Have we not seen our fill of 'fake news' this week? The media has inundated our social timelines with pure crap lately and I think its time we begin to ask ourselves, "Is this even news?"
Covington Catholic High School closed its doors Tuesday out of concern for the safety of its students after the now infamous encounter between a handful of their students and some native American wanna be 'Vietnam Vet' on the warpath apparently suffering a flashback set off by their red 'MAGA' caps. Some national media outlets ran with this brief confrontation due simply to the fact that these kids were wearing red Trump hats. Without any consideration to the damage they were about to cause to the reputation of these boys and the school itself, they unleashed a barrage of slanted news stories alerting the nation that these children were terrorizing an elderly Vietnam veteran, hurling racial slurs at him. I mean from the media's point of view, these boys surely must be racists. After all, they were wearing the red caps, the new stylish fashion that has replaced the white hoods of supremacists...to hear them tell it.
And as the dust settles, I must draw attention to the fact that this never was newsworthy. Had it never been for those red caps, nothing would have ever been said about the incident. I've seen the videos...nothing happened. No punches were thrown, no verbal exchanges, no rioting masses...just some old man beating a drum in the face of a teenager who happened to cross his path. No, this was never news.
Have you heard Vice-President Pence's wife has a new job? Imagine how boring our social timelines would be if everyone who started a new job had a story posted on Facebook. Ah, but she landed a job teaching at a Christian school...nope, still not news. But the fact that this Christian school has policies in place that adhere to their Christian principles, including an unfavorable view of homosexuality suddenly made this story newsworthy in the eyes of the national media. Really, what do you expect from a Christian school? Lady Gaga has gone public with her opinion, calling Pence a sorry example of a Christian. Lady Gaga, shut up. None of us care what you think, not one of us. Go get yourself another tattoo or whatever you do to pass your time. This story was never, ever news. Why did we have to be exposed to it?
Fox news slipped in Ruth Ginsburg graphic during an unrelated segment saying Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is dead. They blamed it on a control room error but the question flitting through my mind is, why was this particular graphic just laying around anyway. I wonder if there is such a picture with my name on it and the date of my impending death? Obviously, this wasn't news since she is still around, but yet another example of sloppy journalism that floods our nation.
Even Blake Shelton had to correct Billboard, yes that trusted source of music news we've all come to believe as the gospel of the music industry. Billboard erroneously reported that Blake and George Strait had signed on with Paradigm Talent Agency in Nashville to represent their touring interests. Blake Shelton came back with this; "When did fact checking go out of style? My god... One phone [call] would tell them this isn’t true. Please be careful about what you believe on the internet, everybody. Unreal."
I was destined to become one of the great journalists of my generation according to my high school journalism teacher, Miss Marshall. Personally, I am thankful I chose another profession for I would have never fit into the mold that today's news reporters come from. She taught me to write unbiased news and allow the reader to form their own opinions. The news has not been written in this fashion for some time, but the profession continues to unravel at an accelerated pace, as we can see from just these examples over the course of one week. Today's theory in the news profession is quantity over quality. Thousands upon thousands or articles flood our social media daily, many without any merit and most of no value to anyone. Little of the garbage I see is news, just someone's opinion. The Washington Post apparently has given up on calling their fodder news. Everything I see on my timeline starts with 'Opinion - Blah, blah...' And if I click on the link, they want me to pay them a dollar to read someone's opinion that I know I'm not going to agree with. Damned Jeff Bezos and his schemes to make another buck.
We, the American public must treat everything we read with a grain of salt. We must question the validity of what we read. We must form our own opinions and not allow ourselves to be swayed by the beliefs of some fruitcake journalist. And finally, we must ask ourselves...is this really news? As Blake Shelton said, "Please be careful about what you believe on the internet, everybody. Unreal."