Earlier this week I spent hours writing an analysis of an article produced by The New York Times, which turned out to be “fake news,” ultimately making my article also fake news. The fake part of the story was that, “in a move being pushed by National Security advisor H.R. McMaster himself, the Trump Administration has made the collective decision to fire Rex Tillerson as US Secretary of State, the Nations top Diplomatic position, and will replace him with current CIA Director Mike Pompeo sometime later this month.”
As if that was not enough, I also first learned this story watching CNN on television, whom reported that “after Pompeo is promoted, the position is said to have been offered to Bob Corker, a Republican Senator from Tennessee whom currently serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee.” However, this also turned out to be “fake news” and completely false. If you go back and reference the article by The New York Times, they claim Tom Cotton would become the next Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
It should go without saying, but this sort of reporting is very troubling and continues to become more of a problem by the day. We are literally talking about the Secretary of State and Director of the CIA here, these are not just random people or “nobody’s” in society, these are important people serving in some of the most important positions in our Government and around the world. To write false reports about these people and their futures, saying that their positions will no longer exist, literally changes the face of international relations and the current political landscape.
It can not be acceptable to write stories like The New York Times did last week, people can’t be allowed to write whatever they want about anyone they want, especially when it comes to some of the most important people and events in our society. Not only does this undermine the public’s faith in our Government and Press, but it could also end up influencing international relations as a result. In effect, this can and does effect our very “National Security.” We are not talking about “Freedom of the Press” here, we are talking about people bending/twisting their “1st Amendment Rights” specifically with the intent of causing other people harm, stress, harassment or political damage. These are not the same thing.
The Trickle Down Effect of Fake News on Society
Observing how fake news spreads around the internet and world, when I first heard the news that Tillerson was exiting as Secretary of State I was outraged at the early morning news for not reporting on this issue, instead choosing to block off a large portion of every show to cover the verdict of a recent illegal immigration trial. As a result of this, in an attempt to counter-act the lack of attention “the story” was getting on American news, I spent several hours drafting an analysis of Tillerson firing, as well as a rationale for why it may have been happening. Once again, all time and effort in vain, considering that my article was written in response to The New York Times article earlier that day, which turned out to be completely fabricated/false.
In what world is the appointment new Secretary of State and CIA Director mid-term not bigger news than the trial of some illegal immigrant on the same day? Come on American media, that is so weak. Then people wonder why American society is so ill informed, uneducated and afraid
— Legacy Medi4 (@legacymedi4) December 1, 2017
As an example of how fake news spreads online, not only did I I write that story for this site, but I also published it through Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook, where I have over 20,000 combined followers – the vast majority of which live overseas. Who knows how many people saw or read these headlines in their feeds, or took it for truth? I have since un-published the article from my site and removed it from social media, but the content was already online for well over 24 hours by that point. Never-mind my small platform, how many millions of people saw The New York Times original article and also took it for truth across their network?
When the press get away with lying about some of the most important people or issues in the world, we have a very serious problem which effects an unnamed number of people. I think the mistake made by The New York Times last week is particularly egregious, and serves as the perfect time/excuse to start demanding higher standards of our countries journalists, publishers and news outlets alike. There simply has to be ramification for “slander” and “libel” of this proportion going forward, the press can not continue on in this path. Perhaps just as our Government and Democracy is fundamentally broken right now, so too is the press in this country.