Can’t believe it’s already August, 2018…
The concept of “fake news” is all around us. With a typical case of temporal arrogance, many people today think it’s a new phenomenon. Wrong!
Journalists are people and the organizations for which they work are run by people. By the way, this has always been the case. <end sarcasm> People are biased; neither people nor their institutions are perfect. I have my own theory about “The Curse of 60 Minutes,” that after the CBS news show became successful and profitable, the other TV networks realized that news could be profitable and they began chasing profits instead of chasing integrity. TV “news” became entertainment and began chasing the lowest common denominator.
It’s not just TV, of course, but all news media. Let me offer two examples from my own life in the 1980s.
The first time my name appeared in print was in an interview with a prominent sports columnist for my (then) hometown newspaper. Not only was I misquoted in the column, but I was quoted talking about subjects that weren’t even discussed in the interview!
The second example involved someone who was the most well-known baseball writer of the day. I’m not exactly sure why he wanted to interview me, but when he did he asked for some background like my job. I told him I worked at OMB. When he asked, “What is that?” I replied, “It’s where David Stockman used to work.” Stockman was Ronald Reagan’s first budget director (I guess I have to write that OMB stands for Office of Management and Budget) and received much attention for his role in attempting to “reshape” the budget. He may have been the most famous OMB director ever.
When the piece about me was published so was this, “He is a close personal friend of David Stockman.” I never said that to the writer (or to anyone else, for that matter); I only mentioned Stockman’s name the one time in explaining what OMB was. I have never met Stockman; he was not OMB director when I worked there. I was a civil servant and not a political appointee.
OK, maybe this writer wanted to give me credibility by linking me to a famous person. However, what he wrote was “fake news” in a way.
The reason “fake news” may be more of a problem today is that “news” now comes from a seemingly infinite number of sources and it seems that many of those sources are inadequately vetted or not vetted at all. The time when most people received their news from their hometown newspaper and the major TV network evening news is long gone.
I was going to write about the new Corvette, but I think that “news” deserves its own post. However, here is a picture from a recent Automobile Magazine piece about the new Corvette:
I suspect almost all Corvette fans as well as many car fans, in general, are very curious about the new Corvette and really want to see it unveiled. I don’t know how much the new Vette will resemble the image in the rendering, but this image does look like a mid-engined car. To those Corvette aficionados who lament the move to a mid-engine layout I offer this: The only constant in the world is change. I have seen that remark attributed to Ovid and to Heraclitus.
The Corvette demographic, like Cadillac’s, is trending older. General Motors and Chevrolet need to update the car in order to keep it viable.
OK, Corvette fans. What do you think?
Remember that Facebook and Google are evil. Don’t let them take control of your life.