Republican assemblyman Travis Allen of California’s 72nd District recently slammed Governor Jerry Brown in The Washington Examiner for legalizing child prostitution in California, showing that even conservatives aren’t immune to creating fake news.
The claim that California state Senate Bill 1322 legalizes prostitution is factually incorrect. SB 1322 doesn’t authorize prostitution. SB 1322 protects minors. Minors stopped for prostitution now receive treatment instead of criminal detention. The bill also protects minors going into adulthood. Minors will not accrue lifetime criminal record under SB 1322.
This should be reason to celebrate. Calling for an end to penalizing minors who were forced into prostitution is a clear, non-partisan benefit to society as whole.
Despite the actual facts, conservatives still shared the fake news. Chairman of The Republican Party of San Diego County Tony Krvaric re-tweeted it. Stephan Molyneux, popular conservative activist and owner of media site Freedomain Radio, also shared the misinformation. Many others followed suit.
Why? Because conservatives are just as tribally biased as liberals are. However, that’s no excuse to let conservatives off the hook. That kind of thinking only creates secret servants for modern Hitlers for either side. Thus the conservative fake news offenders should be as frowned upon as much as fake news creating liberals.
In fact, conservatives should be principled enough to criticize each other without becoming uncivil. That prevents the need for liberal fact checkers. Furthermore, criticism prevents laziness and encourages clarity in expression while creating a better understanding of the facts.
Ultimately more criticism — to people of both sides of the aisle — is the only solution to preventing the fake news phenomena. If liberal fake news is the sole emphasis, the current state of journalism hardly improves. Hence, we must police ourselves first. Otherwise all credibility is lost and we remain in a never-ending state of relentless partisanship and division.