Media

Forget Fake News, the Real Problem Is Stupid News

Most "news" is just press releases and breathless exaggerations of isolated problems.

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"Fake news!" shouts the president. His supporters cheer.

That drives my colleagues into a frenzy of self-absorbed handwringing: "Threats to press freedom…press persecution!"

It's silly. American reporters are hardly less safe because of President Donald Trump's hyperbole.

(Trump is reckless when he uses the term in other countries. Authoritarians in Russia, China, the Philippines, Saudi Arabia, etc., now cite "fake news" while they jail or kill reporters. He should shut up about "fake news" when he's overseas.)

But I smiled when I first heard him use the phrase, not because news stories are "fake"—they typically aren't (reporters who make things up are usually caught and fired)—but because so much of what people call "news" is press releases and breathless exaggerations of isolated problems.

It's stupid news.

This spring, I attended my 50th college reunion. Alumni officials asked me to join a panel titled "Free Speech and Fake News."

It made me ask myself, "What were the biggest life-changing events in the 50 years since I graduated?"

My selections:

  • Invention of the personal computer and cellphone.
  • Google and Facebook.
  • The fall of the Soviet Union.
  • Pollution-control rules.
  • The women's movement.
  • Changing attitudes about sex and gender.
  • A drastic reduction in poverty around the world.

Only one of those giant changes (the fall of the Soviet Union) led the news!

Instead, "big" headlines of my previous reunion years (five-year periods when I might show up for the celebration) were topics like:

  • Patty Hearst robbing a bank.
  • Serial killer Ted Bundy.
  • The accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant.
  • The "Band-Aid" concert for famine relief.
  • The Exxon Valdez oil spill.
  • The O.J. Simpson trial.
  • Columbine.
  • Michael Jackson's death.
  • Ebola.
  • And this year: the Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

(I chose those stories from "biggest stories of the year!" reports in mainstream media like MSN and ABC News.)

Those events were worth covering, but why do media mostly ignore more important events like the creation of cellphones and Google or how millions have lifted themselves out of poverty?

One reason is because they happen gradually. When Facebook was being invented, few reporters noticed.

Another is because the big stories happen in more than one place. We reporters are good at covering plane crashes and murder. We can easily interview the official in charge.

But the biggest news, like changing attitudes about gender, happens all over the place.

When I graduated, 60 percent of the world's population lived in extreme poverty. Now, fewer than 9 percent do. Globally, that's probably the most life-changing event over the past 50 years—a great victory, made possible by freer markets.

But most reporters don't like free markets, and politicians rarely talk about change they don't control.

The "Band-Aid" concert meant well, but journalists hardly covered the big cause of famine in Ethiopia. It wasn't African drought; it was Marxist governments that were happy to starve their enemies.

In 1989, the Berlin Wall coming down was too beautiful an image to ignore, but it would have been nice if journalists had spent time analyzing how wrong they'd been to call capitalism unjust and communism sustainable.

Instead, images of the Exxon Valdez oil spill dominated the news that year, helping spark a decade of exaggerated environmental fears.

In 1994, the Rwandan genocide did get news coverage, as it should have, but Americans heard much more about O.J. Simpson.

In 2004, coverage of the Iraq and Afghan wars was plentiful, which was good. But now that the Afghanistan War is America's longest war, it gets very little coverage. It's harder to report on long-term political problems that aren't solved by U.S. military intervention.

During my previous reunion, in 2014, one of the biggest stories was hysteria about an Ebola virus outbreak. But only one American died from Ebola that year.

My fellow Princeton panelists sneered at me when I said that. They said that thousands died in Africa. That was true, but if that's the measure of a news story, why aren't millions of deaths from malaria and diarrhea in Africa front-page news? Because "Ebola!" scares reporters and makes for better clickbait headlines.

The news is stupid and shallow.

