Facebook’s war on ‘Fake News’ has caused a lot of consternation. First in everyone’s mind is who are the fact-checkers and who is checking them? The next question is what do we do about natural bias that occurs in journalism. Most Americans are smart enough to recognize fake news. Facebook really does not need to censor most news. Here are some things you can do to sharpen your personal approach.
As Written By Bryan Dean Wright for Daily Caller:
This past weekend, The Washington Post published an explosive headline: “FBI backs CIA view that Russia helped Trump win election.” If true, the consequences would have been profound: Moscow succeeded in planting their candidate in the Oval Office.
American democracy would be dead.
But the Post later scrubbed that title and replaced it with something softer: “FBI in agreement with CIA that Russia aimed to help Trump win White House.” See the difference? It’s subtle. Russia aimed to help Trump. That is not the same as accomplishing it.
Lost in the article: President Obama knew of the Russian meddling when he said that the election results represented the will of the American people. He may not have liked the result – neither did I – but we both accept it.
So why did the Post publish this misleading headline? Welcome to the world of fake news and editorial bias.
Media operators – mainstream and otherwise – know that some 60% of Americans never read past the headlines. Accordingly, media owners and editors know that they have the power to push their own perspective on the world. There’s surprisingly good data to show that they do.
Questionable journalism isn’t new, of course. In the early 1900s, two media titans – Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst – fought for eyeballs by using misleading headlines, fake experts, and pseudoscience to sell more newspapers – and make more money. Their battle resulted in the phrase “yellow journalism.”
In the 1950s, supermarket tabloids jumped in on the act. The National Enquirer focused on sensational stories of sex and scandal, while later magazines like Star gossiped about Hollywood performers. It’s still big business even today: the…..
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