Fake news is a real issue. Who says? Ironically, it is often professionals in the news media business. A close look at the words “fake news” in the top left graphic reveals it is made up of various sizes of the word “propaganda.” Spotting propaganda and the problems associated with fake news will be examined in this factual and evidence-based report and analysis on modern American news. Let’s note that the issues found in American media or punditry today are not limited to the U.S. alone. Several of these principles apply to other nations around the world. But the focus in this report is to define propaganda and fake news, to give practical tips and examples which help people spot problems such as paltering. Behind every piece of propaganda, paltering, or fake news is an agenda. Understanding the agenda often makes sifting the wheat of truth from the chaff of falsehood, deception, and misdirection possible.
Overall trust in U.S. news is low and for good reasons. But note that not all news is fake news.
The limited ownership of media, the topic of the video above, is important in understanding the media and their agenda.
But another common feature – and a big takeaway you do not want to forget – is the challenge of paltering.
Paltering is a mix of truth with misinformation and/or facts that are not reported; more on that herein.
But the reasons for paltering, spin or other forms of misleading information is arguably because much of a given news outlet often has an agenda behind it.
Once the agenda that is lurking in the background is better understood, the relative reliability of the information is clarified.
Without understanding the agenda of the owners and advertisers in a publication, radio, or TV station/network, there is simply no easy way to discover the truth about often sensitive and important issues. Several examples are worth mentioning.
- The unfolding Afghanistan tragedy.
- The economic, health, cyber, and military threats from communist China.
- This is an affordable housing/manufactured home focused website, that needs to be mentioned as an issue that stunning amounts of misinformation exists.
While some of this is educational in nature, that will only be mentioned for now. Seeing the world as it is, instead of how a few big corporate masters – often through politicians they dominate through donations – want the population to believe is necessary in order to avoid a variety of often risky traps.
Stop and think. Trillions are spent every year by the federal government alone. Where does it all go? Who benefits from those trillions? Why is it that issues that have persisted for decades do not get resolved? Why does much of the mainstream media avoid or downplay such concerns?
The truth is that all news is tainted. There are no perfect news reports because there are no perfect people or enterprises writing, publishing, broadcasting, or streaming them. But that noted, some reports are better than others. The more that accurate facts and authentic analysis are in evidence, the more reliable the report.
Much of mainstream news is owned by a relatively limited number of corporate players. It is unlikely that news coverage will be produced that negatively impacts their own perceived interests. When the political and business interests are understood, a better grasp of how reliable the content may be on a given issue grows. Again, who says? Professionals such s Sharyl Attkisson. Attkisson separated from CBS News after winning awards for her investigative reporting. Attkisson has written books on the subject, as have others. The pull quote below from Attkisson helps set up a key point in understanding the reliability of news coverage today.
Attkisson is far from alone. An expose from Project Veritas, a Latin phrase for the “truth project” has caught on hidden cameras people from mainstream media outlets saying things that would not normally be heard during a network news broadcast. As an ABC reporter, David Wright said, “The fake news abounds. There are problem s with the truth these days.”
Attkisson tends to be centrist in her positions, but the voices cited below are often from the political left. Some of what they said can be understood as a critique of their own platforms. Some are academics or in other parts of the entertainment profession.
A good documentary, like a good article, will stand the test of time. Shadows of Liberty is all about the news. While it is now approach a decade since it was produced, the insights into the news business are potent. Shadows of Liberty also reveals how big business and big media cut deals to bury stories that would hurt a corporate brand. If you watched it before, it is still useful to watch it again.
Polling shows that most people are skeptical about the news.
A recent poll also reveals that some 73 percent of Americans are “dissatisfied” with “major corporations.” As well they should be, because it is routinely those “major corporations” that is forging the news that people see, read, or hear.
Dr. Robert Epstein is one of the experts interviewed for the video above, the full length version is shown below. The video is from 2019. Some of Epstein’s testimony to Congress is found in the video that follows the full length version of the Creepy Line, posted immediately below.
Paltering – Per Vocabulary
“People palter to confuse others.
Palter is an unusual word for a common thing: speaking or writing in a way that bamboozles others. Politicians are paltering experts: they palter when they leave out important information or use euphemisms to confuse voters. Paltering can be vague, distracting, or misleading. People palter when they have something to hide or just don’t want to discuss. Paltering isn’t outright lying, but it’s close. The opposite of paltering is being straightforward, clear, and honest.”
The Capital Research Center (CRC) sheds light on the problem of fake, misleading, or manipulative news by filing several of their reports under a category they call “Deception and Misdirection.” CRC and their impressive Influence Watch database often focus on problems found with agenda-driven nonprofits and foundations. They meticulously document their points. They source from across the left-right media divide.
The classic movie Charade has an exchange between the two main characters (played by Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn) that goes like this.