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  1. John Stossel is a national treasure

    Now do the stories Reason covers…………

    1. You actually swallowed that!

      1. No one swallows any of your sockpuppets Hihn.

        1. COWARDLY DIVERSION.
          Did YOU swallow Stossel’s OBVIOUS bullshit?

          1. Fuck off, Hihn.

          2. PAPER TOWELS – FILING CABINET = CAR KEYS

            /Hihn math

            1. Umm, it’s Left – Right = Zero
              As you just proved. Again.

      2. Fuck off hihn

        1. MAKE ME, PUNK. (sneer)
          And spare us your Hihn-conspiracy drooling.

          1. Fuck off, Hihn.

            1. (sneer)

  2. Nice article, and I can’t disagree.

    Nothing could be more quintessential Stossel than an article calling all of news reporting as currently practiced stupid. Keep making friends in the business at this pace and you’ll make lead reporter for the South Central High School Gazette in no time!

    1. +10000

  3. It’s silly. American reporters are hardly less safe because of President Donald Trump’s hyperbole

    So, Stossel celebrates the fact that Trump is a raging blowhard, so we can ignore his psycho power threats at … everyone. Good point! Plus, he’s failed at 95% of his job anyhow, almost as bad as business failures and bankruptcies.

    Only one of those giant changes (the fall of the Soviet Union) led the news!

    So now Stossel sprints into bullshit land.

    Tel us John, how you missed Facebook and Google in the news. Did they lead the news? Nope. Why not? THEY AREN’T EVENTS. THEY BOTH EVOLVED SLOWLY. EVERYTHING ELSE YOU LIST WAS AN EVENT.

    Stossel has been losing it for decades. Now he’s totally gone.

    P.S. Malaria and diarrhea aren’t news because they’ve been killing people for decades. Ebola was new. On this, and every other example, Stossel obviously knows nothing about news, perhaps from his total lack of experience in it. (No, he did NOT do hard news at ABC or Fox.)

    P.P.S. A CURE for malaria would be news! And a possible cure was highly reported in the past few weeks, based on positive tests, so far. But anyone focused solely on politics misses a LOT of news.

    “Another one bites, another one bites, another one bites the dust …
    .

    1. What’s silly is you thinking anyone gives a fuck about your unhinged screeds Hihn.

      1. Says the guy who went out of his way to comment on the post at 4 a.m.

        1. (laughing)
          That’s how stalkers keep proving me correct …. every time they lose actual. which is damn near always.

          1. Fuck off, Hihn.

            1. NOW do you feel manly?

    2. P.S. Malaria and diarrhea aren’t news because they’ve been killing people for decades. Ebola was new.

      Ebola has been killing for decades, too. First ID’d in the mid-70s, and probably around a lot longer than that.

      1. You’re replying to someone so arrogant that he thinks he knows more about what the news is than someone who has been in that business for decades.

        1. As a card carrying member of Hihn’s enemies list, I know this. Just trying to trigger him.

          1. I don’t know who Hihn is … but did you make his list for the same lack of reading and reasoning skills?
            https://reason.com/2019/08/07/forget-fake-news-the-real-problem-is-stupid-news/#comment-7884574

            1. Fuck off, Hihn.

            2. Actually I made the list with a Hihn multiverse joke that made him go ballistic.

              1. So, why are you now ballistic?

        2. Repeat for the illiterate, jack-booted thug:

          (No, he did NOT do hard news at ABC or Fox.)

          And a LESSON for the blissfully ignorant:

          someone who has been in that business for decades.

          So have CAMERAMEN been “in the business” for decades. And directors. And producers.

          READY … FIRE …. AIM!

          ows more about what the news is than someone who

          1. Hihn, please fuck off.

            1. No, thug.

      2. YOU SAY THAT MALARIA AND DIARRHEA HAD NOT BEEN KILLING PEOPLE FOR MANY DECADES BEFORE THAT??

        Ebola has been killing for decades, too. First ID’d in the mid-70s, and probably around a lot longer than that

        Repeat paragraph one.

