How do Americans discern truth from fiction in this era of fake news? By now, any American who doesn’t have their head in the sand should have lost any faith they ever had in the news media as the 4th estate of government, the de facto examiner and investigator of government. One survey reveals 95% of those Americans polled are “troubled by fake news.” How can Americans find the truth when, according to a Pew Research Center study: 69% say the federal government withholds important information from the public 61% say the news media ignores important stories 58% of adults are not confident people can hold civil conversations with those who have different views 57% are not confident people will cast informed votes in elections
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How do Americans discern truth from fiction in this era of fake news?
By now, any American who doesn’t have their head in the sand should have lost any faith they ever had in the news media as the 4th estate of government, the de facto examiner and investigator of government.
- 69% say the federal government withholds important information from the public
- 61% say the news media ignores important stories
- 58% of adults are not confident people can hold civil conversations with those who have different views
- 57% are not confident people will cast informed votes in elections
More troubling, a Northeastern University survey reveals 45% of students are not confident that they could readily distinguish between real and fake news.
There is little question that the news media has historically been the conduit for government propaganda, whether it be war, vaccines, taxes, gas mileage, food, foreign aid, war, or the enforcement of law that is in discussion.
The CIA’s Operation Mockingbird, the enlistment of hundreds of journalists to manipulate public opinion even inside the United States, is the most well-known covert slayer of the truth.
Trump versus American journalism
No cognizant American has missed the current grenade-throwing match between the news media and the President of the United States. It must be particularly gnawing that the news media itself, in its “Never Trump” stance actually brought Mr. Trump, as an “outsider,” into office.
In the top ten news stories of the day, at least half involve Trump. Ironically, it is said CNN’s ratings would be “in the toilet without Donald Trump.” Without this political drama (e.g. Trump versus CNN/MSNBC), some news agencies would predictably go out of business. How can the pursuit of truth be primary when a contest between news media and the Oval Office is in play? This has become a personal vendetta in newsrooms.
The news media has aided and abetted the polarization of the country – never-Trumpers are viewing CNN; MAGA Trump supports FOX NEWS. There is no objective news reporting.
Tucker Carlson of FOX NEWS says: “Trump’s opponents have no problem with the President’s lies but despise him the most when he tells the truth.”
The embedding of so many inside-the-White House spies and turncoats, along with plants inside the State Department by its former corrupt Secretary, and appointment of anti-Trump judges, has left President Trump to only trust himself. Even he, with all of the intelligence resources at his hand, certainly cannot trust the intelligence community (CIA, NSA, FBI) that schemed against his very election.
Inside government, career bureaucrats want to usurp Executive Branch decision making. For example, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Vindman, of Ukraine-Congressional-hearing fame, has expressed a belief that foreign policy in the U.S. should be managed by a professional class of bureaucrats rather than an elected President.
President Trump, not wanting to be undermined, essentially took decision-making responsibilities away from the State Department, cut its budget and made it a feckless organization. Truth is, the President is the President, not anyone else.
I imagine Trump wanted to cut off any opportunity the State Department would undercut his authority as an elected President as occurred in 1963 when the State Department, due to an alleged “clerical error,” never forwarded a letter from President John F. Kennedy to the Soviet Union’s Nikita Krushchev regarding prospects of a de-escalation of the Cold War between Russia and the U.S. That letter that surfaced only after JFK was assassinated. (This fact is revealed in Robert F. Kennedy Jr’s. new book AMERICAN VALUES, p. 252).
Truth that is delayed becomes truth that is denied. That becomes obvious in investment decisions when stock prices lag behind real-time.
News reporting or advancing cultural changes?
Today, the pursuit of truth in newsrooms is not as much about issues of governance but rather cultural changes that force a leftist, progressive world view on Americans. The creditability of the news media is obviously brought into question when it embraces gender neutral issues.
The news media denies obvious observational evidence that a male or female is a “man” or “woman.” CBS News brings the public a report entitled: “Gender Identity Terms You Need To Know.” There was a time when people who were confused about which gender they are were considered to have mental problems. Modern medicine classifies this as an aberration called gender dysphoria. Yet in today’s world, a man with a beard dressed as a woman may elect to be a non-man. An NBC News report says so. The news media continues to parade events in the life of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea, the latter who says “someone with a beard/ penis can identify as female.”
The news media prods Americans to deny their biology and accept gender fluidity. In doing so, the news media is denying observational truth. And Americans are relying on the evening TV news to sort out issues concerning their welfare and future? The American politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan, once said: “People are entitled to their own opinions but not to their own facts.”
