Beliefnet
At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

Unfortunately, Fake News is alive and all too well.

This was witnessed in spades this past week as the Fake News/Kill Trump media lied through its fangs about the President on immigration.

The Fake Newsies, at least 90% of whom are Democrat Party operatives, waxed hysteria over the “separation” of Hispanic children from their “immigrant” parents, i.e. those who entered America illegally through the southern border.

Of course, the blame for all of this was laid at the feet of the President, who was excoriated by his political enemies in Washington D.C. and their apologists and fellow partisans in the Fake News industry for his “zero tolerance” policy.

By now, any remotely honest observer of the political scene should know that the truth is profoundly otherwise than what fake journalists and commentators would have us think.

First, the “separation of families” for which Trump is being blamed is a feature of a policy that was passed by a Democrat-controlled Congress and signed into law back in 2008 by George W. Bush.  This policy was continued throughout Barack Obama’s two terms.

In fact, the emotionally-charged photos of detention facilities circulated by the Fake News media that were designed to convict Trump of heartlessness were taken while Obama was President.

This is one crucial respect in which coverage of this issue reveals itself for the Fake News that it is.  Yet it is certainly not the only respect.

Second, that for a decade—the decade that their fellow partisans held control of the levers of power in D.C.—fake journalists didn’t utter a peep about this policy for which they are now blasting Trump proves that they are cooking a controversy for partisan political purposes.

This isn’t journalism. It is advocacy. It is political.

It is fake.

Third, the vast majority of those crying over the “separation of families” have spent decades undermining the sanctity of the family at every conceivable turn.  The idea of “traditional family values” is one upon which this crew has set its sights with a vengeance.  They have not only mocked and ridiculed all things religious (and, particularly, Christian), they have aggressively sought to fundamentally transform the entire cultural and legal landscape.

Those who have just now discovered the sanctity of the family—and make no mistakes, when they shed their tears (however fake, like their news, these tears undoubtedly are), they imply their recognition of this spiritual and moral reality—have campaigned inexhaustibly for such family-crippling things as: no-fault divorce; de-stigmatizing both co-habitation outside of marriage and illegitimacy; sexual promiscuity; free contraceptives; the empowerment of the State (Child Protective Services) to remove children from their parents, i.e. to “separate families”; the empowerment of children to divorce their parents; the elevation of homosexuality as something to be celebrated as a viable alternative to heterosexuality; and so-called “same-sex marriage.”

Most importantly, these same people who are now crying over children being separated from their parents have been championing the “right” of mothers to kill the children in their wombs, children who, at that stage in their development, literally have no one to sustain them but their mothers.

Fourth, as President Trump said three years ago when he announced his bid for the presidency, some of those crossing our southern border are bad people.  Border agents, among the bravest and most patriotic of Americans (and many of whom happen to be Hispanic), have readily attested to the truth of Trump’s statement.

People who resolve to undermine a nation’s sovereignty by breaking its most fundamental of laws are willing to do virtually anything else to fulfill their desires.  It is understandable that they should want to leave their home countries and come to America so as to provide a better lives for themselves and their families. But unless it is morally permissible for one’s personal happiness to be purchased at any and all costs—unless the ends always justify the means—this doesn’t change the fact that such people disrespect America and her citizens when they invade our country.

The point, here, is that these people have also sent their children—some as young as four years-old—across multiple countries, in some cases, and extremely dangerous terrain just so that they can eventually get here. Parents have given their young daughters contraceptives in the expectation that these girls would be raped by human predators.

American-born children can and have been separated from their American-born parents for offenses that pale in comparison to such egregious abuses.

And it isn’t just parents who have weaponized children in this way.  Many of the “parents” and other adult “relatives” aren’t related to these kids at all.  The US government is trying to protect these children by making sure that they aren’t released into the custody of negligent, abusive, criminal adults.

Finally, during a conversation with Democrats and some Republicans over immigration policy some time ago, Trump was said to have referred to some Third World countries from which his opponents wanted to encourage more immigration as “shitholes.” For this, the Fake Newsies (but few others) took him to task.

At the same time, most of these left-wing Democrats in the Fake News media and elsewhere are tirelessly complaining about the “white privilege,” “institutional racism,” and “white supremacy” of America, or, as those on the left have not so affectionately referred to it, “AmeriKKKa.”

