The media has proven, especially in recent years, and months, that it is susceptible to human filtering and revisionism. Are we to infer that real news exists and that it is the antithesis to what the government and mainstream media (who currently have a vested interest in creating a subset of information dissemination unilaterally labeled as dubious) label as “fake” in order to reclaim their own dwindling traces of legitimacy?
Isn’t all news essentially conveyance of unexperienced events?
Even the cosmetic Asian news reporter babe in a short skirt with the big penis microphone “on the scene” who interviews a witness who saw the car accident occur was not there, and her transfer of disembodied experience to you, the television or Youtube audience, is only as reliable as your trust in the ability to place credence in the observations of others.
Is this real news?
If we want to parse it on a deeper metaphysical level, some might go so far as to say that firsthand experience is not necessarily real or objectively accurate. It is human nature, after all, to draw upon experience and habitual narratives to interpret and “write a story” about the present objectivity of the moment. What is fake, then?
Does fake connote “inauthentic?”
It follows, accepting this definition, that “authentic” is a questionable delineation of experience, especially that which was not our own, and in fact, is further removed from our involvement by many layers of society, culture and class.
Are we to entrust the government and the mainstream media with sole responsibility for dictating the mandate of “fake” (and by inference, that which is authentic, an intensely worrying leap of faith in the fairness of human institutions)?
And on a pragmatic level, if we were to entrust validity and accuracy of reality in any organized entity, should we not be able to choose for ourselves who we hear? Is information gathering ultimately not a personal choice built upon our own level of discernment? Those who seek the truth dig deep; those who don’t value truth as a task of investment are free to defer to the old standards of collective ignorance.
Those who seek truth beyond what is culturally accepted are marginalized and mocked; the schoolyard writ large. The “merchants of fake” are the bullies of culture possessing that smugness and self-righteousness that leads them to believe they alone can shape the paradigm of authenticity without troubling anyone with the nuances and elemental building blocks of reality.