Fake news is, by definition, news that is made up. You know, the kind that CNN puts out about Donald Trump. That, however is not the target of the liberals. The elite liberal class thinks that the voting rules out there cannot tell the difference between real and fake news. What this really is all about is code speech to attack any viewpoint that does not fit their socialist liberal narrative. If they can fit all conservative news under that ‘fake news’ umbrella they will succeed in cutting off the conservative voice.
As Written By Ed Morrissey for Hot Air:
Yesterday, I wrote that Democrats are going through the Five Stages of Blame-Throwing in an attempt to explain their utter and nationwide failure to connect with voters outside of their base. The fourth scapegoat presents an especially pernicious trend, given its widespread traction over the last couple of weeks — “fake news.” We have a new moral panic on our hands based on a very old phenomenon, and its embrace typifies the paternalism and elitism that has Americans in such an anti-establishment mood in the 2016 cycle.
An analysis by Buzzfeed last week gave this moral panic more momentum. It claimed that the top 20 “fake news” articles got more clicks on Facebook in the final three months of the election cycle than the top 20 “real news” articles, and highlighted the top five from each list. As Timothy Carney pointed out in the Washington Examiner, the five consisted of four liberal anti-Trump opinion columns and naked pictures of Melania Trump. At least one of the top five so-called fakes was a pro-Trump opinion piece, not a news article at all.
Regardless, people have demanded that Mark Zuckerberg start filtering content to screen for “fake news,” even though no one has shown any correlation at all between Facebook news-feed clicks and voting decisions. There isn’t even a correlation posited, let alone a causation, and yet the same people who blew the election by talking past middle-America voters now demand that Facebook and others treat them like idiots, too.
It’s doubling down on elite paternalism and contempt, I argue in my column for The Week:
Zuckerberg has said he’ll look into ways to identify misinformation, but scoffed at the “fake news” theory of the election. “Voters make decisions based on their lived experience,” he said after the election. “I think there is a certain profound lack of empathy in asserting that the only reason why someone could have voted the way they did is because they saw some fake news.”
Zuckerberg hit the nail on the head. Rather than deal with the lack of connection that Clinton and Democrats made with voters — including in House, Senate, and state legislative races — Democrats and the media would prefer to reject those voters as hicks and rubes who can’t tell the difference between facts and opinions, and between false stories and facts. It goes beyond a lack of empathy; it’s outright contempt.
That contempt from elites in media and politics may or may not have produced the electoral results seen two weeks ago, but it certainly explains the shock that has resulted from it. That contempt is also reflected in the push to shut down commentary and pressure Facebook into editing their social media network to allow only those sources deemed acceptable by those in power, politically and culturally. They are creating a new social panic within their own circles and doubling down on paternalism. Don’t expect that to end well when the midterm elections roll around in two years.
How do we know “fake news” is a social panic and not a threat to the Republic? Er, ……