"The State of The World" Number 27
Complete Index Of All Issues
Fake News - News, Or Noose?
Although some have rendered the word "news" into an acronym for North-East-West-South (supposedly to mean that it's about what's happening everywhere), the English-language word "news," which is actually just a plural form of "new," is from an Anglo-Saxon word that meant now.
"Now" and "new" were actually just different pronunciations of the same word i.e. current events are "nows," or "news."
Delivering "news" has existed right from the beginning of humanity, first by word of mouth, and then in writing (even back then, "news" had to be acceptable - otherwise, hence the origin of the plea, "Don't shoot, I'm just the messenger"). In the modern era, news was delivered by newspapers, then increasingly by radio and television, and now overwhelmingly by means of the Internet.
Regardless of how it has been delivered however, "news" also became a business that depended on customers "buying" what they are being told. News businesses that wanted to remain in existence quickly learned to not offend their customers by reporting things that they don't want to know, or reporting the "news" of an event in a way that doesn't meet with their approval. The implied demand is that "No matter how bad something truly is, we must always be reported as good and right."
Today, there are two kinds of "news" - "liberal" or "conservative," both of which exist in two political systems - dictatorships and free enterprise.
Dictatorships can be "liberal" or "conservative" (which are relative terms, depending on who is in power; see When Do Liberals Become Conservatives? and Why Are Politicians Called Left Or Right?). So too is their "news."
State-operated "official" news agencies in dictatorships, whether free-enterprise fascist, or state-ownership communist, deliver news that is either "liberal" or "conservative," according to their political philosophy. Any "news" that is offensive to the government, or to the Leader's fragile ego, regardless of how true and accurate it may be, is regarded as subversive or unpatriotic.
Are "free" countries immune from such mind control "news"? No.
The free democracies of the world pride themselves on "free speech" and "freedom of the press," which is very good, but what does it actually deliver to its customers?
Answer - the same bias, whether "liberal" or "conservative."
If any "free" news agency offends too many of its customers with a "brand" (i.e. "liberal" or "conservative") of the "news" that is unsuitable to their political or personal philosophy, they would cease to exist. All of the employees (that gullible people have traditionally called "reporters") know what they have to deliver in order to get or keep their job.
For example (the same happens in numerous "free"countries around the world), a Fox News anchor that began reporting news like a CNN anchor would be quickly fired, or a CNN anchor that began reporting news like a Fox News anchor would also be quickly fired, because their "customers" (their viewers and product sponsors) would not tolerate it. In effect, the "buyers" of news censor those who deliver it.
The English word "fake" originated from an associated French word, faux (pronounced fox) that meant an imitation, or a counterfeit. In the present-day world, where slandering political or business competitors is considered acceptable (see The Character Assassins), the accusation of "fake news" by politicians and "real news" sellers is also a means of censorship and mind control. For those under its spell, their "approved news" has become their noose.
Like a drug addict, all that they care about in their "news" is whether or not it makes them seem to feel good.