Today, it is hard to tell what is real and what is just made up in the news. Rumors are so prevalent in American news organizations today that one doesn’t know if what is written or reported is true or just someone’s way of manipulating the truth or distracting from bad press reports. I cannot remember it ever being so hard to know what to believe regarding what comes from politicians and their supporters and enemies.
The term “fake news” is so distressing for me, for it blurs the lines between what people need to know to be safe and what is pure lies and is not important at all. That can be dangerous in a society that depends on news organizations to supply us with real and factual information. But lately, we have so many stories of uncertain origin and of doubtful truth. What a mess!
I have decided not to believe anything until I have researched it for myself, which is so time-consuming. I do not pass along news items to friends or family, for fear of muddying the waters and losing my credibility with them. I don’t even know if we can find our way back to news that is trusted.
Growing up with journalists such as Walter Cronkite, Ed Bradley, David Brinkley, Barbara Walters, Howard K. Smith, Ted Koppel, Tom Brokaw, and, one of my favorites, Bill Moyers, and others in the communications age before 24-hour news coverage, I trusted them to give it to me straight. You somehow knew that what was presented was not full of rumors and innuendoes, for these people seemed to care about their integrity and credibility.
It saddens me, but I am hopeful. I just have to find a source that I feel I can trust to tell me the truth, whether I like it or not, and whether I agree with it or not. We have to find a way to stop the rumors and outright lies, the diversions and the distractions, and get back to telling it like it really is.