Blurred or commingled
I applaud the Nashua Telegraph opinion editor’s stance and transparency in the article about “Fake News” published last Sunday.
Most of us media readers, listeners and watchers (RLWs) misjudge “political opinion” for “news,” because the boundary between news and opinion has become blurred or commingled. Maybe it’s that some of us RLWs want to believe opinion that parallels our position and are wary of being convinced otherwise.
Social media, email and internet blogs are places where misunderstandings are exploited by misrepresentation, and too often debate is squelched with harsh rebuke, sometimes ending in the use of epithets. Users of these media often align themselves into groups who think the same. “Group think” is not conducive to worthy debate but is more like a religion where anyone who strays is ostracized for being a heretic.
It seems to me that over the last decade, some news agencies with long-standing records of impartial reporting on politics have become partisan. There’s little doubt that the reporting of some political news is slanted to favor Democrats versus some that is more pro-Republican. Missing are those voters who do not necessarily believe in every position of a party’s platform. It seems to me that you must be “all in” nowadays, and that’s’ too rigid.
I may be wrong, but I believe “personal hatred” is the real underlying reason why opinion is blended with political news resulting in “Fake News.” I also believe that hatred has reached its apex, and it appears the amalgamating event was the result of the last general election. I believe both sides use “Fake News” to stimulate political opposition. And I believe that it’s working for the president, because he uses the term as a rallying call to fight against its effects on him. But we RLWs shouldn’t perpetuate “Fake News,” because using it alone stifles political debate, and that’s not beneficial to regain mutual respect.
I’d strongly recommend avoiding any media that spends inordinate amounts of time discussing the president’s rhetoric and practically no time discussing the effects of his policies. I can agree that not all of Trump’s policies have made America great, but the ledger seems to be in his favor so far. Because he’s not a politician, his ideas for solving major issues are different and outside the box. These ideas are starters only and if the other side would engage maybe, just maybe, solving those problems would benefit the interests of everyone in the USA. Additionally, since Trump’s campaign promises are being checked off, but not reported truthfully, news-omission is in the same class of “Fake News”.
I recommend that RLWs use the four-step list The Telegraph opinion editor provided to identify “Fake News” on the internet. But in dealing with other media, the bottom line and last word is to absorb the reporting judiciously. Until we get back to where we were a decade ago, “trust, but verify” any reporting about politics and policies of any administration.