I promised part two of “Being well-informed amid media madness” by the end of this weekend.
Technically, I’m delivering. I just finished writing the thing. It needs to marinate overnight, though, before I polish and post it.
While researching for the positive, constructive side of the media madness mess, I conducted many searches, such as “how to get a life,” “how to be well-informed,” and “how to recognize fake news.”
I wasn’t surprised that most of what I found proved to be useless for my purposes. I wasn’t even surprised that much of it turned out to be slanted left (ALL of the hits on recognizing “fake news” came from the left because of course the left owns that phrase.)
Typical is this three-year-old blog entry that assumes that if you’re well-informed and a critical thinker you’ll be out there somewhere being a global citizen while getting your “facts” from the Gates Foundation and Snopes.com. (There’s nothing wrong with this article. In fact there are many very good points in it. And I assume the blogger simply knows his audience and is directing his opinions to their interests, as I try to direct mine to yours. The post is only weird in what it assumes to be factual and reliable. And of course (sadly), urging young people to become critical thinkers is SO three-years ago.)
I was also struck by how many writers assumed Big Media “news” to be reliable, even while urging readers not to trust anonymous sources — which are, these days, the mainstay of articles from outfits like the NYT and WaPo. The many weird assumptions and self-contradictory statements like that just blew my mind.
But the real howler among the bunch was an article on recognizing fake news that I first thought might turn out to be among the best. It looked very thorough and well-organized. And there is decent info in it — which unfortunately only serves as camo for its core biases. I’ll leave you to find the hilarious or irritatingly misleading “truths” in the piece for yourselves.
But you simply must see this laugh-a-minute chart, particularly its … um, interesting concept of what constitutes mainstream news: