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Why you should read anything someone calls ‘Fake News’

Hilary Clinton runs a child prostitution ring in the basement of a pizza parlor. Ted Cruise’s father was the other JFK assassin. Barack Obama is an African born Muslim. Elvis was spotted buying groceries in small mid-western town.

These are the kind of stories that never seem to be labeled as ‘Fake News’. In fact, people who use the phrase ‘Fake News’ push these types of headlines as factual, including the President of the United States. Minus the Elvis story, but surely if you believe the other three headlines, there is nothing to stop you from believing in Elvis sightings, in fact an Elvis sighting is more probable.

Majority of Mexicans have a low approval of President Trump. White supremacist runs down protester with car. Unarmed black man shot and killed by police. Donald Trump wins presidency with the least votes. These are the headlines that the internet trolls label as ‘Fake News’. But they are convinced Elvis still lives. Go figure.

In all serious. People who commonly call news ‘fake’ don’t actually believe that Hilary Clinton was running a child prostitution ring, or that Obama is an African born Muslim, or Ted Cruise’s father had anything to do with the assassination of JFK. They aren’t idiots. The reason why they don’t label those kinds of headlines as ‘Fake’ is because they don’t believe them. When someone labels a news story as ‘Fake News’, it’s actually because they believe the content and feel threatened by the truth. These people seek to discredit the truth because it calls into question their own morality.

When you see people commenting ‘Fake News’ on any story in social media, you should waste no time in reading that story. The label ‘Fake News’ should instantly add credibility to a story and indicate that someone is trying to suppress the truth from you. Be proactive. Don’t allow the term ‘Fake News’ to discourage you from knowing the truth.

‘Mainstream Media’, as it has been called, is typically governed by a code of ethics in journalism, although a lot of people don’t want you to know this. Mainstream media isn’t code for CNN, it’s code for any news organization that is widely read. Mainstream means popular. These would include Breitbart, they brag about their large readership, so by default they are Mainstream media. They are so mainstream that their CEO landed a job in the White House. It doesn’t get more mainstream than that. Breitbart’s writing in amateur at best, but they aren’t in the business of publishing lies, they do follow journalistic standards. CNN, Breitbart, FOX, Huffington Post, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC. You name it, none of them are fake news, and all of them are Mainstream Media.

Case in point. Breitbart focuses on political stories, however they do occasionally cover crimes, if that crime is committed by a Latino or African American. And they are like a dog with a bone if it’s an illegal immigrant committing a crime, although illegal immigrants make up the least number of criminal arrests in the United States, compared to white American citizens. But they never seem to have enough space to publish crimes by white Americans. So people who use Breitbart as their main source of news are more likely to believe all illegals are criminals, drug dealers and rapists, because they are never told about the illegals who contribute positively to society.

Huffington Post on the other hand wouldn’t touch a crime story where the criminal is Latino or African American, and they certainly wouldn’t entertain the thought of telling the reader if the individual was illegal or not. Huffington Post serves up stories of victimized minorities, and there are plenty of them. However people who use this type of outlet as their main source of news are more willing to believe all republicans are racists and that any minority arrested is done so unjustly.

Media is money. What better way to rake in the dough than for right-leaning media to focus on stories about illegal immigrants committing crimes. Likewise, left-leaning media becomes profitable while focusing on stories of racial injustice or the victimization of minorities. Fact is, both are truthful.

You will find the same stories in left-leaning and right-leaning media organizations, it’s just what facts they choose to tell and what facts they choose to hide. That makes their stories different, but both are presenting facts, not ‘Fake News’.

For example. When an unarmed black man is shot by police right and left media take different, yet factual views in their reporting.

FOX news will cover the news from the law enforcement view. They will build sympathy among their viewers by talking about the risks police take every day. They will repeatedly make the valid point that had the black man not resisted police and allowed his civil rights to be violated he would be alive today, therefore it’s the victim’s fault.

CNN on the other hand will cover the news from the view of the victim. The victim’s family. The growing problem of police brutality. They seek to build sympathy for the victim. They tell the story that the victim was unarmed and walking home from work when police stopped him without cause and the black man rightfully demanded that the police respect his civil rights. Had the police respected civil rights the man would be alive today.

Neither stories are ‘Fake News’. They both present factual details. We don’t need to label one or the other as ‘Fake News’, they both can coexist at the same time. In fact, humanity would be better off if we were able to digest both factual sides of the story rather than feeling threatened by any truth.

It is possible to support law enforcement and also acknowledge that police brutality is a problem. Accepting CNN’s view of events doesn’t mean you are required to deny FOX’s view of the events, but that is where the term ‘Fake News’ finds it’s comfort. It’s used by people who don’t want their echo chamber of information to be challenged. It’s much easier to call something ‘Fake News’ rather than admit that in fact the old cliche ‘There’s two sides to every story’ holds truth.

In another example, I recently read a story that said Mexicans have a low approval rating of President Trump. The first comment on this story was ‘Fake News’. The individual continued to explain that he lives in Puerto Vallarta and has MANY Mexican friends, so he knows that Mexicans do not dislike President Trump. I am intrigued about these ‘Mexican friends’ he has.

It eventually was learned that this individual sales real estate in Puerto Vallarta. One can only assume that he labeled the story as ‘Fake News’ because perhaps he thought if Americans believed that Mexicans have a low opinion of their President, perhaps Americans wouldn’t feel comfortable in Mexico or buying real estate here. So his ‘Fake News’ label was about trying to hide truth that he thought was threatening to him.

I don’t know of anyone who could argue with a straight face that any suggestion that the majority of Mexicans do not approve of President Trump is somehow ‘Fake News’.

The next time you see someone call something ‘Fake News’, I encourage you to read it, quickly. It’s probably the most truthful thing you will read all day.

I don’t mean to suggest that there are not ‘fake news’ stories, all you need is a Facebook account to know people post BS all the time. However, MOST media and mainstream media do not produce fake news. Just because the truth makes you uncomfortable doesn’t mean it’s fake.

Now that I have managed to tick off liberals and conservatives in one op-ed, I think I will make myself a sandwich and let the trolling begin.

Christopher Sharp

This Op-Ed reflects the views and opinions of the author and may not reflect the views of PVDN. We encourage people to submit their opinions for publication pending approval to press@vallartadaily.com All submissions must be well-written and ready for publication. We do not approve opinion pieces containing profanity, personal attacks, libel, or defamation.

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