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What is Fake News, and how can you recognize it?

A New York Slime Exclusive

America, along with the rest of the world, is facing a crisis capable of triggering wars, military actions, market crashes, election subversions, resignations, firings, terroristic attacks, assaults, panics, stock market crashes, and other catastrophic or undesirable events. But few of us are aware of what that crisis is, or have recognized the quicksand we are walking over. Just a few weeks ago, there was nearly a war in the Middle East when a fake news source identified as coming from Qatar led to 10 Arab countries breaking diplomatic relations with The United Arab Emirates.

The Flip Side of the Internet
Most fake news is delivered on the internet. While anyone can get open a website and publish whatever they want to, the flip side of this freedom gives nefarious interests the ability to instantly spread false reports of assassinations, military incursions, staged events, and misquoted leaders statements. Further complicating matters is the simple reality that all news has a point of view or bias and represents only the perspective of the source on any given issue.

In America, the various news agencies may purport to be giving you unbiased news, but this is rarely the case when it comes to a politicized issue. This is true for ALL politics, left, right, and center. Liberal, radical, and conservative. ALL groups and political parties have controlling self interests that effect what they say, when they lie, when or if they can be truthful, and what they typically fail to report to you. They also know how to manipulate voters and supporters. Don't be afraid to listen to both sides of a disagreement.

"With the advent of the internet, almost anyone could potentially reach a mass audience at a fraction of the cost."

Before the internet, it was almost impossible for just anyone to promote a news story to a wide audience. Most media sources used very costly technologies and were themselves also expensive to maintain. You mainly had the newspapers, books, magazines, the movies, radio, and then T.V. As technology advanced, news was eventually delivered almost instantly. And with the advent of the internet, almost anyone could potentially reach a mass audience at a fraction of the cost. The expensive and corporate dominated mass media outlets now had a new kind of competition. What should have had a democratizing effect on news also led to its opposite. It was just as easy to spread lies as it was to report truths.

Beware of Your Email
This is not to say that the mass media isn't sometimes truthful, but it rarely reports news events without its own built in biases. It should not be news to anyone that today's news sources come from many different points of view, but there is a brand new category of news which has taken to outright lying and blatantly false reporting dressed up as "the truth."

One of the main sources of so-called fake news is your internet email account and the ever growing number of internet news sites. This is not to suggest that many or even most of these news sources, while having their own point of view, are not trying their best to keep to the facts as they understand them.

All News has a Built in Bias
But again, it should always be remembered that any given issue that is expressed in the news has a perspective and point of view. And you should expect that slant to be expressed depending on who owns the source. Let me give you a simple example. A corporate owned T.V. network also owns a piece of a major telephone company. That telephone company is on strike by its union's workers. Don't expect the news coverage of this network to be particularly positive about the strike. And don't expect it to be putting out positive stories about the union. Increasingly, however, recent years have seen the proliferation of news sites that knowingly manufacture and tell outlandish lies and falsehoods. They of course have a political agenda, but that agenda has to be concealed as it runs counter to the interests of those it seeks to influence.

They have more than a point of view, which by itself would be understandable. They lie to deceive and confuse you. To make you hate and despise the very thing that you might otherwise endorse. To make you vote against your own interests because of a label that is attached to health legislation.

Take Fox News. It is directly tied to one of the political parties, the Republican Party to be precise. It slants all stories it reports to compliment the agenda of the Republican Party. Which is corporate domination and control of government, eventual privatization of social security, drastic cuts to social programs and health care spending, opposition to trade unions, anti-choice, opposition to raising the minimum wage, and massive military spending. The Democrats are also influenced by the same corporate donors, but is at times willing to support of defend legislation that favors the working and middle class. However, to use a Native American expression, they often speak with a "forked tongue", and in practice mostly serve the interests of the upper classes and Wall Street as well. But it is important to note that there are some progressive forces in the Democratic Party, and they do at times support legislation beneficial to the American public as a whole.

Take the example of Obama Care (The Affordable Care Act). While by no means an ultimate solution to our country's health care deficiencies, it did succeed in lowering rates and increasing the number of insured Americans by 20 - 25 million. The Republicans called it Obama Care (instead of The Affordable Care Act) in an effort to exploit racism and convince many Americans it was only for blacks, and called insuring tens of millions of Americans "a disaster." Made it's destruction number one of their agenda. Whatever it was, getting health insurance for 20 million Americans was not a disaster. And of course it aided both whites and blacks. When the Republican's cynical plan was finally exposed, millions of misled Americans who got insurance because of the Obama Care subsidies finally objected to it's repeal without even replacing it. And there was no plan in place, even after 7 years of propaganda, to replace it with anything. Their nefarious plans failed only because Americans across the country occupied the offices of Republican Senators and exerted tremendous pressure not to repeal Obama Care without something better.

"They of course have a political agenda, but that agenda has to be concealed as it
runs counter to the interests of those it seeks to influence."

The goal of fake news in this type of situation is to spread lies, misinformation, and slanders about the supporters of Obama Care without it being attributed to an identifiable source or their own candidates. So if the lie is exposed, nobody on their side gets hurt. It can be hard at times to know who is lying and who may be telling the truth.

Russian Interference in the 2016 Election
It's worth describing, however briefly, how Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Mr. Trump get elected. The Trump campaign, with direct assistance from the Russian dictator, used sophisticated targeted emails and had Russian hackers set-up Facebook accounts saturated with fake news and backed by links to phony fake news outlets sent to those individuals it suspected might be persuaded to support him. Email addresses have become a billion dollar industry, and each one is now ranked according to your suspected political views, shopping habits, hobbies, etc. So if you have the money you can purchase email lists for these characteristics. As these places also likely have your zip code, they also know where you live. In the days before the election, they flooded the selected email addresses with their propaganda.

There is growing information becoming available being gathered by prosecutors working under a special prosecutor that confirms direct connections and cooperation between Russian government officials and the Trump campaign, and that used fake news and targeted emailing in the days before the election. And Putin, the super rich, former KGB head, and current dictator of Russia, allows nothing of this sort to happen in Russia without his direct support and control.


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