This latest episode in the Fake News media’s Kill Trump series would have caused more thoughtful, or more honest, people to suffer a massive dose of cognitive dissonance: On the one hand, there has been occurring for many years a mass exodus of millions of non-white people from their home countries from all over the world.  On the other hand, these same people are risking their own lives, yes, but the lives of their children to flee to…a “white supremacist” country.

The “fascists” of AmeriKKKa are intent upon building a wall, true, but to prevent people from, not leaving, but entering, specifically, entering illegally.

A historically white country which remains majority-white and which the American-born left continually derides as “racist” is, in reality, the salvation of the world’s non-white peoples. This, at any rate, can only be the view held by those who are willing to do anything and everything to get to America.

But don’t expect for the Fake News media to say so.

 

There are Wolves, there are Sheep, and then there are Sheepdogs.

Wolves prey on the outnumbered, the weak, the unsuspecting, the vulnerable—i.e., whether the Sheep or, in a not infrequent number of cases, other Wolves who have fallen out of favor with the pack.

Wolves lack courage. They lack honor.  And Wolves care only about satisfying their own greed.

Though they are typically presented as being polar opposites, Wolves and Sheep actually share some character traits in common.  Sheep, too, tend not to be particularly courageous.  While they are not necessarily mean-spirited or even selfish, and while Sheep can be gentle and compassionate, since they value their own safety more than anything else, Sheep are prone to conform their speech and conduct to that of the herd.  They are prone to “obey orders.”

Thus, like Adolph Eichmann, to whom the Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt ascribed a “curious, but quite authentic, inability to think,” Sheep too are devoid of original thought, preferring instead to trade in the banalities of whatever clichés and conventionalities happen to be in vogue at the moment.

Like Eichmann, Sheep “obey orders.” Only in the case of Sheep, the orders constitute the Zeitgeist of the majority, or what is felt to be the majority.

In the case of our contemporary political situation, the Spirit of the Times is what is usually called “Political Correctness.”

The Sheep, even when they suspect that PC notions are wrongheaded, will not dare to say so aloud.  Sheep, after all, are not daring.  And, so, PC is permitted to prevail.

The Wolves, however, are the self-appointed guardians of the PC orthodoxy, its watchdogs. The Wolves, forever salivating over the prospects of fresh blood, spare no occasion to search out deviations from their creed so as to administer as humiliating and agonizing a punishment for the heterodox as possible.

To repeat the foregoing point, Wolves and Sheep are quite similar in many respects.  Wolves run in packs because, though they will never admit it, not too far beneath the surface they are terribly afraid of being devoured by their own.  Wolves lack the self-discipline to act rightly, for righteousness often demands that one stand against the will of the Mob, the Pack or Herd.

Wolves and Sheep are two sides of the same coin.  Perhaps we need to add another character-type to this three-old taxonomy: There are Wolves, Sheep, Sheepdogs, and…Sheep-Wolves or Wolf-Sheep.

The Sheepdog, though, is of a different breed altogether.  The Sheepdog, like the Sheep, dreads trouble. He hates violence, and aims to avoid it at virtually all costs.  But unlike the Sheep, he doesn’t hate it because he fears for his own safety alone. Like the Wolf, the Sheepdog is willing to engage in violence, but unlike the Wolf, the Sheepdog will use violence if and only if it is necessary for the sake of preventing harm to innocents, whether himself or, crucially, others.

In the Sheepdog there is no arrogance.  The Sheepdog is not given to trash-talking.  His training involves the cultivation of, not just physical prowess but, what is arguably even more important, “situational awareness,” i.e. the ability to diffuse potentially violent situations before they occur.

In the world of contemporary American politics, one can distinguish the Wolves and Sheep from the Sheepdogs.  It’s also all too easy to see how the Wolves and Sheep are more like one another than either is similar to the Sheepdog: Wolves select their prey and then intimidate the Sheep into joining the attack.  The Sheep, of course, though conspicuously unenthusiastic—Sheep tend to lack enthusiasm about virtually everything—are nevertheless all too ready to pile on those who the Wolves have already maimed.  The target, after all, poses no threat at this point.

The Sheepdog, however, despises injustice. He despises alike bullies and those who never tire of ingratiating themselves to bullies. His instinct is to protect those upon whom the Wolves and their Sheep pummel, whether he likes or agrees with their prey or not, for these predatory attacks, lacking as they do all proportionality and honor, are unseemly.

