by cheri sabraw
Since Donald Trump took office, we have been bombarded by the words fake news.
Fake is not a new word ( 1790-1810) but is without a definitive origin. Curious.
The word fake connotes many images, few of them aesthetically beautiful or authentic but most of them acceptable to a large portion of the global society.
We in the developed world have grown accustomed to fakeness–in leather, meat, luxury goods, breasts, fingernails, personalities, orgasms, resumes, lawns, jewelry, enhanced photography,and even in extra virgin olive oil from Italy.
Places like Las Vegas and Hollywood are the epicenters of American Fake.
We rationalize why we like fake: more affordable and interesting, more attractive and sophisticated, more convenient and time-saving. Healthier. Safer. Prettier. Sexier. Alas, our pedestrian lives are SO boring.
The list of the fake grows like Jack’s GMO Beanstalk–taller and taller. Everything from fake pharmaceuticals to currencies to advertising to education has a back room of full of fake.
But what has happened? The back room has become the front room.
Steroid-laced electronic carrier pigeons like Facebook and Twitter drop fake news poop worldwide in the time it takes to blink twice (2/3 of a second).
In newsrooms (virtual or concrete), the millenial rush to be the first reporter or collegen anchor to break a news story, the first to portray the sensational, the first to draw attention to one’s news outlet (and oneself!) surpasses the importance of fact-checking because doing so is la-bor-ious. Besides, dude, literally ,someone else might get the story out first. Yup!
Fake, simply put, is out of control.
To call into question not only the content of the news but also those who promulgate it now dominates the front room.
News agencies are nervous for good reason.
Their credibility is front page real news. In fact, they are making it news!
They have an opportunity to restore their reputations as viable checks and balances to the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government but will they?
I hope so.