        1. Fuck off, Hihn.

        2. I didn’t infer anything about how long malaria and diarrhea have been around. I assume they’ve been killing people since at least 1789…

          1. Here’s what you said, chump.
            :

            Ebola has been killing for decades, too

            That’s eleven PROVEN lies, today alone.

    3. There is a cure for malaria, it is called quinine. That is why the Brits lover their gin and tonic. There is also artemisinin, amodiaquine, mefloquine, sulfadoxine, and lumefantrine. Also, DDT was an effective prophylaxis. The real news is how poorly run Marxist African dictatorships can’t provide for their people.

      1. Although it can be a fatal disease, illness and death from malaria are largely preventable. In fact, for patients diagnosed early, a cure is possible because one of several medicines that kill the malaria parasite ( Plasmodium) can be prescribed. …

        Preventable is not curable!! ONLY if diagnosed early, BECAUSE the parasite is NOT the disease.

        See the Center for Disease Control

        https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/diagnosis_treatment/treatment.html
        Most drugs used in treatment are active against the parasite forms in the blood (the form that causes disease) and include: …

        You may have confused the disease with the parasites that cause it.

        Now … what does that have to do with the ISSUE … Stossel’s whiny false equivalencies?

        On both the left and right, many are even eager to be brainwashed and manipulated by the ruling elites, because both sides are now ruled by the elites. (For the minority of tribal loyalists in both sides combined)

        Anything else?

        1. Fuck off, Hihn.

          1. On both the left and right, many are even eager to be brainwashed and manipulated by the ruling elites, because both sides are now ruled by the elites. (For the minority of tribal loyalists in both sides combined)

  4. Stossel is right – frequently, the news IS stupid and shallow.
    But do not let the demagogues of the right off the hook. The purpose is to use the “fake news” smear on REAL news that makes their cult leader look unflattering.

    1. The news mostly serves the interests of the demagogues of the Left who complain bitterly when they do not. See the NYT accurately and blandly reporting on the content of Trump’s speech on the shootings and AOC et al saying they were complicit with white supremacy. The Times then changed their headline to something more inflammatory that blames Trump.

      1. The Times then changed their headline to something more inflammatory that blames Trump.

        But see, that’s not true either.

        Yes they changed their headline. I don’t know if I would have changed the headline were I in their shoes. But they didn’t change it to “something more inflammatory”.

        1. They changed the headline to be about what they wish he had said dumbfuck, not reporting what was actually said. They made the headline about an unrelated wish from the left. Amazing you dont understand that.

          1. PROVE IT, PUNK

            1. Fuck off, Hihn.

        2. You coming into the comments of THIS post and defending blatantly poor, agenda driven journo-activism is hilarious

          As the media’s agenda becomes more and more transparent, so do you

          1. The BOTH LIE … to their equally brainwashed robots.

            Left – Right – Zero.
            Two sides of the same authoritarian coin … which is WHY a growing majority of voters REJECTS loyalty to both.

            Their time has expired ,,,, as both huddle together for warmth, deep inside two tribal caves, both EAGERLY manipulated by the political elites.

            1. Fuck off, Hihn.

            2. Left – Right – Zero

              You gonna put anything on the right side of that equation?

              1. Corrected typo: Left – Right = Zero
                Two sides of the same authoritarian coin, for example:
                Progressives borrow trillions to pay for Free Stuff.
                Conservatives and (many) libertarians borrow trillions to pay for Free Tax Cuts.

                As Jefferson argued, over 200 years ago — NO generation has any right to impose even one penny of debt on future generations– WITHOUT their consent.

                In only 2 years, Trump’s GOP has ALREADY added more 8-year debt (per CBO forecast) than Obama added AFTER 8 years. (And just added MORE) The first President to increase the annual deficit by over 40% … in one year … with a booming economy.

                And they call themselves “fiscal conservatives,” despite being far worse than even Obama.

                BY WHAT RIGHT?

