It amazes me the amount of disinformation, fake footage, skewed facts and out and out lies, the news tells the American public every night. Equally amazing is the complete lack of interest of that same American public in actually finding out the truth. Even more shocking is the vehemence with which they will fight you if you simply tell them the truth. People immediately jump to the conclusion that Fox News would the the ones that report fake news. They also believe that fake news reports are issued by their parent corporation. However, both instances are completely false. Everyone issues fake news and the news issued is not done so by GE or whatever corporation of the station.
|A Completely Made up Screenshot|
The term fake news has become synonymous with government and corporate sponsored pre-packaged news provided as video news releases (VNRs) and audio news releases (ANRs) to news outlets.
The Center for Media and Democracy, issued a report entitled “Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed”. The multi-media report tracked television stations’ use of selected VNRs over 10 months. The report summary states:
“CMD identified 77 television stations, from those in the largest to the smallest markets, that aired these VNRs or related satellite media tours (SMTs) in 98 separate instances, without disclosure to viewers. Collectively, these 77 stations reach more than half of the U.S. population. … In almost all cases, stations failed to balance the clients’ messages with independently-gathered footage or basic journalistic research. More than one-third of the time, stations aired the pre-packaged VNR in its entirety.”
In a follow up CMD issued a report entitled “Still Not the News: Stations Overwhelmingly Fail to Disclose VNRs.” Although the research period for this report was shorter — only six months — dozens more undisclosed VNR broadcasts were documented. The report summary states:
“Of the 54 total VNR broadcasts described in this report, 48 provided no disclosure of the nature or source of the sponsored video. In the six other cases, disclosure was fleeting and often ambiguous.”
Along with the release of each report, CMD and the media reform group Free Press filed a formal complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requesting enforcement of the Commission’s sponsorship identification requirements with regard to VNRs. In August 2006, the FCC sent letters of inquiry to the owners of the 77 television stations named in CMD‘s first report.
|War Room Photo Later Revealed as Fake|
Some of the VNR’s are blatantly obvious, but others are not. Remember, the government issues VNR’s as well. That is to say, the government packages together a complete story and footage that they use to promote themselves and give it to news networks, major and small. These are not disclosed to the public. For instance, the entire Bin Laden footage was not real. The facts of the “story” have been all over the place and key people have contradicted themselves and other key people in the administration. They have disqualified nearly everyone of the cabinet members in statements saying that “that person did not know what they were talking about.” Piecing the statements together that the CIA representatives, what was presented on the news, and comments made to reporters, there is no possible way that a clandestine operation took place less than a week ago. The photos of the death have been deemed to be forensic fakes as well.
The Usama Bin Laden assassination is a prime and blatant example of a VNR put out by the government. No media outlet, at this point, nor even the FCC would dare reveal that it is a VNR. Not only would they fear severe reprisal by the government, but more than likely would fear for their very lives. Other than a comedian talk show host, like John Stewart or Stephen Colbert, would break the story that the Bin Laden story is fake.
That being said, I knew about the story before the news reported it. I knew it was coming down the line. And, I knew it was completely and utterly false.
How to Identify a VNR or Fake News Report
Given that stations will not disclose that a particular piece if a fake news report or a “sponsored” piece, one has to wonder, how can one tell if a segment is real news or fake news. There are plenty of hints in the video itself and or if the piece centers around something that you cannot help but be exposed to:
- a particular product is mentioned more than twice in a segment
- a particular product is shown more than twice in a segment
- a company is mentioned more than twice in a segment
- a government agency is mentioned more than twice in a segment
- a government operation is glorified and complimented in a segment
- a plea to your emotions is evoked in a segment [ “this is tragic” “this is terrible” “this is fantastic” ]
- one of the only two political parties is vilified in a segment
- one of the only two political parties is glorified in a segment
- a religion is mentioned twice in a segment
- a religious dignitary that is completely foreign to the normal American religions is the center of a segment
- a government agency or branch is the center of a segment
- a law is mentioned and applied as if it were fact, especially when it is still being voted on
Some of the points are shocking and one is left wondering how can any news be real, if all of the points are true. That, my friend, is the problem. A lot of “news” is completely made up, fake or propaganda for some entity that you don’t know about. It would shock many Americans how much sway, something like the Catholic and Vatican City has over the presidency and congress. It would shock many Americans how often corporations draft and “market” legislation through our own government. That marketing takes the form of news casts, news papers and magazines. The American public does not realize that it is being marketed to, however. They take everything said in the news as factual and not a marketing ploy.
When companies, like ours, explain that what they are watching is nearly 90% marketing, the American reaction is typical and denialistic.
- Noone wants to believe that we have an undocumented person as a sitting US president.
- Noone wants to believe that Bin Laden was not killed 6 days ago.
- Noone wants to believe that Bin Laden had nothing to do with 9/11.
- Noone wants to believe that Israel is an aggressor in the middle east and not the other way around.
- Noone wants to believe that the CIA is the entity that incited revolt in middle eastern countries and not a sudden up-swell for a wish for more freedom in an all Muslim country.
- Noone wants to believe that there is no monolithic terrorist organization out to get America.
- Noone wants to believe that the government answers to corporate beck and call.
- Noone wants to believe the Mothers Against Drunk Drivers is not a benevolent organization and is in fact an organization hell bent on prohibition instead and forces the hand of every state in the union with threats of ousting state legislators.
- Noone wants to believe that the influx of illegal immigrants serves the purpose of corporations to erode the middle class and gain a new slave labor pool, in contravention of what the government says. Remember, the government is at the beck and call of corporations.
- Noone wants to believe that the two party political system is in fact a single party political system that parades before you in an alleged show of being opposite one another.
- Noone wants to believe that the US government can get along perfectly well without all of the American income tax [ that right there is a 3 part story branching into corporate bullying to get themselves exempted from taxation; getting tariffs lifted from imports; and sticking the bill on American citizens, who were never intended as part of the taxation deal ]
Corporate America and the US government has done a mass campaign for years on the American public. They have done it so well, that now no facts nor the truth is ever shown to the public. VNR’s are nothing more than marketing. The government does it. Corporations do it. Companies do it. They market everything from dish-washing liquid to joining the army to raising taxes with your blessing for more wars, i.e. more money for military contractors.
My fear is that one day we will wake up and the entier story of “Shadowrun” will be true. Mega-corporations will rule the planet and the only technology available to the public will be the stuff they let us have. Governments will be merely there in name only, blatantly so. It is already happening.