Should we be wary of foreign fake news?

December 29, 2016

Someone asked me this recently.

The short answer is why be afraid of reading fake news from abroad. When there are already so many foreigners in Singapore – what sort of logic might that be to attempt to categorize local news as real and foreign generated news as fake?

Besides even with the media hankering over fake news and heralding the advent of the post truth era – everyone seems to be discounting one reality: Fake news is hardly new.

Truth is fake news has been around since news first assumed the mantle of the reliable purveyor of the truth and nothing but the truth – when the first commercial printing press was invented.

From the word go, news sensationalized, titillated, formented prejudices and served only the specious ends of those who wanted to stay in power.

This process of embellishing the truth, eliding details and only forwarding a sanitized version of the truth was known as propaganda.

Propaganda was the first recorded attempt by officialdom to pass off fake news as the real thing.

Those who rue the passing of the age of real news don’t seem to realize the only reason why real news is NEVER going to come back is simply because it never ever existed in the first place – as the primary drivers of commentaries on every conceivable subject of interest in this planet is NEVER a reflection of the the majority views of the population. Rather it has always served only the hidden agenda of the elites who want to hold on to the reins of power – this they all do by filtering information and massaging it as a means to achieve their ends.

If there ever existed such a thing as real news – it probably has to come out from the individuals brain.

As for the rest, it’s always been faker than fake.

That at least is how I see it.


‘People ONLY believe just because they have unfettered access to so many channels of news in the form of newspapers, radio, TV channels and the WWW, they will get an infinity of different opinions that will allow them to make an informed decision.

Then usually much to their surprise and disgust – they discover things are just the opposite or so far from their known understanding that frequently it provokes a deep sense of dissonance that can only infuriate them – that’s because a failing common to most people is to wrongly assume there is such a thing as objective journalism.

It’s only when people start to drill deeper behind the scenes that they will eventually discover much to their consternation: oh dear, you mean he or they owns that rag? I see that’s the historical profile of that journalist? You mean to say so-so is a major advertiser in that TV station? He what? He knows so and so? etc etc.

Eventually one invariably reaches a point of, I wouldn’t exactly call it understanding…maybe reconciliation that there can be no such thing as objective journalism.

It’s a myth – as we do to nearly live in a world where everyone works for someone or is at least accountable to some higher power to varying levels of degrees. That there may even be vested interest and governing philosophies determining what is right, wrong or round and square etc etc.

Hence with maybe the possible exception of reportage like who died, football results, and stock market tabulations. Apart from that the phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms – the only possible truth is journalist may still believe in that idea just as how cripples have to believe limbs are necessary only because they’re all have no choice but to go around in kinetically efficient wheelchairs – but even they at some point have to recognize their own conceit when they come before a flight of stairs.

The truth about the truth is one merely has the opportunity to seek out the truth – and even then, that power resides in one’s ability to remain discerning, perceptive and wise in the face of an ocean of lies – to always question everything at least three times and another for good measure. To always suspend judgement and take with a pinch of salt, even if it comes across as lucid and reasonable and above all to think deeply about things. It’s not something that you can just go out and buy in NTUC – as all that happens in between one’s ears. That’s really where the truth lies… for the rest it’s just lies and more lies.

That’s why most people prefer lies….it’s easy…cheap and convenient. As for the truth it will always be a time consuming, expensive and at times risky business.’

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