                Draining the swamp means …. adding MORE sewage.

    2. You’re an idiot, Jeff, who is all too willing to overlook the fact that the “legitimate” (aka corporate) news were the first to coin the term “fake news”.
      Now you whine when its turned back on you.
      Eat that shit

      1. Fucking liar.

        1. Fuck off, Hihn.

          1. Fucking psycho stalker.

    3. YES! Trump’s loyalists are KNOWN suckers — aka conspiracy nuts.

      Remember. Trump won the GOp nomination with a mere 37% of primary votes … the same percentage of Republicans who believed Trump’s wacky Birtherism. He’d been training them for decades

      1. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  5. Know your audience.

    Trump yelling fake news is way sexier than simply saying the media lies to you.

    I hope Trump is re-elected if only to see that phrase shoved in the media’s face for another 4 years.

    1. “I hope Trump is re-elected if only to see that phrase shoved in the media’s face for another 4 years.”

      I hope he is re-elected for all kinds of reasons; in addition to reforming the federal judiciary through McConnell and the Federalist Society, I want to see many* completely lose their shit when he gets another four years.

      *MSM, virtually every celebrity who self appoints as a spokesperson for everything they are not qualified to spoke on, the entire Democrat Party, various and sundry assholes who want to NIB, and of course “Antifa;” I predict they will go on a shooting spree that will exceed anything we’ve ever imagined.

    2. Why re-elect so STUNNING a failure? Who a majority of Americans already say they will “definitely not” vote for?

      His greatest fuckup is focusing only on his base, a divisive cocksucker, who ….
      1) 10 million voted against
      2) Received a record 22% of “anti” votes (against Hillary, not FOR him)
      3) Won the Electoral College by a staggering …. 39,000 voters! Did YOU believe him that he had a record margin there. 39,000 voters! OMFG

      His tactical FAILURE to expand his TEENY support no doubt traces to his REPEATED failures as a business manager … EVERY actual business failed and/or went bankrupt!
      ,
      In his first two years. he ALREADY added more new 8-year debt (per CBO forecast) than Obama added AFTER 8 years!!! All that debt (and MORE SINCE)
      1) The first President to EVER increase the deficit by over 40% … in a single year … with a booming economy!!!
      2) Trump inherited the longest recovery EVER for an incoming President … from OBAMA, who had inherited the 2nd WORST economy since the 1930s. How would it be even POSSIBLE to be a bigger fiscal FAILURE than Trump…. WORSE THAN EVEN OBAMA!

      Also a TOTAL failure in foreign policy. Did you also swallow his BULLSHIT that he has achieved nuclear disarmament form N. Korea … which is EXPANDING both nuclear and missile capability!!

      His tariffs FUCK mostly his own base … already exceeding their meager tax cut.

      FACT: Trump’s bots are as totally brainwashes and manipulated as Bernie’s and Elizabeth’s bots. Fox is a crazy as MSNBC — who both serve as an American Pravda for the uninformed masses.

      TEST: Do YOU know that Trump was forced to pay a $25 million settlement for FRAUD … WHILE PRESIDENT … the ONLY sitting President EVER so humiliated? Why didn’t you know? Do you even care?

      1. Fuck off, Hihn.

      2. Who a majority of Americans already say they will “definitely not” vote for?

        How many of them are registered voters who will actually vote? Are they clustered in a way that he can still get enough electoral votes (you know, like last time)?

        1. When he won by the staggering margin of …. 39,000 voters … in three states combined.

          Good point, with the GOP suppressing any and all attempts to counter Russian interference (which worked so well for them in 2016)

          Or … the crazies deny it ever happened.

          (They are all registered, and the number includes respondents who believe they will vote in 2020 … which is why you are grasping at straws so desperately …)

      3. Don’t get me wrong, I think Trump is a complete idiot. A spoiled brat childish retard. We should all be terrified.

        But it’s so ridiculous it’s funny as hell.

