It’s official. The Biden Administration is engaging in the War on Misinformation! As we breath a collective sigh of…well, utter confusion to be honest, we’re left with some serious questions. What is considered misinformation? Who determines what constitutes misinformation? What is Joe Biden’s favorite flavor of ice cream? (Okay, that last one wasn’t really mine. That’s an actual question asked of the President by a “reporter.”)
Ice cream question aside, we’re entering a strange new territory, one where the rules of reality as we know them are null and void. It’s to the point we’re one ironic twist away from a Rod Serling voiceover. This isn’t just a Leftist ploy; this is a question of reality itself, and we’re not even college-age stoners. Well, you might want to light up a fatty and settle in because this one is going to get weird.
What the Left thinks it means – false information that damages society
What it really means – information that damages Leftist narratives
As I’ve noted before, the Left has a love/hate relationship with the truth. They love it when the truth backs them up, and they hate it when the truth doesn’t back them up (which is most of the time). With the advent of a Donald Trump Presidency, however, they started hugging the truth tighter than a “popular” girl’s prom dress. And, surprise surprise, the Left found misinformation with every Republican/conservative statement, no matter how factual the statement was. There’s a reason Trump supporters and others have come up with the #TrumpWasRight hashtag, and it’s not because they’re cult members.
It’s because, well, Donald Trump was right.
But the Left can’t bring themselves to admit the truth. After all, they claim reality has a liberal bias (except when it comes to the number of genders, the effects of Welfare on the poor, and the absurdity of the government spending money to prop up the economy, just to name three). When the facts don’t fit, the Left does its best to either memory hole the truth or poison the well (not literally, unless you count Flint, Michigan) by attacking the source instead of refuting the information.
I’ve covered an aspect of this previously when I discussed media “fact checkers”, but for those who haven’t read it yet, here’s the short version. Most fact checkers you’ll find are tainted by biases, especially well-known and oft-circulated ones like Snopes and FactCheck.org. They would scrutinize every word Donald Trump said to find the worst possible interpretation while giving Joe Biden as much leeway as a needle thrown in the Grand Canyon. Yes, I know this smacks of “whataboutism” but it’s not wrong. Check out Politifact’s recent “fact check” on whether President Biden wants to ban handguns, which is a direct quote from the man. Let’s just say Politifact’s interpretation is the fact checking equivalent of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (Speaking of which, does Melinda get half of the foundation in the divorce?)
To bring this all together (finally), this process of partisan fact checking lends itself very well to misinformation. Combine that with social media’s lax and contradictory application of misinformation standards and you see the crisis for what it is. It’s like trying to get a sip of water from a firehose. There’s a good chance you’ll get something, but you’re more likely to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume being sent your way.
And that’s only part of the problem. Our attention spans are getting shorter than…wait, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah, attention spans! With the sheer amount of information we get on a daily basis, we have to pick and choose what we consume, which makes it easier for misinformation to get around. After all, if someone with some authority says something and it gets repeated by others, it must be right, right? Oh, by the way, Dr. Fauci, phone call on line 5, one for each of your positions on masking.
I don’t disagree with the notion misinformation can be destructive, but it gets more destructive when it becomes politicized because all politics is personal on some level. That’s why political attack ads are effective and still being used today. Where I part company with the Left is in the danger assessment. The Left claims misinformation can be deadly, citing the number of COVID-19 cases and President Donald Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic. If only we had followed the science and listened to our non-Trumpian leaders, we could have saved millions of lives!
Except not even the Left follows the science completely and gives off misinformation on the regular to sustain the notion President Trump made the pandemic worse. He could have taken other actions, sure, but while he was trying to get a handle on the situation, the Left and the media (but I repeat myself) gave constantly changing information. First it was “you don’t need masks” to “wearing masks is a sign of Asian hate” to “OHMYGODTHEWORLDISGONNADIEUNLESSYOUMASKUPANDQUARANTINEINPLACE” to “don’t trust the vaccinations because Trump rushed them to the public” to “maybe you should get them if you’re in a high risk group” to “OHMYGODYOUNEEDTOGETTHEFAUCIOUCHIEORYOUWILLKILLEVERYONE.” Put simply, the people who are so concerned now about misinformation are the ones who benefitted most from it politically and ideologically. If that and the gradual escalation of hysteria aren’t huge red flags that can be seen from orbit, I don’t know what to tell you.
Actually, I take that back. I do know what to tell you: be smart about what news you consume and do your own research before taking a stand. Not only will you be able to develop intelligent opinions, you will be able to ferret out the bad actors, and this time I’m not talking about Tara Reid. And don’t buy into the idea misinformation is in the eye of the beholder. It doesn’t matter who initially distributed it or what their intentions were or what greater good they think they’re serving. If something is wrong, it’s wrong. End of story.
And whether it’s the federal government or Big Tech doing it, I’m not a fan of the current crop of self-professed determiners of truth and falsehoods being the ones to dictate reality to us. Some of these folks are confused by the idea there are only two genders, for the love of Pete! Do you want these nozzleheads anywhere near the decision-making process on what is misinformation?
Anyway, I wish the Biden Administration the best of luck in their battle against misinformation. I mean, it couldn’t be any worse than our showing in the War on Drugs, right?