Fake News: Mainstream Media’s Very Own Picture of Dorian Gray

Decadent, immoral, and corrupt.

If you follow mainstream media these days, you might end up with the feeling that there is a new dating system in place. It is no more B.C. and A.D., now it seems to be B.T. (Before Trump) and A.T. (After Trump). And it does seem that the number of things that mainstream media make up, will not wash away anytime soon. The latest fad, until recently at least, was pushing the narrative on fake news. Scratch that, thanks to CNN it’s creating fake news.

Now, for those who don’t know, fake news has it’s own storied and time-honoured tradition, where The Onion is regarded as an institution in that particular genre. But instead of leaving it be, the mainstream media in their frenzy to find “the real cause” of why their anointed queen lost the elections, too scared to look in the mirror, decided to have a go at it.

How you ask?

Well, by expanding the term to include not only satire, but also misinformation, lies, and obfuscations. One shoe that fits all. Excellent, you will say, we need something like that. I agree, we do. So did the mainstream media. All until it blew back in their face, and they were the ones being called fake news.

You see, they thought they would define the term and use it in order to cow the conservative opposition into submission. They thought the right wing would just cave in and start covering themselves in ashes like they did in the past. Never did it ever occur to them, that what they are forging is a double edged sword that much more thirsts for their own blood than that of their opponents.

Truth is, with all the bashing the right wing went through in the past years, their audience is well trained at this point to disregard any negative or disparaging news against them as phony, to begin with. It doesn’t even matter anymore if the report is true or not. What they know is that the mainstream media is partisan, and thus biased. What they report is not with their best interest at heart, but in order to elevate their own side. Thus in the eyes of the people, they are nothing but breathless sophists, and thus forgotten as soon as they are heard.

It used to be that the two sides actually engaged with the other, but those times are gone. It is much easier to smear the opposition when the opposition is not around to dispute it. Now that the monster, who they woke up from the dead is at their neck, they regret playing Dr. Frankenstein.

There is something to be said when the New York Times, and the Washington Post are the ones complaining about being branded as Fake News. For one, there is a grain of truth in that. And for a rhetorical sword to even be able to cut, let alone wound, it requires that small grain of truth. If the New York Times, the Washington Post, and their ilk alike did not lie, obfuscate, mislead, and blatantly make stories out of thin air, they would have nothing to worry about. Had they actually done their job as it should’ve been done in the first place, they would have nothing to worry about. Had they actually possessed the tiniest of shreds of journalistic integrity they would have nothing to worry about.

It wasn’t the pundits, the right wing, the meme brigade, the internet trolls, the Russians, or even the penguins of Antarctica that destroyed the press’ credibility. It was all the mainstream media’s own doing. It’s not that the “conservative media machine” has become so “efficient” at countering the established narrative, as the George Washington University professor Nikki Usher claims for the Washington Post. The mainstream media has simply stopped doing their job, let alone pretending that they do it.

Margaret Thatcher once said: “Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.” The mainstream media has found itself in the position where they are screaming at the top of their lungs that, “they are not fake news”, and “how dare the people brand them as such?”

I’ll let time be the judge.

The carefully crafted facade the mainstream media maintained for years is falling apart. Concealing their ugly face like Wilde’s Dorian Gray was hiding his portrait in the attic, convinced the mainstream media that it is not them who are turning uglier by every deed, but the public. Alas, the Truth is unforgiving, and for every lie that they tell, She leaves an ugly wrinkle, and an additional twist to an already crooked smile on their face. Who are we kidding, when did you last see a journalist who could smile? All they do these days is shriek their lies.

by Ivan Šokić

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