        He’s so dumb, he’s exposing the established corruption inherent in our society as he stumbles around his office.

        It will all end when ANY semi intelligent career politician gets the gig.

        Keep it up dipshit.

        1. ^This!!

          Just like his TOTAL failure as a business manager — even with a $400 million inheritance!

  6. “During my previous reunion, in 2014, one of the biggest stories was hysteria about an Ebola virus outbreak. But only one American died from Ebola that year.”

    Those stories were about whether the outbreak could be contained to Africa and what can be done if it was not. Part of this is driven by the fact that Ebola is an exotic, fast disease with gruesome effects. That only one American actually died is not relevant to why it was paid attention,

    1. Thanks, Mickey. Stossel also HUMILIATES HIMSELF by ass-uming Americaslo LIED

      1. Thanks, Mickey. Stossel also HUMILIATES HIMSELF by ass-uming t’s NOT news unless it’s about America!!!

        1. Fuck off, Hihn.

  7. Don’t forget news that is nothing more than citing some tweets, the subsequent twitter storm, and telling everyone how it makes you feel.

    1. Vox explains it for you, so you don’t have to think too hard, if at all.

  8. News is the plural of new.

    News organizations report on things that just happened recently. Commentary is where you have a longer-term perspective on the pattern of news items like the effect of Google and Facebook.

    1. I hope this is sarcasm/satire. Otherwise, please distinguish news from commentary from journalism. A journalist can go on the evening news and comment on something that is either news or not news and the evening news would still be the evening news, right? If the comment on something new is new, it would be news and newsworthy despite being commentary, right?

      ‘News’ *could* be the plural of ‘new’ if ‘new’ were a noun, but it’s not. Even if it were, news as the plural of new would be just one possible definition of news, but it likely wouldn’t be the definition that exists only in your head.

      1. (LOL) It’s news BECAUSE a news journalist says it.

        1. Fuck off and die, Hihn.

  9. In the early 90s I had a paper route and part of that job involved sales from boxes. The biggest day I ever had was when Susan Smith was convicted for murdering her kids. Now, that was not as important to the lives of people on my route as any session of the legislature, but it was salacious and controversial so it sold. It’s not that he news is stupid now, it’s that it has always been pretty stupid, Mencken said that “a newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy, crazier.”

    1. “Mencken said that “a newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy, crazier.”

      My take away for the day, thank you. The commentariat of Reason seldom disappoints.

      1. Just how many newspapers does Hihn have?

        1. Childish insults, the REAL shame of Reason’s commentariat, aka the Authoritarian Right.

          The Authoritarian Left shouts down all opposing viewpoints,
          ONLY the Authoritarian Right, aggressively PUNISHES all opposing views. Trump’s Brownshirts.

          1. Fuck off and die, Hihn.
            Make your relatives proud and the world a better and smarter place.
            Fuck off and die some place where we won’t have to put up with the smell.

            1. Childish insults, the REAL shame of Reason’s commentariat, aka the Authoritarian Right.

              The Authoritarian Left shouts down all opposing viewpoints,
              ONLY the Authoritarian Right, aggressively PUNISHES all opposing views. Trump’s Brownshirts.

  10. The journalism business is a business first and foremost. Despite what the priesthood professes to believe, newspapers and magazines and television aren’t selling news, they’re selling advertising. Anything that takes more than the 8-second attention span of the average consumer to explain isn’t going to get any shelf space.

    1. But journalists are a special form of humans deserving of our praise. They are the new priests, the measure of our morality. They deserve our worship. They are more honest and educated despite their average intelligence and college scores than the rest of us. They are the enlightened ones.

      1. Only Fox.

        1. Fuck off, Hihn.

  11. A problem is that people think ‘news’ is anything but providing entertainment or pushing an agenda.

    One of the best things that Trump has done is put the phrase ‘Fake News’ into common usage.

    It’s a facet of the general problem of people looking for authorities to be in control of their lives.

