Which is the bigger threat to a nation: fake news, or the millions of people who believe it and spread it around? | Street Jazz

Which is the bigger threat to a nation: fake news, or the millions of people who believe it and spread it around?

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Fake news, much like corrupt elected officials, don’t exist in a vacuum; each relies upon the support of hundreds, thousands or millions of people who lack the intellectual discernment to figure out when something is true or not.

Yes, it is a threat to our democracy that so much false information has been spread about over the past few years online, but such “news” would never have gotten the traction it did without so many online collaborators who literally lacked the wits to check out if what they were reading had any basis in reality.

This is why God made Google - among other online search engines - so we wouldn’t look stupid when we post insane pieces about Sarah Palin, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or a whole host of other persons and subjects.

But because what we read so often confirms our worst suspicions, the rational part of our brain shuts down, and we eagerly spread the word to others.

Tragically, liberals can be just as gullible as conservatives when it comes to spreading this sort of crap.

Think not? Look at all the Sarah Palin quotes that turn out to be entirely bogus, yet folks happily share them with others.

Much of the fake news business might well come to a screeching halt if only more people thought to check out a search engine once in a while.

Yeah, I know. Ain’t gonna happen in my lifetime. Still, hope springs eternal . . .

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Today’s Soundtrack

Oh, baby, it’s the good life today, as I write (and sing) along to “Tony Bennett’s Greatest Hits of the ‘60s.”

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Quote of the Day

No man, for any considerable time, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true. - Nathaniel Hawthorne

rsdrake@cox.net


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