Op/Ed: The REAL Fake News

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Today, the term 'Fake News' is firmly entrenched in our lexicon. It seems everyone from Trumpite retirees, to neo-political millennials, freely toss around the phrase. The term was even recognized as, "The Word of the Year" by UK-based Collins Dictionary.

Candidate Trump didn't actually invent the term. He copied it from political satirists who were using the term a decade prior to his run for the White House. "The Most Trusted Name in Fake News" was a sort of on-air tagline used by the Daily Show. Jon Stewart and company, would mock some of the unbelievable news stories of the day with their comical brand of Fake News. And this kind of political satire isn't limited to just the Comedy Central channel.

It has even crept into the fringes of network news with the likes of Dennis Miller appearing on Fox News and Mo Rocca on CBS and MSNBC. It was all intended as a joke; a means to illicit a laugh via a political prism.


Beltway Insider: US, UK, Allies Unite Expel USSR Diplomats; Cold War Revisited; Kemerovo; Roseanne Reboot


But the many Trump mentions of the phrase employ an entirely different tactic. Any article or report that casts him in an unfavorable light (given his public performance, this has become a very broad spectrum) he slams as Fake News.

The motive here is, with a simple dismissive utterance, to cast doubt onto the facts behind a story and quickly move the focus elsewhere. But, there's more to it. There is a deeper, more malicious intent at work here where the hope is to discredit the reporter, the organization they work for and even the entire news industry.

During the 2016 campaign, NBC's Katy Tur was a major recipient of Trump's Fake News vitriol. Because of her unyielding factually correct reporting, she was called "disgraceful" and "third rate." He then took aim at her employer tweeting, "With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their license." This use of Fake News is a far cry from political satire. There is nothing funny about shutting down a long respected and vital institution like NBC News.

A more accurate description of Fake News refers to the ongoing and sinister efforts of foreign governments, namely Russia, that plant completely fictitious stories online in an attempt to generate a viral, feeding-frenzy of those stories. These are truly artificial news reports devoid of any journalistic research or genuine reporting. They are logarithmically constructed by foreign trolls with the sole intent of creating distraction and disruption within our political election process.

It's estimated that such posts were viewed by 120 million Americans during the 2016 election. It is impossible to determine whether any voters were swayed as a result of these Russian internet bots. But, it is an absolute certainty, verified by the CIA, NSA, and FBI that this was the work of outside agents wishing to sabotage Democracy…OUR Democracy by means of very real Fake News (or opinions viewed as news) postings. Some in Congress have called it an act of war.

And, with the recent Cambridge Analytica discoveries, it is becoming clearer that the very real online Fake News is omnipresent and not going away.

It is more than just a mistake to call the accurate reporting of legitimate new outlets fake. There has always been and will always be unfavorable reporting about the President; all presidents. The truth sometimes hurts.


Chappaquiddick Review - Powerful, True Life Drama Resonates


The misapplication of the term Fake News is an egregious error on the part of a temperamental President and his ardent followers because doing so conceals the real danger. Cloaked in Fake (internet) News, our Russian enemy is pouring through our porous cyber gates. If enemy planes invaded our airspace, or submarines patrolled our coasts, there would most certainly be a different bipartisan reaction.    

When special counsel Robert Mueller has indicted thirteen Russians and three Russian entities, "accused of violating U.S. criminal laws in order to interfere with U.S. elections and political processes", some choose to look the other way. The apparent main instigator, Yevgeny V. Prigozhin, denied the charges saying, "The Americans are very impressionable people; they see what they want to see."

Of course, he did. What else was he going to say? "Yes, I made millions as Putin's caterer, but my real endeavor was to run the Internet Research Agency, through which I disrupt American democracy by undermining their political process. That might make Putin upset. Simply put, if given a choice and we certainly do have one, I choose to believe Robert Muller over an indicted Russia or Russian dictator.

It seems some of us red-blooded Americans sometimes fail to remember that Russia is a failed super power whose system of government collapsed in shambles. They are our sworn enemy and will do anything to regain their lost prominence on the world's stage, especially if it comes at our expense.

And yet, our President refuses to identify Russia as an enemy. He's called our own news media the enemy of the American people. It is perplexing, even disturbing that he is so reticent to identify Russia, with all of their very real cyberthreats, as the real enemy of our way of life.

Tim Ortman is the author of Newsreal: A View Through the Lens When…. He spent 35 years working in television news, having worked for all major U.S television news networks and the Foreign Press Corps. As an Emmy-award winning cameraman and producer, his assignments have taken him to five continents, covering everything from war, revolution, terrorist attacks, and famine to Cold War Summits, the fall of Communism, Olympiads and Olympic Park bombings, presidential elections and the occasional press conference. Connect with Tim on Twitter, @TimOrtmanWriter.

Lead image created by Janet Walker; Image of Tim Ortman courtesy of Linkedin.

