The day Fake News took over

Fake news is not new. It was used by both sides in the Second World War to play down their failures and exaggerate their successes. Indeed, the manipulation of the truth in the 1940s may have been directly responsible for the rash of conspiracy theories that have thrived ever since: Was Diana murdered? Did the Americans stage the Moon landings? Are the aliens being entertained in Area 51?

The media that is supposed to find its way through all of this only makes the problem bigger. Every newspaper and tv station is biased politically one way or the other. So the theories or happenings that support the outlet’s affiliations are magnified; those that give the other side of the story get ignored or trodden on.

On May 30th 2018 we reached a citadel of official deceit and misinformation. For two days we had been led to believe that a journalist critical of President Putin had been assassinated, with the finger pointing firmly at the Kremlin. Then, lo and behold, he’s not dead after all. The whole thing was a sting to catch a real would-be assassin.

Okay, that operation may have worked, but where were we, the people of the world in those two days? Sympathizing with the journalist’s family;  fearful of how bad Russian espionage was getting; expecting that we were moving into a World War Three of widespread stealthy murder that was a bigger threat to freedom than the terrorism which, sadly, we now accept as part of Life.

The moral high ground of the West was removed with Guantanamo Bay. No longer could we claim to be above the level of those we previously accused of barbarism.

Now Real News is on its deathbed. Who knows, maybe Elvis is alive and pumping gas, maybe President Kennedy was really the victim of  a lone nutter and not the CIA, FBI, Russia, the Mafia or who knows who else. Maybe Marilyn Monroe did simply kill herself and nobody else was involved.

In future, I won’t be reading or watching the news. I’ll be looking for the flaws in it, and I’ll expect that tomorrow or the next day, or maybe years hence, I’ll find out that it wasn’t that way at all.

The truth will out – but when?

 

Passing Times, Number 2

May 19th 2018 will probably be seen in history as a day of tangible change. If it had been a day in any year of the 20th Century, that Royal Wedding would never have happened. The men in gray suits would have gone to see Harry and told him that there were two major reasons why he could not marry Meghan. (I think you can guess what those two reasons would have been.) Maybe the men in suits did say that to him, and maybe he told them where to go, which would only further underline the breath of fresh air in the UK’s Royal Family. Diana started it. Her two sons are continuing it. The Royal Family is coming out of stodge and into the real world where it connects with the people. It’s such a powerful change that you can see it has infected the older members of the family. Prince Charles made a point of chatting to Meghan as he led her to the altar. In the olden days it would have been a rigid and formal walk. In those olden days, I was one of the growing number of republicans in the UK. I’m happy now to be saying that I believe we have a Royal Family with purpose. God save the Queen.

Scam

I like the word “scam”. It sounds like its meaning. I first came across it when reading the biography of Steve McQueen – not the SMcQ who’s a film director now, but the actor of that name who made classic movies like “The Magnificent Seven” and “The Great Escape” in the 1960s-70s.