To disagree with someone these days is to cross with their belief in what is true. Vernon Howard once said: “truth is not a matter of personal viewpoint.”
To tell the truth
While Americans are compelled to be truthful personally, and will pay a penalty for lying in court or to the government, this is what really goes on behind the scenes in government:
“I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.” – Mike Pompeo, former US Secretary of State
Fewer lies in science and medicine?
There is the thought that truth in science and medicine has more certainty. But science and medicine are also being manipulated.
Examine how modern medicine’s sleight of hand has intentionally ignored an old drug, nitroglycerin, in favor of stents in coronary arteries that have not been show to save lives. Or how manipulation of a scientific study hides the fact vitamin therapy would save a half-million lives a year from sepsis, a bloodstream infection that is the leading cause of hospital death. Or how statin cholesterol drugs have been falsely presented to reduce the risk for mortal heart attacks when they are only 1% effective in reducing the risk for a non-mortal heart attack. There is mass deception in modern medicine. The news media biggest advertiser is Big Pharma. Americans are being misled by the news media and paying the price for falsehoods and deceptions in medicine with their lives.
It was German Nazi politician Joseph Goebbels who uttered the famous phrase: “The bigger the lie, the more it will be believed.”
What do you mean vaccines don’t work?! Well not all of the time. In fact, it is natural rather than vaccine-induced immunity that is making vaccines look like they are effective. The prevalence of most infectious diseases that American school children are vaccinated against, whooping cough (pertussis), chicken pox (varicella), measles, diphtheria, polio, all dramatically declined before vaccines were developed. This fact is hidden from the American people. Public hygiene, the Pure Food & Drug Act, food/vitamin fortification, chlorination of water, eradicated most of these communicable diseases, not vaccines. The infectious disease outbreaks you read about today are largely caused by the immunity produced by synthetic vaccines wearing off. Polio vaccination now causes more infection than the polio virus naturally circulating in the population. You just won’t hear of these truths from the news media.
What to make of climate change and predictions of global warming? Economist Martin Armstrong, using cold waves that hit North America in 1936 and the dust bowl earlier in the 1930s, says there is no evidence for human-induced climate change. Armstrong cites evidence showing 95% of climate models have been found to be in error. Armstrong correlates climate changes with sunspots, not fossil fuel burning. While a climate change apocalypse is predicted with accompanying mass food shortages, the world produces enough food for 10 billion people. Sea levels may rise over time as icebergs melt, but only by two feet (0.6 meters). We are reminded that one-third of The Netherlands is below sea level and exists without apocalyptic consequences.
Yet, NBC News has created a new climate change unit dedicated to covering the global environment that debuted with a “Climate In Crisis” report. Is TV news creating crises to capture audiences? It appears news agencies are overcommitted to climate change despite inconsistent or contrary evidence. Honest and sincere efforts to find the truth about climate change should explore pro and con positions. Where do we find those types of discussions in the news arena?
Climate change devotees have embraced their belief with the fervor and zeal of a religion. According to two polls, ~75% of Americans believe humans fuel climate change. Yet truth is not validated by numbers. It was W. Somerset Maugham who said: “The fact that a great many people believe something is no guarantee of its truth.”
Turning the tables
Entities that are accused of proffering untruths have learned to turn the tables on their opponents. The “fake news” press is running a counter campaign against Donald Trump for his “relentless assault on the free press” in America. In the medical arena, the journal of Medical Ethics reports about 26% of scientific papers were retracted for fraud between 2000-2010, really a very small percentage, but this is a considerable increase over this time period. But medical journal retractions can be censorship.
The most recent egregious doctoring of a scientific paper that was assailed by news press around the world dealt with mispositioning of what are called Western Blot images by Dipak K. Das, PhD, who wrote over 500 peer-reviewed papers and was a reviewer of research grants for the National Institutes of Health. Western blots appear like ink dots and display the amount of gene protein (gene activation).
Das’ work involving resveratrol, which demonstrated this red wine molecule protects the heart prior to heart attack and limits damage to the heart should a heart attack occur, far better than any aspirin tablet. Dr. Das’ papers were called into question and retractions were ordered by journal editors. Yet subsequent published studies validated Das’ retracted studies. In this instance retractions appear to have be used to rub out scientific discovery that threatened the status quo. Resveratrol is a molecule that would theoretically replace more than 20 top-selling prescription drugs. Ironically, modern pharmacology makes “truth serum” (sodium thiopental). It ought to take a dose of its own medicine.
