“Fake News” and “News Bubbles”–On Selling the Need to Eliminate Freedom of Speech

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

“They were interchangeable tools, and the catchy phrases continued without abatement.” ― Robert A. Caro (who writes about power and power brokers).

Of late, headlines seem peppered with two new expressions–“fake news” and “news bubbles”.

Say, what?

What’s happened to the news?

You mean we can’t rely on all the smart men and women in news organizations and government positions here and abroad to tell us the truth?

Of course we can’t!

I mean, look at all the hacking going on by, let’s see, the Russians, the Chinese, the North Koreans, the Brits, the Saudis, the Americans, the Left, and Right, the Middle (did I leave anybody out?).

I mean, that’s what ALL the news outlets are revealing….oh, wait….but can we even trust THAT information?!

(Sarcasm off.)

Or is there another reason the news about the news has suddenly been the hot topic?

Some think yes.

MY CONCERN

Maybe in light of the power of the news from all sources–real, fake, or “bubble”–to affect change and to shed light on both good and evil, there might be some people who would like to keep some of it hidden, at least spin it around to make people think the opposite of the truth (re-labeling abortion “choice,” for example).

Of course, there is some news we are wise to shield from others. National security secrets, for example. By inadvertently–or purposely–leaving gaps in the information-hedge of protection around plans to keep us safe, we invite mayhem.

But many people believe something else is going on, advertised with new memes and slogans and promoted largely by the so-called “Mainstream News” (MSM).

Clearly, so much news about the news is either a tempest in a teapot to distract people from major events taking place elsewhere (oh, I don’t know, like the build up of hostile forces on the border of one Eastern European country just now or our own Southern border, or the abandonment of a key ally in the Middle East as of a certain U.N. vote a few weeks ago, for another, or  federalizing elections, for yet another), or it just might be for a completely different reason: to eradicate our freedom of speech and of the press here in the United States.

See what you think.

By accusing the sources (independent/alternative media) of the critical situations cited parenthetically above as being “fake” or “bubbled” while “mainstream media” is barely reporting on them the real news will be held from MSM-only devotees and more bias against independent/alternative media will foment thus corralling more and more people into the now arguably-partisan news sites we used to trust for correct and properly vetted information.

Thus, one might conclude that by accusing alt news of being fake or “bubbled,” this might rather be an attempt, in part (or in whole), to persuade people away from continuing to support our First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and of the press and to persuade us to accept a kind of “word-policing” governmental body, a Ministry of Truth, you might say, that is anything but.

In my opinion (and I am obviously not alone) it is for the goal of providing for us, as outgoing President Obama put it,  a “common baseline of facts,” (very clever way to put it in his highly emotionally-charged, thus more effective, farewell speech) so that–I suppose he and others want us to believe–we will be saved from lies and propaganda.

Ironically.

The rest of us, skeptical to the core and/or aware of the power and mechanisms of spin, counter with what we think is really likely: this is the next step in an attempt to squash our freedom of speech by an ad campaign to get us to sign on to the restriction of our own volition.

Because, you see, the first important steps of embedding the “right” to institute such a new government policing body by implementing policy and procedure have been executed although many people may be unaware of this.

How? Two ways.

Via last year’s hand-over of the Internet to globalist control (globalists who do not have to regard our Constitutionally protected freedoms here in the U.S.) and by the January, 2013, repeal of the anti-propaganda law that, critics say, now allows our government to propagandize citizens via all means of communication.

In other words, by those two actions, two precedents for a takeover of our freedom of speech have taken place.

But to offset a massive protest, it is now necessary to promote the ideas in palatable ways because eradicating a whole section of the Bill of Rights that gives us the freedom of speech (and press) is a hard sell, though memes such as “fake news” and “news bubble” are pretty clever word-smithing and work to persuade many.

At least until enough people catch on.

But it does keep the Ministry of Truth-mongers on their rhetorical toes.

The first obfuscation, the “fake news” meme, wasn’t quite strong enough. The public discourse soon, for the most part, resembled a middle-school playground argument:

“YOU’RE fake news.”

“Am NOT. YOU are!”

“Am NOT!”

And so on.

Even the anti-free-speech rights crowd seems to be catching on that the slogan is just a little too obvious. So “fake news” has had relatively short-lived influence per any real power, though it has not completely faded from the headlines. That is to say, most people are on to the ruse, thanks to, well, free speech and a (still) flourishing independent news–and social–media.

So back to the spin rooms, quick, as the first attempt, “fake news,” fades.

Hmmmmm….”news bubble” does seem to have some oomph to it. Easy to visualize (somebody in their own sheltered/restricted little ‘bubble’ reading and viewing only that which he or she wants to reinforce his/her bias). Additionally, it’s a little more of a classy term, if you will, and it was also inserted into Obama’s farewell speech…

But bubbles are bound to burst, so I would not at all be surprised if pretty soon there might be more blatant “campaigns” to get us all to comply with the elimination of the First Amendment–particularly as the “official” precedents, noted above, get more legislative and policy-crafting teeth and are thus harder to reverse or override.

MY GREATER CONCERN

History is replete with more obvious attacks on free speech once the spin-meisters fail, for example, banning certain books from the library (didn’t I just hear that Huckleberry Finn is once again on the banned list somewhere, and now To Kill a Mockingbird, as well? Yes, I did).

If that doesn’t work, and as more and more rights are eliminated in a given nation, there’s book burning usually financed by the well-heeled (and anti-freedom) ministers of the Ministry of Truth while all the while in a more genteel approach, if you will, in the ivy halls, efforts increase to revise literary history and real history to delete “offensive” writing for those who now demanding protection from being offended, however they may define the offense…

See what I mean?

About the danger our Freedom of expression faces just now in the United States?

Just saying (as long as I can…).

If it still seems like a tinfoil hat conspiracy to you, reader, may I encourage you to step outside the MSM thought box for a few minutes, bust your own bias bubble, and read something from another point of view.

Do so in private, at first, if you must, for safety’s sake.

Don’t necessarily announce this to any of your friends for awhile, should you decide to continue.

And if you understand my tone in the previous two sentences as not one of sarcasm but of urgency, you are beginning to get it.

Welcome aboard.

As never before, we need to be vigilant in what ways we can: voting, writing, talking.

MY GREATEST CONCERN

But most of all, we need to resist this multi-pronged attack on our First Amendment right to freedom of speech and of the press by exercising and maintaining those freedoms–because what in one season might be propaganda ginned up by one political faction might, in the next season, be propaganda ginned up by another.

In that sense, we are all in this together.

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