Haute Tease

  • Machiavélisme ou Diplomatie

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Si le rapprochement des deux Corée permettra d'apaiser les tensions qui paralysent la région, le renvoi de la dénucléarisation de la Corée du Nord à un avenir indéterminé offre à Kim Jong Un un moyen de pression à même d'influer sur les négociations actuelles ou à venir.  

  • Valentine’s Day Delights - Sweet Gear for Sports and Fitness ‘Lovers’

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Valentine’s Day is nearing and love is in the air. This enviable emotion isn’t shared just between the living, as untold millions adore their sports and fitness endeavors just the same. For many in this crowd, perspiration is as alluring as an Eau de Parfum. And, the only thing they love more than a good sweat are gadgets and gear that keep them at the top of their game.  

  • Italy’s Finest Crowned At Salon Privé 2017 During Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance Spectacular

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Reaffirming its place as the UK’s finest Concours celebration, 2017’s Chubb Insurance Concours d’Elégance saw some of the world’s rarest and most spectacular classic cars battle it out on the prestigious grounds of Blenheim Palace on Thursday 31st August.

     
  • The Perfect Red Carpet Ready Fit Is As Close As SKYPE for Celebrities Seeking Paul Vasileff’s Paolo Sebastian Label

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    CELEBRITIES are taking to Skype to be fitted by South Australian based couture designer Paul Vasileff for red carpet events by the leading fashion designer who has embraced the technology from half a world away.

     
  • UPDATED: From CANNES: Juanita Onzaga's short film "Our Song to War" has been selected for the Directors' Fortnight in Cannes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    OUR SONG TO WAR by Juanita Onzaga is nominated for the  L’ŒIL D'OR  – Documentary Award at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. L’Œil d'or recognises documentaries selected for the festival and will be presented on Saturday, May 19th. 

     
  • Beltway Insider: Obama Initiates Action Year; Christie’s Traffic Jam; December Job Report; Iran Sees Aid

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama returned to Washington, from his Hawaiian Christmas holiday, heralding 2014 an “Action Year” and calling on every American to work together to capitalize on the economic gains of the past year.  

     
  • Inside Out Review – A Fun Filled Neon Trip Down Memory Lane

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Inside Out, from Walt Disney Pictures and PIXAR, brings to life the team of emotions inside the mind of an adolescent tween as they help her cope with the cross country move as her family begins a new life from her Minnesota roots.

     
  • Holiday Travel: See How the Cost of a Flight Has Changed Since 1963

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

     

    The so-called "Golden Age" of flying -- a vibrant era of luxury in which the comfort and enjoyment of the passenger was put first. These were the '50s and '60s, before the jumbo jet made airline travel much cheaper and more accessible to the public.

     
  • Juno Jupiter Mission Produces Intense Images Released by NASA

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    NASA, The National Aeronautics and Space Agency, recently released images of an animated low-flyer over of Jupiter's North Pole catching a major cyclones circled by eight smaller cyclones, producing an intense animated version of the actual weather patterns on Jupiter.

     
  • Annual DreamBall and DreamBall After Dark Benefit Scheduled for September in New York City

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The twenty-ninth annual DreamBall, benefitting the Look Good Feel Better® program of the Personal Care Products Council Foundation and the American Cancer Society, will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2013, at Cipriani 42nd Street.

     
  • Alien Covenant Review - White Knuckle, Pulsating Fear, A Pure Adrenalin Rush

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Alien Covenant, from TSG Entertainment, Scott Free Productions, and Twentieth Century Fox Films, presents an over the top epic space age horror story, a planet haunted from an evil past setting up the ultimate fight for survival.

     
  • Christie’s Auction Sells Picasso for Record $179Million; Giacometti Sets Sculpture Record

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Christie's Auction House, in an invitation only evening sale, aided by private buyers worldwide, attained dizzying results achieving a record breaking 705 million dollars against the 35 pieces of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary Art available in the Looking Forward to the Past lot.

     
  • Robb Vices Luxury Subscription - The Haute Life Delivered

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Robb Report, a name synonymous with luxury lifestyles the world over, has initiated a new membership subscription service which allows those who pursue of the good life to have delicious, luxurious haute items delivered monthly.

     
  • Beach Bag Essentials for Your Staycation or Tropical Destination from Whole Foods Market

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Finally, summer is upon us and it is time to brighten up your beach tote even if it’s just for a day at the pool. Here’s a short list of Haute-Lifestyle.com’s favorite new beach bag essentials to help prepare you for sizzling summer days!

     
  • Snatched Review - Raucous, Bawdy, Hilarious Fun

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Snatched, from Chernin Entertainment, and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp, presents a girl’s gone wild night out that becomes a cat and mouse race as our girls lean on ingenuity, necessity, and each other as they escape foreign kidnappers.