In a 1993 film, public health expert Dr. Cocteau (left) has replaced the handshake with a contactless high five. In 2020, Dr. Fauci told a podcast audience: “I don’t think we should ever shake hands again.”
It’s 2032, and a young Sandra Bullock wants to have sex with you. One thing leads to another, and she hands you a “vir-sex device.” You don’t get it. You’re a young Sly Stallone, and you’ve been frozen since 1996. What’s the problem?
She lectures you:
Lenina Huxley (Bullock) The rampant exchange of bodily fluids was one of the major reasons for the downfall of society… One of the first things Dr. Cocteau did was to outlaw and behaviorally engineer all fluid transfer out of societally acceptable behavior. Not even mouth transfer is condoned.
That was a big joke in 1993. But in 2020, the BC Centre for Disease Control must have gotten hold of the script:
The BCCDC recommends masturbation and virtual sex as the safest means of sexual gratification without risking the spread of COVID-19, keeping the number of your sex partners low — just one if possible, even better if you already live with them…
Because COVID-19 is understood to spread via respiratory droplets and “heavy breathing during sex can create more droplets that may transmit COVID-19,” the BCCDC recommends finding non-face-to-face sexual positions.
An agenda is an underlying often ideological plan or program. It may be good or bad, but where Fake News is used, rest assured the overall objective, if discovered, would not be broadly supported.
Those who write fake news first and foremost have an objective. This is also known as propaganda. It is either used to gain support for the objective or to bring disrepute to someone or something that is blocking the objective.
The objective may or may not be obvious, but if a news article is “cheering” on attacking the subject it can become obvious that there is an agenda of some sort. (Even if to just sell something.)
When reading an article or hearing a report note if it is trying to persuade you toward or away from the person, group, place, or thing being reported on. If it does, then ask yourself what the agenda is. It is likely Fake News and definitely deserves further investigation.
You pick up the newspaper and read: “There was an accident at the corner of Cleveland and Highland this morning at 2:00 A.M. involving two cars. Both drivers were under the influence of alcohol. Neither was hurt. Both were arrested for DUI. The charged drivers were Joe Doe of (address) and Joe Schmo of (address). Neither was hurt in the accident.”
You would see this as real news, right? Why? For one, you are not being asked to agree or disagree with this statement. It’s just facts.
Fake news as a tendency to elicit agreement for the subject or person being covered or to create disagreement toward the subject, person, group, etc.
Why? Because it is based on #1 above.
When you read an article, notice if it tries to elicit your agreement or tries to get you to disagree with the subject or person of interest. If it does, it is most likely Fake News with an agenda.
In the news sample above, the article is filled with specific, verifiable facts. It’s also very dry and uninteresting. You might just skip any others. To make news interesting reporters add “color” to a story by finding interesting aspects of the story that might elicit an emotional response from the reader. You are more likely to read a report with good color. But, regardless of the color added, the facts would still be present and verifiable by anyone.
Fake news contains statements that sound like a fact but are instead generalities. Facts are specific and verifiable. The time, place, and what actually occurred are facts.
Fake news is impossible to verify. It does not give when or where the event took place. Who said what, etc. It contains generalities that may or may not have happened. “Someone said…” or, “experts say…” but WHO said it isn’t given. You cannot verify who “everybody” is. Be suspicious of “anonymous sources”. That term may sound impressive and mysterious, but if a person can’t stand behind his facts, why trust him?
When reading news, see if there are facts to verify the story for yourself. If not it is most likely Fake News.
Because slander can bring lawsuits, Fake News writers always protect themselves. This is often done by covering “both sides” of a story or using Anonymous sources.
You may read a very long article asserting how someone or something is so and so. Fake news will include, usually in the last paragraph, that the evidence is not conclusive or an investigation is going on to find the facts, etc. Shouldn’t the report have already investigated in order to report the facts? Why is he reporting it if he doesn’t know?
In reading a long article about a situation, it may be a good idea to read the last few paragraphs to see if they end with having no real evidence. If so, read the article critically or skip it. It is likely Fake News.
The real news is not always pleasant. But when you are given the facts it does not leave you hanging in mystery about what is going on.
Fake News thrives on creating mystery, uncertainty, or upset. If in #1 above, your agenda was to create havoc in a town, city, or country, you could accomplish that with cleverly written Fake News. And if you had enough news outlets repeating the fake news, it certainly would seem true and would create havoc. The news is not intended to raise your spirits. So if you feel depressed by what you see and hear on TV, turn it off for a week and see if you don’t have a change of attitude.
There is no attempt here to tell you who is reporting Fake News. Only you can decide that for yourself. The above five points will help. But you are ultimately responsible for the data you consume.
If a subject or situation is important to your well being, it is your responsibility to do your own research to get the exact time, place, and what happened. Don’t just believe a “news agency or person ” until you have gone over the above points and verified they are dealing with facts and not presenting you with Fake News.
Stay truly informed.
Fake news is today’s superspreader event. Try applying Randy’s “5 Truths” to the next political blast you receive. Things will suddenly start to make more sense.
Birx gloats about sabotaging Trump’s covid response.
I wasn’t about to use the words lockdown or shutdown. If I had uttered either of those in early March, after being at the White House only one week, the political, nonmedical members of the task force would have dismissed me as too alarmist, too doom-and-gloom, too reliant on feelings and not facts. They would have campaigned to lock me down and shut me up.
No sooner had we convinced the Trump administration to implement our version of a two-week shutdown than I was trying to figure out how to extend it.
I didn’t have the numbers in front of me yet to make the case for extending it longer, but I had two weeks to get them.
~Silent Invasion: The Untold Story of the Trump Administration, Covid-19, and Preventing the Next Pandemic Before It’s Too Late by Deborah Birx
Here’s Birx on how she doctored the data to “prove” that social distancing, masks, and lockdowns were working:
After the heavily edited documents were returned to me, I’d reinsert what they had objected to, but place it in those different locations. I’d also reorder and restructure the bullet points so the most salient — the points the administration objected to most — no longer fell at the start of the bullet points. I shared these strategies with the three members of the data team also writing these reports. Our Saturday and Sunday report-writing routine soon became: write, submit, revise, hide, resubmit.
Fortunately, this strategic sleight-of-hand worked. That they never seemed to catch this subterfuge left me to conclude that, either they read the finished reports too quickly or they neglected to do the word search that would have revealed the language to which they objected. In slipping these changes past the gatekeepers and continuing to inform the governors of the need for the big-three mitigations — masks, sentinel testing, and limits on indoor social gatherings — I felt confident I was giving the states permission to escalate public health mitigation with the fall and winter coming.