Really Imaginary, Imaginarily Real

Before reviewing the articles and video

As mentioned in the article by Sandra Álvaro Fake news: sharing is caring,

“Fake news, invented for ulterior gain…”

-Sandra Álvaro, Fake news: sharing is caring, 2017

will help us see in the direction that fake news exist to suit the author, and even though they could be using the same source, the evidence based on it are used to justify different means and objectives.

The Washington Post

In the Washington Post article, we can see how Trump reacts to the media in regards to the resignation of then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and how the media was talking about it.

Taking examples from his tweets seen in the article,

What can be seen is the diversion from the topic of the call between Flynn and the Russian ambassador, to questioning the trustworthiness and authenticity of the news that was sent out through social media.

The Breitbart Article

In this article, the author similar to Trump, targets the trustworthiness of the media, more specifically on the bias against Trump and his administration. We can see that even at the start of the article

The Washington Post, which has long hated Republicans, and Trump in particular, is leading the charge.”

-Virgil, Virgil: The Deep State Bumps Off General Flynn. Who’s the Next Target?, 2017

Using loaded words and phrases that emphasised on that bias, along with the notion of classified information being spread to the public, this has brought the original topic off course and makes the public wonder the authenticity of the original news that was on the media.

SNL video Response

Despite the exaggeration and satirical performance of certain moments of true events, the understanding from the public that SNL does these kinds of exaggerations to provide comical relief allows the viewers to see it as not only an entertainment piece, but also to know what has been going on.

Overall response to fake news and the above examples

Seeing how the leak of Flynn talking to the Russian ambassador has brought about a series of articles and news regarding other matters concerning the media, we see how

The proliferation of Internet use has led to a post-digital society in which connectedness is a constituent part of our identities and surroundings and where everything that happens on line has consequences in real cultural and social contexts.”

-Sandra Álvaro, Fake news: sharing is caring, 2017

making users of social media all around the world to influence and question the authenticity and trustworthiness of the news that is being broadcasted.

Taking a step back, we could also see the idea that the

“Internet has brought about a change in the production of information, which no longer comes from the authority of a few institutions, but is instead created in a collective process. “

-Sandra Álvaro, Fake news: sharing is caring, 2017

Which raises the wariness of whether an article can be trusted for its credibility or not. Things are being done that enables filtering away fake news as mentioned in the article by Sandra Álvaro, but it’s definitely not enough to filter off every fake news. The best that we can do is to not take for granted every news on the internet and to check with other sources. Both on the internet and real life.

8 thoughts on “Really Imaginary, Imaginarily Real

  1. Excellent point about the credibility of news resulting from the collective process of distributed authorship, rather than hierarchical forms of institutional opinion. Can we trust what we read? Not always, but then you point not to take these stories for granted, but this require some critical skill. For many without the ability to differentiate, they are fooled into believing those who would manipulate and distract from the mainstream press, by undermining their authenticity. The key is to see through that manipulation, and many who don’t fall prey.

    1. Mr. Trump,

      You will never be my President. And your hands are obviously tiny, so stop trying to shake the hand of every Wall Street CEO you can to line your pockets with and take America for all it’s worth. Oh, and thanks for making the New York Times the number one most visited news publication in America. I guess they really aren’t “failing” after all.


      The Opposition

  2. If Trump’s objective is not to get to the truth, but to get to the White House (and if facts are not necessarily on his side), Trump could only benefit from broad skepticism over the viability of news as a concept. The sad fact is that when academics and scholars very aptly recognize that:

    The best that we can do is to not take for granted every news on the internet and to check with other sources. Both on the internet and real life.”

    Trump and his group have potentially only come closer to accomplishing the breaking down of a fact-based world. If yesterday we trusted news per se, and today we only trust news as far as we can source it ourselves, then tomorrow we can only trust sources, and the day after that perhaps we can only trust ourselves. And only trusting yourself is scarily wrapped up in the supremacist mindset through which Trump won the election – where the supremacist would say “the closest thing to trusting myself in other people is to trust other people that are just like me.”

  3. Your point about SNL is interesting to me because I believe that satire can’t be dismissed — it does let people know what’s been going on.  I saw that episode of SNL when it aired and I thought it was hilarious, as did most of the people I know.  To get the joke, we had to know what it is making fun of, and we clearly understood Sean Spicer’s controversial personality and manner. Even though I viewed it as entertainment, it would be foolish of me to think that it didn’t further influence my view of Mr. Spicer. I am sure it did.

  4. It can be hard to spot fake news, and part of the insecurity about fake news is that it forces people to reelconsider what the truth is. In a culture which is all about getting somefin fast (fast food, fast knowledge, fast news) fake news creates a significant barrier to accessing information quickly. Now people must check and re-check their information in order separate the reel from the imafined. Fake news prays upon the cultural weakness of a lazy news culture as it knows that most people will quickly take sides on which news is true, and then vehemently oppose all others without doing any further research. How can we combat the cultural power of media laziness and how it empowers fake news? Even fish has become raft with fake reporters and fake news, check out the fake image here:

  5. Nat, I like your point about how the SNL sketches “allow the viewers… to know what has been going on.”

    These simple words say it all and we cannot underestimate the awareness that comedy provides to the politically indifferent (I have been guilty of this!).

    Comedy is a great point of access to people who avoid or are indifferent to politics. The sketches are entertaining and often leave viewers wanting to know more and form their own opinions!

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