MARK CASERTA: So, what is fake news and how do I recognize it?

Updated 12 weeks ago Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
MARK CASERTA: So, what is fake news and how do I recognize it?

The term, “fake news” has been bandied about a lot by both sides of the political spectrum.  Its definition seems to evolve based on its political expediency.

Discerning truth in reporting means being able to recognize fake news, so allow me to define the term as I see it applying to most media outlets today.

Fake news is information presented in a manner designed to disingenuously influence rather than inform.

There are basically three types of fake news.

The first is the “outright lie” or fabrication of a story or event. A perfect example would be the liberal Democrat procurement of a “fake” dossier on Donald Trump from Christopher Steele, of Fusion GPS, who was paid by the Democrat Party to do opposition research on Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

As the investigation repeatedly failed to produce a single shred of evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, the salacious dossier was fabricated and used no less than four times to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) warrants to continue investigating Trump, hoping to “strike gold” in the progressive pursuit to cripple his presidency.

After all, liberals have already proven Trump’s failure will be more rewarding for their mission than America’s success.

The next example of fake news is “filtered reporting” that conveniently eliminates facts or details that would fail to support a desired narrative.

A good example is the recent story about a “training camp” at a New Mexico compound accused of abusing children while training them to commit heinous acts of mass murder in their schools.

The liberal media nearly “wet” themselves as they excitedly reported the story, detailing the assault style weapons, handguns, ammunition and a shooting range found at the facility. The reports included information regarding surveillance of the facility and one of the children successfully texting authorities they were all in need of food and water.

Anti-gun liberals immediately leaped on the story blaming gun rights activists and Second Amendment proponents like the NRA.  The reporting of the training facility was chocked full of details which supported the liberal narrative that “guns” were the problem and their availability was causing massacres in our schools.

But nay, nay.  The liberal media reports included some of the details of the horrific facility, but not all! Progressive pundits failed to report one critical piece of information that would have stifled their narrative in dramatic fashion.

The individuals running this training camp were Islamic jihadists!  One of the Islamists is the son of an unindicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, Siraj Wahhaj, an Imam, who had formerly offered prayer at a Democratic National Convention event in 2012.

This information was “conveniently” left out of the reporting as it didn’t support the liberal, anti-gun narrative.

Truth and integrity never seem to stand in the way of liberal news reporting. Only propagating the narrative matters.

Finally, fake news can also include “lop-sided” reporting, where a news outlet overwhelmingly presents one side of an argument while offering a “token taste” of the opposition under the guise of “balanced” reporting.

I believe we see that now, locally, from the Herald Dispatch (HD) in Huntington, WV., which seems to have succumb to its liberal cravings.

In my 14 years as a regular contributor to the paper’s opinion page, I’ve never seen it present partisan, liberal opinion it does now.  And despite being plagued by numerous critics and dwindling readership, the Herald Dispatch leadership are determined to “stay the course” in allowing their personal opinions of President Trump to dictate the balance of commentary.

It seems that not only is the First Amendment no longer important (a clause the HD should humbly remove from the paper) but also the return to advertisers and even the prosperity of their employees have now taken a back seat to their progressive political ideology.

Admittedly, the 24-hour news cycle has changed the dynamics of reporting. Each news entity is struggling to survive by being assertive and even aggressive in their reporting.  In fairness, there are some that still honor truth and integrity in journalism. They’re just hard to find.

But it’s important for each of us to know we can’t place our trust in a single news outlet for “truth-in-reporting”.  We must do our homework.  We must be cognizant of the facts and be prepared to take a stand where needed.

If we fail to arm ourselves with the knowledge needed to recognize and counter fake news, we will lose to their artful deception – plain and simple.

Sadly, when the smoke clears, it’s our country and ultimately our children who will pay for our lack of engagement.

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