Fake News Sure Didn’t Start With Trump

Contrary to the narrative of Donald Trump’s friends and foes alike, the phenomenon of “fake news” long precedes the 2016 presidential election, even if the moniker is of a fairly recent vintage.

To deem an item reported by journalists a piece of “fake news” is not necessarily to say that it is patently false. Of course, fake news does not preclude outright lying on the part of “fake journalists”—those who are motivated not by a desire to inform the public as much as they are driven by political, financial, and/or professional considerations.

What makes a fake journalist fake is their desire to advance their own agenda, or the agenda of the corporation or political party that signs their paychecks. Yet more often than not, fake news contains some truth. It is precisely this kernel of truth that it contains that makes it as effective as it is.

In other words, fake news derives its identity more by what it veils than by what it unveils.

Take, for example, the topic that more than any other revealed fake news for what it is: the question of race.

Fake journalists, all of them to one degree or other agents and enablers of the Racism-Industrial-Complex (RIC), can be counted upon to express fake outrage whenever there is so much as a suspicion that a white person or a police officer (regardless of the latter’s color) may have mistreated a black individual.

When, however, the racial roles of perpetrator and victim are reversed—regardless of the brutality of the attack—these same moral crusaders are suspiciously silent or else they go out of their way to avoid underscoring the interracial character of the incident.

Some examples from recent history make the point.

In 2013, George Zimmerman, a Democrat and Obama supporter whose Peruvian pedigree on his mother’s side made it obvious to any casual observer that he was Hispanic, was transformed by the New York Times—and thus, by the whole Leftist press—into the first “White Hispanic” in living memory.

Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin, a 17 year-old black male, and the fake news media complex, so as to further its narrative of eternal White Oppression and Black Suffering, needed to exploit Zimmerman’s father’s German background and create for itself a white predator.

NBC News infamously edited the call to the police dispatcher that Zimmerman placed moments before he and Martin had their fatal altercation. Zimmerman was questioned by the dispatcher as to the racial identification of the suspect upon whom this neighborhood watchman had his eye.

“He looks black,” Zimmerman replied.

NBC edited the call to make it sound as if Zimmerman contacted police because Martin was black. It wanted to make it sound as if Zimmerman was on the hunt for blacks to slay.

Initially, fake journalists circulated a photograph of a smiley-faced 12 year-old Trayvon and juxtaposed it with a jailhouse mugshot of Zimmerman (who was 28 at the time). It was long after the media’s narrative cemented that the outdated photo of Martin was replaced by a more current picture of the 6-foot-plus, tattooed, gold-toothed, dope-smoking gangster-wannabe that Trayvon had become by the time he confronted Zimmerman.

And, yes, he confronted Zimmerman.

Zimmerman thought Martin was acting suspiciously. He called the police and was told not to engage Martin. Zimmerman listened, but Martin saw Zimmerman watching him and attacked. It was while the former was bashing his head into the cement that, in self-defense, Zimmerman shot his assailant dead.

In its rush to make the circumstances of this case fit its template, fake journalists omitted critical details that made all of the difference between their preferred narrative and reality.

Consequently, they produced fake news.

Yet the fake news media’s treatment of the Trayvon Martin incident is the same treatment to which it subjects every racially-oriented situation that may involve a black victim.

Remember “the Gentle Giant” of Ferguson, Mike Brown? Brown, fake journalists told us, was a modest and humble young black man who was preparing to embark upon his college career when a malicious white cop killed him, “execution-style,” when he was trying to surrender. This Gentle Giant, so went the story, was “unarmed” and had his hands up in the air.

The reality, unsurprisingly, was quite different. As it was eventually disclosed, minutes before Brown’s fatal confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson, Brown had just robbed a neighborhood convenience store of some cigarillos so he and his friend could make “blunts” to smoke marijuana. After “Big Mike,” as he was called, struggled for Wilson’s gun, the officer fired in self-defense. Brown tried to flee, but then turned to confront the officer. When Brown refused to stop, Wilson shot and killed him. Those details are laid out at length in a grand jury report and corroborated in a subsequent report released by the U.S. Justice Department.

Yet to this day, millions of Americans believe the myth created by the fake news media rather than the reality of the situation that unfolded later. From this Big Lie promoted by the fake news arose another and equally Big Lie that today goes by the name of “Black Lives Matter.” Whenever there is a case of a black criminal or criminal suspect dying in a clash with police, regardless of the racial background of the officers, the fake news media uses it to advance the fiction that blacks are endless victims of “white racism” or “white supremacy.”

In none of these high-profile cases from the last so many years—Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, etc.—has any racial animus toward the blacks in question been shown. The point, though, is that even had animus been established, in failing to provide comparable attention to the astronomical rates of black criminality, as well as to the alarming amount of black-on-nonblack animus, the media supplies fake news in giving the impression that anti-black hostility is at once endemic and existing in a vacuum.

See the point?

This year marks the 10th anniversary of what very well could be among the most horrific crime (or set of crimes) in the criminal annals of our nation. That incident involved five black perpetrators and two innocent white victims, 23-year-old Christopher Newsom and his 21 year-old girlfriend, Channon Christian. Those who are aware of it refer to this gruesome episode as “the Knoxville Horror.”

Do you recall ever having heard of it on any of the major news networks, or having read about it in the New York Times, Washington Post, or any other nationally renown news publication?

In December 2000, a comparably horrific crime, unprecedented for its sheer ruthlessness and brutality, occurred in Wichita, Kansas. It involved two black brothers and five white victims, three men and two women. Such is the grisliness of the details that it is now simply referred to by those who have heard of it as “the Wichita Massacre.”

Again, do you remember hearing about this from Big Media?

The answer to this question speaks for itself and underscores my original thesis: fake news has long preceded the presidency of Donald Trump.

Jack Kerwick received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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