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The Fake News

      Whether we're talking about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction myth, the Rolling Stone rape hoax, or the Michael Brown "hands up, don't shoot" false narrative, fake news was around long before this recent PizzaGate hysteria or the dubious claims being made about Russian hackers. In fact, I wrote a book back in 2007 called The Fake News and a second edition of the book was published in August of 2015. Fake news stories generally center around topics which elicit emotional reactions in an audience. Once triggered, most people lose all sense of perspective and become incapable of rational judgement. This is exactly why it's important to develop an attitude of healthy skepticism regarding any claims made by just about anyone.

      Whether we're talking about middle school kids trying to set two people up for a fight by feeding them false information designed to get them angry at each other or about corporate news organizations spreading propaganda intended to convince the public that an enemy should be dealt with in a harsh and decisive manner, fake news is extremely common and has always been an ever-present hazard. To add more fuel to the fire, so to speak, both the Salem Witch Trials and McCarthysm can be seen as the result of fake news. For that matter, the McMartin Preschool Fiasco of the 1980s can also be seen from this perspective. As you've probably noticed, fake news and moral panics are closely related. So, although my book may not contain any mind-altering revelations, it does deal with a topic of universal concern in an entertaining and humorous manner. Please check out my book and thanks for listening!



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