Open discussion non-existent
Mary Beth Bonacci writes: “Open discussion of controversial issues is almost nonexistent on most college campuses. Of course. If I have my truth and you have your truth, what would be the point?… If we can’t come to an agreement about whose truth is truer, then the only option left is force. And so, instead of listening to what you have to say, I attempt to forcibly shut you down. I smash windows. I disrupt your talk. Or, alternatively, I call on the authority of the university to do that dirty work for me while I hide in a safe space with my crayons and puppy videos.”
Truth must be fixed and predetermined. There will be no explorations into what the truth is.
I saw it with my own eyes
Of course, what is observable can be electronically manipulated today to mislead the public at the cost of truth. How do we as Americans know a video image of the President speaking is for real? Real-time motion capture technology can transform any world leader into a virtual puppet.
Blurring the difference between fact and fiction
Brian Cross, posting at Producer.com, writes:
Is it just me, or is it getting harder to tell the difference between fact and fiction?
Do we believe the majority of the world’s climate scientists, who claim that global climate change will have real and costly consequences for the planet and its inhabitants?
Or do we believe those who say climate change science is bunk — a fictional construct whose only purpose is to reorganize wealth through carbon taxes and other commercially restrictive policies?
Choosing a belief system is one of life’s most difficult, most important and most time-consuming occupations.
And that is precisely the point. These closely-held “truths” become an unalterable belief system. Yes, a world view. A religion if you may.
George Orwell, author of Animal Farm, wrote: “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.”
Learn to recognize falsehoods
I think it is important to recognize falsehoods when you see and hear them.
For example, below is a street photo on the 600 block of Boyleston Street in Boston, of those who were allegedly injured in a bombing on April 15, 2013. Notice the bright red blood, which is stage blood used in making movies. Real blood oxidizes rapidly and turns dark.
Some truths about truth:
- “One great disadvantage to the cause of truth is, its being so often in the hands of liars.” -Fulke Greville
- “Truth hurts. Maybe not as much as jumping on a bicycle with its seat missing, but it hurts.” – Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun 2½.
- It was Winston Churchill who said: “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.” This is especially true when someone’s income stream is threatened by the truth. Doctors frequently hear from their patients of the cures produced by vitamins and herbal remedies. They take a pass and stand in denial. Doctors stock answer is that these remedies are unproven (but not disproven).
- Harsh truths can be ignored for good reasons. I talked with a cabby in New York a couple of years after 9-11. I was bringing up various inconsistencies (example: collapse of Building 7) in news reports about this event. The cabby said:
“If 9-11 is true, then we have no hope.”
So, 9-11 is an unpleasant truth maybe Americans don’t want to deal with. One author says: “our national sport is a mixture of denial and evasion, anything that means we do not have to face uncomfortable, challenging truths.”
- Also be wary of the truth. Brian H. McGill said: “Truth is often the favorite tool of those who deceive.” “A truth that’s told with bad intent beats all the lies you can invent.” – William Blake
- Lies travel faster than truth. Mark Twain once said: “A lie travels round the world while truth is putting her boots on.” In WWII, the Japanese didn’t conduct a “surprise” raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a date “which will live in infamy” said President Roosevelt. S. intelligence intercepted the coded “East Wind Rain” message from Tokyo to its worldwide diplomatic stations on December 4. The U.S. had prior warning. The telegram of that interception never got to Washington DC till the day following the attack.
Also, the Gulf of Tonkin report, that Vietnam had fired on a U.S. Navy ship, never occurred. This event is what prompted the U.S. to go to war. These reported events rapidly travelled around the world and indelibly altered modern history. “In time of war, truth is always replaced by propaganda,” said Charles Lindbergh.
- In church I often hear not to cast doubt about God and His promises. But faith must be rooted in fact. Examination of faith keeps us from falling for false gods and religions. It was Ambrose Bierce who said: “Who never doubted, never half believed. Where doubt is, there truth is – it is her shadow.” William Penn said: “Truth never lost ground by inquiry.”
- “There is no middle ground. What is not true is false.” –Henry F. Kletzing
Public narratives are being artificially launched by the news media and government. The definition of public narrative is the practice of translating values into action. Many Americans have lost their lives buying into false narratives (phony wars- Vietnam, Iraq, Syria), fake disease (pre-diabetes, high cholesterol), needless surgery). In my seven decades of life I have never experienced so many Americans talking about what is going on in their country. Sadly, too many Americans are being misled. It is an important time to discern truth from fiction. Americans will have to sidestep their own institutions and sources of news and information to find the truth.