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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer
Monday, December 12, 2016
Liberals’ FAKE NEWS PANIC Proves They Can’t Handle Truth
Allow me to help our mendacious doomsayers, whose frightfulness conjures images of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Step One is to get their heads out of their own posteriors.
Step Two is to locate the source of their fear and loathing, and they don’t need a shrink for that: It’s Donald Trump’s resounding victory. Because they can’t handle the truth, they are turning their tantrums into a witch hunt and wild conspiracy theories. The sudden fascination with fake news and Russian hacking reveals only their rage against reality.
Yes, it’s true some websites carry stories cut from whole cloth. There are also well-regarded newspapers that treat their own biases as holy writ.
Recall that the Times and its co-conspirators created a fictional Trump held aloft by goose-stepping brownshirts and toothless bigots rising from the swamps. They aimed to scare the country into supporting Clinton by turning their front pages into editorial pages, where “straight news” became an oxymoron.
With their distortion magnified by copycat broadcasters and left-wing cable bile, it’s no wonder the scaremongers never imagined a Trump victory. No dissenting voices were permitted to interrupt their groupthink, and none did.
Yet even now, instead of trying to understand where they went wrong, they pound the table and declare that everybody else is wrongheaded. To the media clergy, the Earth is still flat.
One result is the hysteria sweeping college campuses, leftist basements and Hollywood salons. Having drunk the national media Kool-Aid, they are bewildered that the sun still rises. How could life possibly go on with Trump in the Oval Office?
Another result is the defeated left’s search for “solutions” to the proliferation of ideas beyond their control. Their proposals run the gamut from foolish to dangerous as they aim to restrict free speech by any who dare challenge their monopoly on truth.
And so the Trump deniers enlist social-media gatekeepers to block everything from fake news to “hate” speech, with definitions set by the like-minded. How comforting.
Most political truths are like that, in the eye of the beholder.
Here’s one example of the tangle they face: Is burning the American flag patriotic or a form of hate speech? Who’s to make the final decision, the people who burn the flag or the people who fought to defend it?
Or consider that President Obama claims the problem with the media is “segmentation,” meaning people gravitate to what they like, as if that’s a bad thing. In the next breath, he singles out Rolling Stone magazine for doing “great work.”
That’s odd, given that the magazine just lost a libel suit over a false campus rape story it retracted. Ah, but here’s Obama’s truth: Rolling Stone featured him on the cover 10 times, so of course it’s doing great work. It agrees with him!
Most political truths are like that, in the eye of the beholder. That’s why the Founders created a system based on the concept of the more voices, the merrier.
The First Amendment was designed to produce a cacophony of competing views instead of establishing a single one. And no single authority would decide what speech is true and what speech is false.
Justice Louis Brandeis, who revered the American ideal, wrote that when confronting falsehoods and fallacies, “the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”
On another case, Brandeis wrote, “In frank expression of conflicting opinion lies the greatest promise of wisdom in governmental action; and in suppression lies ordinarily the greatest peril.”
The suppressors are out in force now, thrashing about in their fever and determined to silence speech that doesn’t conform to theirs. The only sensible response is to tell them to keep their hands off the First Amendment. It’s perfectly fine the way it is.