The Problem with Fake News by Bill Storie
Haven’t we heard enough about Fake News this past few weeks?
It seems the phrase has just materialized in the political world and now every time we read a newspaper or turn on the television we ask ourselves if we are seeing Fake News or whether we can actually rely on it. I can’t understand why Fake News has suddenly become the buzz phrase. Haven’t we always had Fake News?
When Brutus said that he liked Julius Caesar and everyone heard him, was he guilty of Fake News?
When Neville Chamberlain came back to London from meeting Hitler in Berlin and said, “Peace in our time”, was that Fake News?
When the New England Patriots said at half-time last Sunday, “We won’t win the Super Bowl this year,” was that Fake News?
My point is that the world has been full of lies and misrepresentations for centuries. I think we used to call it “Lying”, but in today’s politically correct world we somehow need to find a softer way to say that. People seem to be offended if we call them liars. How come?
If people intentionally make up stories or fabricate full-blown fantasies, then wouldn’t they be liars? I think so. If, on the other hand, you get something wrong through no fault of your own and share the untruth, then you are guilty of a misdemeanor – yet to make matters worse, very few people will step up and admit their mistake. They know it was wrong yet they want to hide their mistake. That’s another type of character I don’t like. Not at all.
Unfortunately, nowadays thanks to social media we are inundated with rubbish on our mobile phones, websites, television and print media. No-one seems to care. It’s Ok if some clown spouts off about something that they know very little about, yet seem to possess a divine right to talk trash. Engage brain before opening mouth.
To make matters worse of course we rely on Archimedes Principle, which basically says that if you talk trash and get away with it, then anyone who hears you will still float in the bath, so who cares?
Seriously, why do so many so-called experts insist on expressing their narrow-minded views on us, the public-at-large? Why do we let them get away with it? Why do have half-baked celebrities think they have the right to speak on my behalf?
Yet we don’t have to wander too far from our own back doors to run up against Fake News so to speak.
One of my biggest irritations in this retirement business is investment explanations, especially regarding pensions. I’m not an investment expert and don’t usually second-guess those investment gurus who allege they know how to invest. No, my gripe is when they camouflage their own misdemeanors by intentionally confusing rate of return on your pension fund.
The trick is to tell you how well the fund has done “since inception” or “this year”. They completely fail to tell you that since YOU joined the fund, the performance has been woeful. Maybe they can’t work it out certainly, but they should be able to do so. Of course, they may be on commission so if you pull your funds away from them, their kids won’t eat. Aw !!!
Would that type of behavior be classified as Fake News?
I’m afraid the days of honesty, integrity and respect for others is a long-gone feature of life today. We are awash in badly-thought arguments, or immature punditry, or maybe we just are so used to people lying to us that we smile and get on with our lives anyway. The word “shame” has been deleted from every dictionary in the world.
Ok I’m done.
And by the way, if you think my article this week is nothing other than Fake Opinion, think again. I detest fake people with fake ideas and fake opinions that are totally self-serving. I even hate fake tans !!
You can disagree with me as much as you like. You can even Tweet about my thoughts, just don’t classify it as Fake News. It isn’t.
By Bill Storie