The dominant narrative on the left these days is that “fake news” tricked the American people into electing Donald Trump president. The people just didn’t know how awesome Hillary is because they were misinformed. Websites like Facebook are now cracking down on “fake news” stories after facing criticism for the way such misinformation affected the election.
The richest ironies of the fake news narrative, however, come from none other than Buzzfeed.
Yet, Buzzfeed is also leading the charge against the scourge of fake news. About three weeks ago, Smith claimed that fake news is a “global crisis.”
Besides producing asinine clickbait like “Your Pizza Preferences Will Determine How Rich You’ll Be,” Buzzfeed’s writers also see themselves as society’s political correctness enforcers. Last week, “news reporter” Kate Arthur wrote a hit-piece against the stars of HGTVs “Fixer Upper,” Chip and Joanna Gaines. The couple attends an evangelical megachurch in their hometown of Waco, TX. Their church upholds traditional Christian beliefs, including marriage as an institution between one man and one woman. Apparently this disqualifies them from serving their community or hosting a show enjoyed by thousands of Americans.
There are a number of pieces like this on the site. The latest of these involves General James Mattis, the current nominee for Secretary of Defense. Former Republican Congressman Allen West posted a meme on his Facebook page that claimed President-elect Trump nominated Mattis to “exterminate Muslims.” The site’s editor in chief, Ben Smith, called on Gen. Mattis to respond to the meme, and Mattis’s lack of response was enough for Smith to call the general out on Twitter.
People are dying at alarming rates from terrorism, an opioid crisis, and crippling socialism. We also have Christians being martyred all over Africa. But to Buzzfeed, internet memes are the REAL threat.
Which is it, Mr. Smith? Are we going to value serious news or push the fake news that supports our narrative?
I say, physician, heal thyself.
Charges of fake news also emanate from the extreme right, and heir charges of liberal bias hold more weight. Yet, we cannot totally write off journalism as a legitimate profession only because of such bias. In journalism, moderation is a cardinal virtue, and we as critically-thinking members of society ought to uphold such moderation.
It appears we are now looking down the pipe at the “post-truth” age. Despite all the negative implications that reality might bring, let’s keep up the unrelenting search for actual truth.