    For the first time in the history of the world I think we have a chance to do away with authorities that we have to trust without any real proof of their abilities.

    Now we get to see if people can evolve to a world where they control their lives.

    1. “…do away with authorities that we have to trust without any real proof of their abilities.”

      “Now we get to see if people can evolve to a world where they control their lives.”

      Like they say, if you’re going to dream….

  12. John, something can be both fake and stupid.
    (and ABC and MSN are not mainstream; there is no mainstream anymore)

    1. So, you say Limbaugh is full of shit.
      He always has been. But his goobers swallow it all.

  13. The real problem is all the stupid people who buy this crap. At one time watching the news was considered something “serious” people did. But it’s pretty much the opposite so when Fox News brags about their ratings what they’re really doing is highlighting the stupidity of their viewers.

    1. Hey sqrsly.

      1. Hi there buddy boy. I’ll change it up. Give your name a break.

        1. Just wish you were intelligent enough to actually capture form and thought in your attempted mimicry.

    2. The real problem is all the stupid people who buy this crap.

      Supporters of Trump. Sanders and Warren call each other insane … and the smart folks know they’re both correct
      On that.

      1. Fuck off, Hihn.

  14. The problem is not fake news, or stupid news. The problem is stupid people. When most Americans cannot correctly answer the most basic civics questions (e.g. name the three branches of the federal government), confuse their tax bill with their tax rebate, pass a fifth grade math test, and fail many other basic evaluations of knowledge and reasoning, what the “news” provides is inconsequential.

    What could be helpful, or at least entertaining, is a politician who told people how dumb they are.

    1. The problem is modern education that is now teaching narrative built history and pushing propaganda as fact, such as al gore film. They no longer teach to search out primary sources, with kids relying on biased wikipedia summaries instead. They’ve been taught to accept the summary of the majority over informing their own opinion which is how the media can take a small excerpt of a speech and convince people that’s all that was said. Twitter has made this behavior even worse with journalists now reporting the idiotic takes of Alyssa Milano as a news story.

    2. “”The problem is stupid people. “”

      They have no idea about logical fallacies. They love using guilt by association. Hasty generalizations. False equivalencies. Ad hominem attacks. Ect. Yet they think they are the smart ones.

      1. Deep down, they know they’re not.
        Everything is an atte8to avoid confronting this fact. All the posturing, arrogance, conceit – it’s a cover for their own insecurity.
        Hence the outrage over Trump.
        He continues exposing them, and his election was proof that the “professionals” are inherently worthless and artificially propped up.

    3. What could be helpful, or at least entertaining, is a politician who told people how dumb they are.

      It was entertaining watch her lose and then blame stupid people for believing the Russians.

    4. Don’t know why politicians should tell people how dumb they are. Just have Woody Allen interview couples on the street

  15. “…a politician who told people how dumb they are.”

    Now there’s a winning platform if I ever saw one.

    Yes, the “stupid American electorate” is the biggest threat to our freedoms, bar none. Too many are too willing to relinquish it for promises of pie in the sky, otherwise known as talking points.

  16. Democracy Dies in Dumbness!

  17. Agreed. Dumb news for a dumb population. If you ask a progressive what’s the biggest threat to them right now it’s Trump. If you ask a conservative it’s Mexicans. And who can blame them based upon the infotainment they consume.

  18. Stossle is generally right.

    The glaring exception, IMO, is his recent stance on ‘ag-gag laws’. These farms may try to stop filming from public lands but those aren’t unique to farmers and have been repeatedly struck down. ‘Abused’ milk, butter, hamburgers, and bacon taste no different than ‘non-abused’ milk, butter, hamburgers, and bacon. Nothing about the ag-gag laws prevents private farms that want to operate in an open and exceedingly animal friendly manner from doing so.

