Just a month or so ago we were treated to one of the most important and revealing exposés of the crooked media establishment that our country has ever witnessed. Ken Vogel of Politico, among others, gave the Clinton campaign eyes on his pieces before they ever made it to an editor. Disgraced DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was found to be colluding with the media, including MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, in an effort to suppress negative criticism of her leadership while undermining Bernie Sanders at the same time. Former CNN contributor and interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile- one who was never very fond of ethics anyway- was caught passing debate questions to the Clinton campaign not once, but twice.
These are but a few of the many instances of collusion between Democrats and the national media that we would have no knowledge of if not for Wikileaks. It is proof that we have in fact been dealing with “fake news” for a very long time.
Democrats were thrown a helping hand this week when a loon brandishing an assault rifle decided to investigate claims of a child trafficking ring (now known as ‘pizzagate’) being operated out of a DC-based pizzeria, Comet Ping Pong. As such, the discussion surrounding fake news has shifted rapidly to the “we’re not guilty of it because look at this guy!” narrative from the mainstream media. This makes us here at the Beltway Times wonder: are the actions of one man, who found it necessary to turn his beliefs in a conspiracy theory into action, as damaging to the nation as an entire print and digital media system cooking the books on critical thinking and truth? Yes, “all politicians lie” and we all expect a certain degree of bias in media, but do we turn off CNN or Fox News when there’s breaking news? Of course not.
Why is it that now, in 2016, we have started to care about fake news? I remember when fake news first started to gain momentum in the mid-2000s, when we used to simply call it “Buzzfeed” (now it’s called “Vox”), and it would infest our Facebook timelines with “and you won’t believe what happened next!” headlines. What did we do then? If we were smart, we ignored it. If we were bored and thought something funny or entertaining would come of it, we clicked. Only the most gullible of us took whatever was seen in such media as truth, and when we were finished reading we went about our lives without giving it much more than a passing thought.
We are now aware that “fake news” extended far beyond silly, click-bait time wasters. We have been given a glimpse of the reality that the most mainstream of mainstream news– delivered by primetime television personalities with entire careers building credibility within journalism circles, advanced degrees, and years of experience traveling the world– is an utter sham. In fact, the revelations of the last year aided in creating the motivation to start The Beltway Times. We have only been active for a few weeks and Facebook has already denied multiple attempts to advertise our published articles to targeted audiences. Why? Facebook’s administrators claimed we were “fake news”.
While stories that create situations like pizzagate are unfortunate, what’s more unfortunate is the realization that well-intentioned free thought and expression is being suppressed in the name of protecting a system that has proven itself to be the epitome of fake news. That suppression is being used to cover up the shady, and fake, practices of our national media and its political collaborators. CNN’s Sally Kohn and her colleagues pushed the “hands up don’t shoot” narrative, which was a fraud, and multiple cities burned afterwards during protest. President Obama claimed to never really know what was going on “until he heard about it in the news” (and now we know why). It was the establishment media that pushed the “if you like your plan you can keep your plan” farce while pretending it knew more than we did about the kinds of healthcare plans that were best suited for our families. The media has driven opinion for a long time, and now that it has been exposed, its best bet is to take a page out of the Hillary Clinton handbook and do what she has done for her entire career: blame it on something else and change the subject.
The nation has been driven by a fake man, by fake idealism, by fake politicians, and yes- by fake news- for the past eight years. It’s incredible that it has taken progressives until now to recognize the impact. It’s a shame they refuse to see how they have created the problem of fake news by being that fake news themselves.