When Roseanne Barr, a long-celebrated left-leaning white Jewish Hollywood actress dispatched an admittedly crude tweet identifying former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett as the offspring between the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes, Roseanne was besieged by Legion, the mob of Wolves and their Sheep lackeys.  Jarrett, as it happens, is partially black.  Any ape reference vis-à-vis a black person is…“racist.”  Or so the social media mafia of Sheep, following marching orders from their Wolf bosses, wailed indignantly.

Roseanne, who herself on more than one occasion—like when she posted a picture of George Zimmerman’s parents’ home address while their son was incessantly receiving death threats from enraged blacks for his (justified) killing of Trayvon Martin—has been known to assume the role of Wolf herself.  Yet for this one tweet, and despite issuing multiple apologies, this one-time Wolf now found herself at the mercy of the pack.  As she became reduced with rapid speed to a non-person, exiled from the Respectable Society that she once inhabited, Roseanne quickly discovered that the Wolves and their ever-obedient Sheep were devoid of all mercy.

The Sheepdog, though no fan personally of Roseanne, is repulsed by the relentlessness of the attack upon her, as well as the cowardice of the Mob, all of whose members—Wolves and Sheep alike—would never think to be confrontational if they knew that they could be harmed while doing so.

In other words, the Sheepdog knows that the Herd would rather ground and pound an outnumbered, defenseless white woman for her alleged “racism”—a juvenile tweet—than express outrage over the precipitous rates and truly barbaric nature of black-on-non-black criminality and violence.  The former approach is not only safe, but it provides the added benefit of allowing Wolves and Sheep to virtue-signal to one another while encouraging them to see themselves as brave Social Justice Warriors.

The latter approach, in glaring contrast, is dangerous, particularly if the critic is white (though blacks and other racial minorities who are courageous enough to call out black criminality risk much too).

Despite its hazards, and maybe in part even because of them, the Sheepdog resolves to do his part in protecting innocents by acting on the side of truth and righteousness.

Be a Sheepdog.

This is the textbook illustration of the anti-Trumpers’ strategy via Donaldus Maximus:

Months ago, they waxed hysteria over Trump’s bellicose tweets vis-a-vis North Korea, wailing that this mentally unstable American President was bringing us to the precipice of nuclear war. But Trump’s tough talk was the only talk that succeeded in making the unthinkable happen: “Little Rocket Man” agreed to meet with the president of South Korea and Trump, the first American president ever to meet with the head of North Korea.

So, Trump engages in diplomacy–which is what they always complained he couldn’t do–and they….blast him for being too diplomatic.

The strategy? Damn Trump if he does, damn him if he doesn’t.

The anti-Trump doctrine we may sum up as follows: “He’s Trump, bitch.”

And then the anti-Trumpers bitch that Maximus’s summit with Kim Jong Un accomplished “nothing.” This is such a patently sophomoric, partisan position that it doesn’t deserve a response. But I’ll respond anyhow: The very fact that this genuinely historically unprecedented summit occurred is ITSELF a tremendous gain for peace.

That the heads of North and South Korea met and shook hands recently–an event for which the South Korean president credits Trump and says he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize–is a gain in itself. Even if it all falls apart–something that, his critics’ assertions to the contrary notwithstanding, Trump MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE has conceded is possible–Donaldus still deserves massive kudos for having gotten us this far.

Only fanatical political partisanship or irrational hatred of this President can account for why there are Americans who insist upon not only marginalizing the significance of this event, but further demonize Trump for having pulled it off.

While everyone today is familiar with the language of “fake news,” most people, irrespectively of partisanship, seem to have given the concept scant attention.

“Fake News” is indeed a real phenomenon.  In fact, at least politically speaking, and particularly in the Trump era, most of the news with which Americans are besieged is Fake News.  Given its ubiquity, then, we should be clear as to what it is—and is not.

To say of an item that it is Fake News is not to say, necessarily, that it contains no truth.  Just the opposite tends to be the case: It is only and precisely because coverage of an event consists of some truth that its partisan manufacturers are able to pass it off as legitimate news.

What makes an item a species of Fake News is not that its content is untrue but, rather, that it is true only so far as it goes—which never remotely approximates the point that it needs to reach. Fake News is distinguished on account of the details that its producers edit out so as to make their stories serve their editorial interests—which is to say their political agendas.

Fake News is fake by virtue of its content, true.  But its fraudulence as news stems equally as much from the primary motivation of its purveyors.