Charade character Reggie Lampert, played by actress Audrey Hepburn, asks: “Why do people have to tell lies?”
Peter Joshua, played by Cary Grant, wisely replies: “Usually it’s because they want something. They are afraid the truth won’t get it for them.”
Why bring this subject of how to spot fake or agenda driven news up on an affordable manufactured home website? Simple. The issues that impact housing in general, affordable housing, and manufactured homes include business, media, and government related challenges.
Let’s draw to a close by providing some other insights relative to media.
Repetition of the same claim over and over is a common method of propaganda. The Big Lie is another method that was popularized in National Socialist (NAZI) Germany, but was per historians used in the U.S. years before.
Note that attorney turned journalist Glenn Greenwald is from the political left. But he has proven his willingness and ability to be objective about pointing out contradictions from the ‘side of the aisle’ that he would normally favor. Greenwald became quite well known from his role in breaking the Edward Snowden disclosures of government spying on U.S. citizens.
Snowden is reviled by some and cheered by others. Similarly, Julian Assange of WikiLeaks fame published ‘leaked’ documents that often-revealed information that contradicted some government or politician’s claims.
This writer has long sourced from media from both sides of the aisle. But that doesn’t mean that every source gets equal weight. By knowing the agenda behind a source, that is factored in. But the keys are what Attkisson said, above.
- Check the facts.
- Follow the money trail.
- Once the facts are known, those facts can be separated from the opinion or angle that is being presented.
- The more someone knows about the topic, the less likely that a deception occurs.
Our Track Record for Accuracy
Because we begin with facts and evidence, and then use common sense analysis and clearly stated commentary, our track record on sometimes highly controversial topics speaks for itself. The reason for it is because we strive day by day to follow the principles of reporting accurately and labeling analysis and commentary. We may personally like or dislike this or that person, group, or whatever. But the emotions must be set aside in looking at the facts and evidence. Sometimes likeable people do terrible things. Sometimes unlikable people do good things.
When someone on the left or right is speaking about a ‘rigged system,’ it should be obvious that a rigged system depends in large part on propaganda, paltering, agenda-driven or ‘fake news.’
Chris Plante is a pundit with nationally heard program from the flagship station WMAL. Plante worked for CNN for some 17 years. He is a critique of that network, which Plante says was once ‘news’ but now is politically motivated spin. That said, once someone grasps “paltering” and the notion that reports may deliberately leave out or emphasize some fact over others, be it CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Newsmax, or whatever, the key is to focus on whatever known facts are there in the report. A politician or business leader may say something that sounds good, but if it leaves out important information, that must be considered.
There has been “deception and misdirection” from the dawn of human history. The devil tempted Adam and Eve with half-truths. The reports linked below will help provide a foundation for better understanding as well as give examples of reports that have stood the test of time.
Because even though we are tiny compared to any of the major networks, we do our homework. We aim on MHLivingNews and MHProNews to state facts accurately. We do the same with quotations. As a result, even those who may not like what we have to publish routinely read us as closely as those who love what is published here and on our much larger MHProNews sister site. Yes, that’s a plug, but it is a statement based on evidence that holds up to objective analysis.
Look for the truth, and even if it is uncomfortable, seek to act on the truth. Because a big part of the problem in our nation has been problematic news that routinely pushes a corporate agenda. Let’s close by noting that money can be earned honestly and dishonestly. News can be honest, misleading, or dishonest. Here, we aim to tell the truth. Our agenda is stated, we believe in affordable manufactured housing, and then provide the facts, evidence, research, and analysis to back it up. Because much of the media is misinformed on these issues, MHLivingNews and MHProNews exist. By aiming to tell it like it is, while holding the powerful to account, we are fulfilling a mission that brings millions of visitors every year. Our sincere thanks to those who read, supply tips and insights, those who sponsor our ongoing efforts, and use industry-expert or other professional services. Each plays a role in making this platform possible.
Don’t let people with a harmful agenda deceive you. Circle back to this report. Watch the videos. Share it with your friends. Because there is a battle for what is real and true and what is faked or false. ##
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We lay out the facts and insights that others are too lazy, agenda-driven, or otherwise uninformed to do. That’s what makes our sister site and this location the runaway leaders for authentic information about affordable housing in general, the politics behind the problems, and manufactured homes specifically. That’s a wrap on this installment of “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (Affordable housing, manufactured homes, reports, fact-checks, analysis, and commentary. Third-party images or content are provided under fair use guidelines for media.) (See Related Reports, further below. Text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHLivingNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and earned numerous awards in history and in manufactured housing. For example, he earned the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he studied history and business management. He’s a managing member and co-founder of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com. This article reflects the LLC’s and/or the writer’s position, and may or may not reflect the views of sponsors or supporters.
Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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