Fake snowbirds and this is not basketball

snowbirdsThis was a part of my view Sitting on the Green Couch Watching All the Dogz Go By, er, actually picking away at a spreadsheet with jazz, etc., on WEMU rolling along in the background and punctuated by a trip over to Howard Cooper Germain Honda. There are occasionally some real snowbirds *outside* the window, mainly cardinals.

I can’t write in detail about “fake news” tonight. I did spend a bit of time yesterday interacting with someone on facebook who had a wee hissy about an accredited news source, albeit not one that I am particularly fond of watching myself. But then, I do not watch much TV. I enjoyed the good old days of watching John McGowan on TV 9&10 up north. I know this sounds provincial but I haven’t found a TV newscaster since that I like and “trust” as well as I liked John, whatever that really means. I just know that we would get to Houghton Lake and John would be on reporting about northern Michigan news and I would feel likw I was home.

There’s a continuum here. At one end is true fake news, I guess. The folks over in former SSRs (or wherever) who manufacture news and feed it to facebook so they can laugh when American idiots fall all over themselves reposting something that they haven’t researched (or even read!). There is the opposite end of the continuum where sites like The Onion deliberately post fake news AND LABEL IT THAT WAY! Alas, I have facebook friends (not friends who I know well or read my blahg) who have recently posted Onion articles as if they were truth. At least I think they have. Not sure though, just peering through the haze and trying to figger it all out. I think we need folks like the Onion (and SNL) and I don’t want them to go away.

Then there is the muddle in the middle. I am not a journalist in any way shape or form. I am having trouble sorting out what is real and what is not. What probably bothered me the most during the last year is what I want to call Clickbait. It’s somewhere in the middle of the continuum, teetering on the edge, maybe. It’s when an alluring headline leads to an article that either reported something that isn’t true or an article that doesn’t in any way shape or form have anything to do with the headline. Alas, I have seen news sources of all sorts of credibility (see continuum) and not sure who to believe except for my “gut”. Seems like not everyone can sort that kind of thing out.

But please please please, I think we are into a kind of no-man’s land with journalism. I don’t like that and I totally don’t understand it but here are a couple of guides for navigating this era: NPR’s fake news guide and, if you are one of those people who distrust NPR, you may want to check out an article in the Smithsonian Instutition’s magazine. The Smithsonian magazine is not a newspaper but I think they did a good article on “fake news”. Please read this instead of whatever Mushie (or whoever) is sharing on his/her facebook page.

One Response to “Fake snowbirds and this is not basketball”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I am terrified of the lack of REAL news out there and how easily people’s minds are twisted. They don’t seem to want to find out the truth. Disheartening.