What’s to come of spoof news in a post-truth world. It seems a tad surreal defending satire as we approach the end of our republic, but why not? This site probably won’t survive what Trump has planned for the internet anyway. 4G Notspot? Neither the folks in charge or the general public can distinguish between spoof, satire, fakeiness or truthiness anymore. In a post-truth world there’s more overlap with these newsy flavors than a Venn diagram with codependency issues. Hell, it took the rightwing years to even figure out that Colbert was making fun of them, so of course they’ll lump all these “fake news sites” into one bucket. Bucket of …hmmm. Uh, Zano, Trump doesn’t even know the difference between Shiite and Sunni, so don’t we have bigger Daesh to drone? Maybe, but this subject is near and dear to my heart and has huge 1st Amendment implications. In fact, I’m betting Ass-Clown Hitler will use this fake news controversy as the impetus to end net neutrality and sell broadband to the highest bidder. That’s called irony.
Speaking of irony, my colleague over at Humorfeed believes we’ve shifted into a post-ironic era. E.F. Watley hones in on what Stanford’s Robert Proctor calls “agnotology”, or “a culturally constructed ignorance,” in which, “people no longer care about the truth.” Of course this is the very environment that allowed a Trump-style strongman to seize power in the first place. Watley feels another Charlie Hebdo-style terrorist attack is no longer necessary, as satire is losing it’s potency to the backdrop of this post-ironic world. This sucks, as satire has always been a formidable weapon against ignorance.
“Today many people conflate the ideas of satire and comedy. But satire is a far more potent and, in many ways, essential voice for our culture. Satire is a weapon of social change, using sarcasm, ridicule or irony to make a point that is sometimes difficult or even impossible to voice in other contexts.”
On Real Time, Bill Maher recently talked about the bubble on the left, but Eric Holder added, “True, but it’s still permeable.” I think that’s a good summary of 2016. In this environment, however, the left’s bubble-permeability is also at risk. Both bubbles may soon become impenetrable, which is essentially what I’ve been predicting. Next up, the revolution between these two closed-in political universes. Closed minds matter?
Real news is the problem. As I’ve discussed, roughly 85% of all Hillary scandal articles can be linked back to a Breitbart Thought-Fart, or Breitfarts for shart (ok, I don’t even follow that one). In a sense, the far right has weaponized misinformation. Armed with fake news in the guise of real news, the GOP managed to create a real monster to fight the wholly imaginary liberal one. Trump owes his victory to these distorted narratives. Forget Breitbart, News Matters, or some kids in Macedonia, even the more stalwart rightwing media outlets are comprised almost entirely of tiny particles of fiction that I call Benghazites (see, I can make up words too, Stanford guy). Whereas it’s true that all media is gradually becoming fake news, lest we forget, Fox invented this shit. One three year study by Politifact found that 66% of what Fox News was saying on any given segment was either complete bullshit or mostly bullshit, the highest in cable news.
“Fox & Friends segments are mostly bullshit. Mostly bullshit is slightly truthy. With total bullshit, there’s only one thing you can do …go through their pockets and look for loose change.”
Fox News perpetuated the premise that an FBI indictment was imminent for Hillary. And they did this while early voting ballots were being cast. This was a lie, of course, as the story originated from just another Breitfart. Nevertheless, Fox News perpetuated this lie during a critical news cycle just prior to the election, which, if done intentionally, seems a tad treasonous to me. Give me Hannity, or give me death!
Patriotism: you’re doing it wrong.
Blessed is the voter suppression?
This Beast article shows how one fake newser set out to prove the high-dupeability of the rightwing base. As it turns out, it’s so easy even a Republican can do it! He started with stuff like Hillary sold passport-making machines directly to ISIS, the more absurd the better, and then he then cleverly linked these totally bogus claims to an even more bogus WikiLeaks document. In the end, some of his Breitfarts were actually repeated across the rightwing echochamber, including Fox.
Sorry, folks this level of journalistic ineptitude is not going to happen in the liberal lands, at least not yet. The left has it’s episodes, for sure, but here’s one Brietfart-style tidbit that did blossom on the left. Many thought this was an actual Trump quote (left), but on my FB thread it was immediately debunked by a fellow liberal. I think that’s the big difference, well, that and it never appeared on Rachel Maddow. Forget vetting the source, I immediately knew Trump is simply not savvy enough to make such a statement. He doesn’t have the cognitive capacity to be this insightful. In fact, if his IQ dropped any lower he’d be eligible for the Medicaid expansion funds he plans to gut. Talk about post-ironic. Somewhere Alanis Morrisette is realizing that many of her examples from that song aren’t actually ironic. Don’t you think? Trump doesn’t.
This week Hillary Clinton and even the Pope decided to openly condemn fake news. Wonder Twins activate, form of, censorship. The Pope compared us to coprophagiates, or shit eaters. I don’t eat this shit, Pope, I just blog it. Apparently, the 11th commandment about fake news is Thou Shalt Not Troll. Blessed are the tweets? Clinton claims fake news has become an “epidemic that will eventually have real world consequences.” So she wants the government to work quickly and decisively on this matter. Has this woman ever seen our government in, uh, inaction? Besides, we all know any such move will have 1st Amendment implications, so why don’t we focus on the real problem, the “real” media.
The mainstream media needs to call out bullshit in real time, every time. Blatant falsehoods are often espoused unchallenged, left and right. It’s not my job to do this, even though I do. This is precisely what allowed the Republican false reality to foment in the first place. Start there, folks. Who cares what passes for fake news in Macedonia? Although, I did love their piece on the Elvis Bigfoot Mysteries. That was a game changer. Last night Anderson Cooper interviewed fake news guru, Paul Horner, but it was somewhat surreal. Anderson was very negative of Horner’s crass hobby. Why even do this? Well, uh, Horner enjoys writing comedy and he’s making a shit ton of money doing it, so leave him alone! Actually, there’s a muse for both literature and comedy, Anderson, but none for journalism. So why do you do what you do? Why isn’t the onus on you and the rest of cable news to not [insert Pope comment here]?
How about we start worrying about what Sean Hannity is saying while I’m writing this post? Or the next baseless claim some Republican guest is espousing on CNN? Our next prez doesn’t even want to read intelligence briefings. Sorry, but my Bigfoot Testifies on Benghazi piece is just not going to Trump that, although it did get three Shares (oddly, one was from the forests of the Pacific Northwest). The easily duped will always be easily duped, so please focus your attention to the ongoing Foxification of reality. Shitty real news will have infinitely more “real world consequences” than shitty fake news. So don’t blame us for Ass-Clown Hitler. Physician, heal thyself.
Dr. Ben Carson was unavailable for comment. Actually, he was, but it didn’t really make any sense.