Years back we had the term ”the end of history” rise in, then fall from, the political lexicon.
No one really understood the concept, but it was premature and no longer matters.
Now, you frequently hear “the wrong side of history” thrown about — and like so many handy terms in our sound-bite age, people mistake or misuse them either by error or deception.
Shaun Livingston, a member of the Golden State Warriors, used it incorrectly, but innocently, last week to refer to the team having lost an NBA finals a few years back despite being ahead 3-1.
“We’ve been on the wrong side of history,” the player said. Ermmm, sure, Shaun, we get your meaning, but “wrong side of history” has far greater weight than blowing a big lead.
It comes out of the 18th century Whig political ideology, which sounds obscure but the sentiment is tantalizing and familiar: “History always proceeds from worse to better; from more wrong to less wrong. Tomorrow will be morally better than today,” to quote the website quora.com.
It states, “People who use that phrase unconsciously accept (the belief) because it is one of the fundamental unquestioned assumptions upon which modern intellectual dogma is predicated.”
Which sounds a lot like the grindingly invasive concept of “fake news.”
Coming to terms
Personally, I’m sick of the term, mostly in the way it has been adopted and perpetuatetd at the “highest” levels of politics, and also the way people toss it out as a handy jibe when a news outlet gets something wrong.
I get grumpy when people use the term in jest, like when I mentioned an error this newspaper made and someone laughed and said, “Fake news.”
It happens, folks, and we call them “Corrections.”
No, the toxic little smoke bomb “fake news” gets thrown around with the lack of care of so much chicken feed.
Mistakes are not fake news, nor is inadvertant editorializing (which we take pains to avoid).
Fake news is a term that Showman Trump cynically absconded in the face of the ACTUAL emergence of falsified websites and social media manipulation that involved people knowingly disseminating erroneous and malicious “articles.”
It’s a problem, made worse by our Great Leader distorting it for his own selfish ends.
Just as the American public began to grasp what is the real “fake news” problem, Trump turned it into a damning of anything he disagreed with or anything that put him in a bad light, and he began to slam legitimate news organizations as ”fake news.” For the sin of doing their job.
This skewing of the meaning of “fake news” was his invention, and he continues as the biggest purveyor of it.
And he clearly has help, to the point where one of his mouthpieces last week ended up, perhaps unwittingly, making it clear that Trump himself is the author of the idea. We can thank Laura Ingraham of the FOX program “The Ingraham Angle.” According to news reports, on June 6 as she prepared to interview Trump, this happened:
“While hundreds of veterans gathered in France on Thursday waiting for commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day to begin, President Trump sat nearby and joked with (Ingraham) about how he was ‘holding’ up the ceremony to do an interview with her,” reported MSN.com.
The ‘angle’ is now clear
“It was later revealed that the 15-minute delay was caused not by Trump’s affinity for Fox News, as many had believed, but French President Emmanuel Macron’s late arrival.
“Trump, however, appeared to believe and even delight in the idea that he was the primary cause of the delay during his chat with Ingraham.
“Listen to those incredible people back there,” Trump said, motioning towards the ceremony stage. “These people are so amazing, and what they don’t realize is that, I’m holding them up because of this interview. But that’s because it’s you.”
“By the way, congratulations on your ratings,” the president added.
(I’ll pause here and note No. 13 on the list of Most Irritating Things About Donald Trump: His obsession with ratings.)
And next is where Ingraham showed her, and Trump’s, true colors:
“After airing the pre-taped interview on her program Thursday night, The Ingraham Angle host wanted her viewers to know that regardless of what the president had just said in the segment they’d watched, it was not true that he held up the ceremony.
“By the way, some of you may have heard or read that President Trump supposedly held up the entire D-Day ceremony in order to do this interview with me,” Ingraham exclaimed.
“That is patently false. Fake news.”
Italics are mine. The president said what he did, created the fake news, and Ingraham the Angler has done us the favor of laser-pointing the truth of this phe-Trump-enon.
Once and for all, hand the president the sequined top hat, he’s the ring leader in the Fake News Circus.
I wonder if, even now, Ingraham even realizes what she said.
For the blindered, it hard to hear, or see, through POTUS’ smoke bombs and mirrors.