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The Madera Tribune

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Editor's Corner: Another look at fake news by public

October 24, 2017

A recent poll reported by Policito says that 46 percent of Americans say that they believe the media make up fake news about President Trump and anybody else they want to lie about — but here is what should make you beware: the poll itself may be fake news!


The reason I think the poll could be fake news is that I believe a lot more than 46 percent of Americans believe the news media make stuff up, not just about Trump, but just about everybody and everything.


I run into a lot of people who believe the media make up news. More than 46 percent. They believe that is especially true of the cable news networks CNN and Fox News.


They do not believe that these two networks make up news about earthquakes, or hurricanes, or forest fires, because it is hard to make up an earthquake, or a hurricane, or a forest fire.


But if none of these natural disasters is available to be reported upon, it may be that the reporters have to make up something about the president, or a member of the cabinet, or a movie star, or a film producer in order to get somebody to watch their channels.


This made-up stuff is usually pretty inconsequential. Do you remember the last Trump scandal story you heard on CNN? Do you remember the last Hillary scandal you heard on Fox News? I am one who doesn’t.


I do remember stories about the big earthquake that hit Mexico City a few weeks ago. I do remember stories about the hurricanes that hit the Caribbean and the United States. I do remember stories about the big fires that have burned our nearby forests and also those that have destroyed no small part of Santa Rosa and its neighboring wineries.


I think CNN and Fox News do a good job of reporting real news, but when they start making stuff up, it’s not hard to figure out that’s what they’re doing.


Thomas Jefferson believed a democracy would not survive without newspapers — nowadays he probably would say news media — and I believe he was right.


And I believe people understand that enough to try to determine what they’re being fed is fake or real. As long as they do that, I think democracy will survive.

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