This is an old issue, but when I look at the term “Fake News” I am remembered when it was gleefully rolled out by the media when they were trying to come to terms with the Trump election victory in November 2016. So quick they were to discredit non-mainstream media, they deployed “Fake News” whenever they could in order to make sure their readers never strayed from their official, polished line.
There’s an adage in martial arts in that you never bring a weapon to a battle if you don’t have an effective defence should it be taken away and used against you.
And this is what I saw after CNN stupidly reported on a story involving Trump’s alleged behaviour in a Moscow hotel room. Having reported a false story, CNN had the term “Fake News” volleyed back at them.
Suddenly the media was caught with their pants down. Their weapon had been turned against them, and it was all on display for the public to see. There was no sweeping it under the rug. They had misreported and were quickly lumped into the basket with those they had initially sought to discredit.
Scrabbling for a defence, media decided to “retire” the term, and Seth Meyers admitted that “Fake News” as a thing was busted.
The media has since distanced itself from the term, although I do see it regularly deployed in conservative circles now, usually to mock the very media who had created the term.
I personally will never forget how “Fake News” seemed to be the cherished cry from traditional media – no matter how much is it now a baby of far-right dens. The media dropped the ball there, failing to make sure their house was in order before the decided to smear everyone else.
I hope they see the lesson.