The latest desperate move in the Democrats’ attempt to de-legitimise the Trump presidency is the idea of ‘fake news’, which supposedly swung the election away from the heir apparent, Hillary Clinton. To those of us who have made a study of the media – as opposed to getting a worthless degree in Media Studies – the whole notion of fake news brings a wry smile to the lips. It is now almost impossible to check the veracity of news stories unless you are a full-time, professional journalist and, if you are, you are almost certainly a creature of the Left, with all the ideological bias that implies. The news, such as it is, is defined as much by what is left out as by what is left in.
‘Fake news’ is a wonderful concept for the Left because it is, for the reasons outlined above, undisprovable. It is also pleasingly vague, like ‘racism’, ‘fascism’, ‘hate-speech’, and all the other conceptual gew-gaws used by Progressives to weaponise language. The latest move in this tawdry game is to introduce a supposedly impartial third-party ‘fact-checking’ service for social media. Naturally, it is funded by Soros – who really is giving Jewry a bad name – and it will be about as impartial as a pack of football supporters on the day of the big game. The problem here is one of infinite regress, beginning from the phrase attributed to the Juvenal of the Satires; Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who will watch the watchers?
Journalism is supposed to ‘speak truth to power’. But we must ask, as did Pilate at the trial of Christ, what is truth? And if, like myself, you are philosophically trained, you will have opened the door to the underworld. The Oxford English Dictionary bestowed its phrase of the year award, or whatever it’s called, on an interesting specimen; post-truth. Both the Left and the Right will use this phrase to bludgeon the other, and it has the wearisome connections with the lazy intellectual excesses of post-modernism and feminism, but it is noteworthy that it turns up in town at the same time as fake news. The truth is becoming increasingly unwanted, like a bow-saw in the age of cheap mechanical cutting equipment.
We are all familiar with the saw that truth is the first casualty of war, but peace is not doing a bad job of gunning her down. I say ‘her’ with an eye to the opening of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil;
“Supposing truth to be a woman…”
Nietzsche’s attitude towards women has been the subject of much conjecture, but we may assume here that he is referring to the fickle, unattainable nature of truth after which philosophers nevertheless chase in the hope of consummation. Truth certainly appeared to Boethius in his Visigothic prison cell in the form of a woman.
There are, of course, truths. We are still good Cartesians in that we view mathematical equations as truths, and this despite a recent upsurge in the idea that maths may somehow be ethnocentrically biased against – naturally – non-white folk of various hues. We recall with a sigh bonkers feminist philosopheuse Luce Irigaray and her pronouncement that “a = mc² is a sexed equation”. But to attempt to extrapolate the mathematical order of truth into the rather more unstable arena of human affairs – as Spinoza attempted in his Ethics – is not quite so simple.
But we will leave philosophy alone, for now. It is, after all, a drawing-room hobby nowadays, and has no real place in the world of events shortly arriving, unless it be as an antiquarian’s interest. Philosophy, at its Ancient Greek root, means a love of wisdom, and that is a commodity in vanishingly short supply. Let us turn to the clamour that passes for modern politics.
If fake news is the new crystal meth, then there must be a supplier. Obama, possibly the most toxic human being now living outside of a maximum security cell, has actually been rather cunning in his use of fake news. Well, he hasn’t, but the white folk who work for him have. This is what he has to say about the new bogeyman;
“If fake news that’s being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues then it’s not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect,” he remarked during a press conference at the White House on Friday.
Now, we know that the ‘foreign government’ is Russia, and Putin has emerged as the great standby Bad Guy. If, says the great Islamist enabler, these reports – and he has cited none that I have seen – are the same as ‘fake news’ spread by ‘partisan news venues’ – ie., any website not slaveringly Leftist and globalist – then QED!
What shines through, once again, is the technocrat’s maxim; We know what you do not. You are not capable of sifting through the news and deciding for yourself what does and does not seem plausible. Fortunately, the globalist Left and its provisional wing in the media is here to help you make the right choices.
In the end, tattered ragamuffins of both Left and Right will stand among the ruins of what used to be the greatest civilisation in history blaming the other side for its lies and what they have caused. The truth will be there somewhere, weeping in a basement and wondering why no one ever thought to ask her.