In the recent election season, we saw an eruption of "fake news." Fake news, usually in the form of tabloids, has long been with us. Fake news is often the purveyor of conspiracy theories and hoaxes. Unfortunately, as we have watched the growing distrust of traditional institutions, many have turned away from so called - mainstream media. As a result many embrace stories that lack substance,often shared on various forms of social media. Because they reinforce already held beliefs, we affirm the stories without checking them out. We also have a tendency of getting our news from sources that have a ideological bias. Liberals watch MSNBC and Conservatives watch Fox.
As we enter 2017 and watch as a new President is inaugurated, a person who has shown a great ability to manipulate the media, even as he demonizes traditional media, we will need a free and unfettered press that is committed to journalistic ethics to hold him accountable. This is especially important because the Republican Party will hold power in both houses of Congress and will have the opportunity to appoint a ninth Supreme Court Justice. There is glee in Washington among some celebrating "unified government," which means no checks or balances. In this context the Press is the only check on government.
For those of us who are concerned about the new President, we must be vigilant about our own sources. During the election season I saw just as many liberals/progressives sharing "fake news" as I saw conservatives. So, let's commit ourselves to checking our source. We can also encourage the so-called mainstream media to get their stories straight so that there are no questions about authenticity. Truthiness is not sufficient. We need to pursue truth.
The future the Republic may be at stake!