Fake News manufacturers and distributors are not, you see, motivated by the desire to inform the public of the truth.   They are driven first and foremost by their aching desire to destroy their political opponents while simultaneously running cover for their political allies.

For sure, Fake News can contain unequivocally false claims.  Yet the presence of false claims is neither necessary nor sufficient to establish those claims as Fake News.  There are at least two reasons for this.

(1)Though a claim is substantively false, it needn’t be a lie if it was made in good faith. Even the most well-intentioned of journalists make mistakes from time to time.  Their errors, taken in themselves, should not be used as a pretext for convicting them of producing Fake News.

(2)There may not be any false propositions at all in a story, but it can still be Fake News as long as the peddler, for partisan political considerations, omits other true statements the knowledge of which would radically alter the consumer’s reading of that story.

The Age of Donald Trump has already provided us with a virtually endless supply of examples of Fake News.  As I write this, the President has just concluded a world-historic meeting with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, a feat that no other American president ever came close to accomplishing.  Because, though, the vast majority of media talking heads and scribblers are leftist Democrats—that they prefer not to advertise their political sympathies doesn’t change the nature of those sympathies—the vast majority of journalists can’t chance recognizing Trump’s act as the historically-unprecedented, potentially world-changing event that it is.

And, so, they’ve resolved to continue doing what they always do and trash Trump.

From NBC News:

“He praised North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as ‘honest, direct and productive’ and lambasted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as ‘dishonest.’”

This is true; but it is true only as far as it goes.  The President, apparently, did indeed make some commendatory judgments of Kim of the kind reported by NBC, and he was critical of Trudeau.  Yet, unsurprisingly, this notorious anti-Trump network lifted the President’s comments from the wildly different contexts in which he made them so as to convey the blatantly false impression that Trump intended to make categorical moral assessments of each man: Kim Jong Un good, Justin Trudeau bad.

In reality, Trump was engaging in diplomacy with Un, i.e. exactly what he flew to Singapore to do.  As for Trudeau, Trump castigated the Prime Minister of Canada for telling Trump one thing, while telling the media something other. Trump, in other words, judged, not the overall person or character of each head of state but, rather, their actions on those occasions and within those contexts within which his interactions with them transpired.

Notice, months back when Trump referred to Un as “little rocket man” and saber rattled with him via Twitter, the Fake News peddlers at NBC and elsewhere slammed the President for his bellicosity.  Now, they’re slamming him for supposedly being too diplomatic.  This most recent NBC article levels both charges:

“Just months ago, he [Trump] was threatening to unleash ‘fire and fury’ on Kim and calling the North Korean autocrat ‘little rocket man.’

“Now, he’s telling the world that Kim is a credible partner in peace talks.”

This passage is clearly meant to reinforce the leftist Democrat talking point that Trump is incoherent.

This is Fake News.

But there’s more. The article also says that Trump “publicly muses about winning a Nobel Peace Prize” and that “he’s appeared somewhat obsessed with the idea that he can forge new bonds with adversaries in North Korea, China and Russia.”

First, Trump himself never “publicly muses about winning a Nobel Peace Prize.” It is others, people like, most tellingly, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who have publically expressed their belief that, for his historic efforts to in effect end the Korean War and bring peace and unity to the Korean Peninsula, Trump deserves this prize.  “President Trump should win the Noble Peace Prize. What we need is only peace,” Moon Jae-in said back in April.

Obviously, the journalists at NBC didn’t want to report this inconvenient detail.  To do so would all too easily lend the impression that, judged by those most directly involved, i.e. Koreans as represented by the likes of Moon Jae-in, Trump already scored a tremendous moral victory for his critical role in bringing the governments of South and North Korea together for the purpose of realizing a new era of peace.

It is more politically advantageous for NBC to strengthen the media’s anti-Trump script by making it appear that it is an arrogant, self-delusional President alone who talks about an award to which he thinks he is entitled.

In asserting that Trump is “obsessed” with forging new relationships with such “adversaries” as North Korea, China and Russia, NBC seeks to reinforce the media-created profile of Trump as a man both mentally and morally unfit for his office: He’s not just consumed by obsessions, but with obsessions of how to make American government more compatible with the governments of some of the planet’s most infamous regimes.

Trump does want for America to co-exist peacefully with the world. Yet by NBC’s spin, it convicts itself of producing Fake News.