    Bottom line, farmers aren’t coming into the cities saying you can’t film their production processes. There is no invasion of rights-violating/robbing farmers. However, people are literally coming from urban centers and perpetrating fraud in order to defame these farms for behavior that is readily and abundantly tolerated in other fields. There are people who’s explicit aim is to disrupt food production without regard to how it has to happen and who has to go hungry because of their feelings on animal cruelty.

    1. Yes, much of the news media are as fraudulent as Trump.
      And, as a mature adult, you see all of it.

  19. That was one of the issues with Enron. They were just putting out press releases and someone would add a byline and BAM! It was news as Enron wanted the news to read. No one talked to them, investigated them or asked the hard questions. They did wine and dine and party with them. The Houston Chronicle was happy to talk about how smart everyone was and how much money they gave to charity.

    It’s even worse with government. The journalists want access and they only get it if they behave. But the access is all lies and manipulation. When I was blogging for the Chron and broke the story of how they were starving dogs in the pound and I spent a lot time talking to the the press person for the city. She would lie so easily even about things that are easily and openly proven. Now, I can’t get any journalist to ask follow up questions on the Tuttle raid. There reason is always that they don’t want to lose access.

    There may be a right to a free press but if the press doesn’t want to be free, there’s no way to make it. They have forgotten that with every right there are responsibilities and it is their responsibility to be the watch dog of the government, not their lap dog.

    1. Well said.

    2. Delusional. It was the news media who fought like hell to crash through the GOP’s suppression that it happened … the same as you also denying it.

      Shameful.

  20. There is no such thing as fake news. Perhaps the exception being parody. The problem is people take opinion as if it’s news. They would rather watch Maddow, or Hannity tell them their opinion of the news than watch a boring person of the likes of Murrow or Cronkite.

    1. Murrow and Cronkite had their problems too, though they cultivated a calmer image than Hannity or Maddow do.

    2. This^

      They’re too lazy to do their own research.

      Hannity is an obsequious fawner of Trump.

    3. That sounds kind of like a “No true Scotsman” argument, like saying there’s no such thing as a fake Gucci handbag because the handbag in question isn’t actually a Gucci. I think “fake news” is exactly what you cite – opinion disguised as news. When a news source tells you they’re giving you “just the facts” when they’re merely giving you selective facts, that’s “fake news”, too. Or, as Chris Cuomo angrily asserted when he was chided for making an unimportant bit of outrage his top story, “I’m a journalist, it’s my job to decide what’s important.” That’s the fakiest of fake news, claiming to be the Holy Gatekeeper of All The News That’s Fit To Print.

      1. “”like saying there’s no such thing as a fake Gucci handbag because the handbag in question isn’t actually a Gucci””

        A hand bag is a hand bag. Opinion is not news.

        1. The opinions of elected officials on maters of public policy are most definitely news.

          1. That most of it is total bullshit …. is also news.

  21. I’m old enough to remember when the news actually gave you ‘who, what, where and when’ as opposed to nowadays when they insist on providing a ‘why’ which of course is where the bias comes in.

  22. I saw leaks of the upcoming kaiju movie where Stossel’s ‘stache fights Bolton’s and destroys Tokyo.

  23. “The “Band-Aid” concert for famine relief.”

    The self-promo of a bunch of deluded guitar-bangers.
    That should have been as embarrassing as Hihn’s constant socking, but they, like Hihn, are not bright enough to be embarrassed.
    BTW, Hihn, did I tell you to fuck off and die. I hope so.

  24. No such thing as fake news eh?

    This is a good documentary called “the war you don’t see”.

    Dan Rather has a small interview in it where he describes the media’s relationship with the military leading up to the fake WMD war in Iraq as “being merely stenographers, reporting whatever they were told, not asking the tough questions, if they wanted access.”

    http://johnpilger.com/videos/the-war-you-dont-see

  25. I think Stossel is right (as in correct); the news is stupid because it doesn’t give us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We can do better.

    1. The News is fine. It’s the Editorials (print) and commentators. (TV)

      The actual news channels have fewer viewers than the hate channels.
      Blame our culture, not the media.

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