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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Fake news, about fake news. Oh, really?

"Fake news" is being discussed at length. More importantly, the ridiculous lies people are willing to believe. A man fired a shot in a pizza parlor because of a work of fiction dressed up as news. One can only hope the shooter, carrying a lethal looking rifle, was appropriately embarrassed. Of course, it only stands to reason that fake news did not force him to grab his frightening rifle, drive to the pizza place and shoot, he did that on his own.

Having grown up during the Vietnam War, and Watergate it is easy to view anything the government says with a healthy dose of skepticism. Having witnessed the rise of cable news networks and their pronounced lean it is increasingly easy to doubt the press.

President Elect Donald Trump tweeted his outrage over the cost of the new Air Force One  (of which, it seems there are at least two, another bit of government generated misinformation) and the press went into a frenzy. Though, his numbers seem apocryphal it has become a hurricane of reporting. Another reason to worry about the accuracy of the press.

It was not too long ago that President Bush stood on the deck of the Air Craft Carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and declared the mission in Iraq had been accomplished. Turns out the mission was only beginning and would soon bog down into meat grinder for thousands of brave American children. Technically, that was probably more wishful thinking than actual deceit. But, it was still untrue, even if it was unintentionally false. Never trust anyone.

Recently Life Explained Explores History had a post about Pearl Harbor. A respected, well liked member of the Life Explained staff questioned one of the points as being revisionist history. Possibly, (though it was checked several times from several sources) the more one looks the more it seems history is being written over and over again. However, the more one looks the news is likely less than accurate in most cases.

Newspapers, websites, magazines, television, radio, they are services. An old saying goes, "If it sounds too good to be true it probably is." Maybe it is time to update that. "if it sounds too good to be true, or too insane to be true, or too ridiculous to be true, no matter how much it supports beliefs you already have, it probably is." Though, it is being widely reported that reading Life Explained will make you much more popular and help you live longer. Why take a chance, right?