Rantings and Ramblings

Fake News, Fake TV Shows

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, the same idiom can be used with which came first, fake news or fake TV shows?

The whole idea changed when the news divisions of the TV networks were moved to the entertainment divisions. Suddenly basic journalism went out the door and it became entertainnment. Another contributing factor to this bastardization of the news is the trend for the 24 hour news cycle. With the proliferation of cable networks, they need material to fill their schedules. So they often feed us tripe recycled, repeated, and unsubstantianed. And we believe it!

The air waves are full of pundits, talking heads, political commentators, political pundits, political analysts, and commentators. Keep in mind that it is all opinion people! Think for yourself!

A pundit is a person who offers to mass media their opinion or commentary on a particular subject area on which they are knowledgeable (or can at least appear to be knowledgeable), or considered a scholar in said area. A columnist is a person who writes for a publication in a series, creating an article that usually offers commentary and opinions. Notice that neither one says they provide facts but rather opinion.

Many Americans get their information from the following TV shows. But people, stop and think! All of them are expressing opinions, often politically slanted and motivated.

When I read news sites or happen to catch one of the shows listed above, I am reminded of what Paul Joseph Goebbels was a German Nazi politician and Reich Minister of Propaganda of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945 once said:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

So when you hear the never ending chorus of political candidates, politicians, celebrities, and pundits calling Trump a racist or white supremacist day after day, the truth behind Goebbels statement begins to ring true. The simple fact is anyone can call anyone a racist or a white supremacist and the accused has little chance of defending ones self.

Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times Op-Ed Columnist made a similar point in the New York Times: “My view is that ‘racist’ can be a loaded word, a conversation stopper more than a clarifier, and that we should be careful not to use it simply as an epithet. Moreover, Muslims and Latinos can be of any race, so some of those statements technically reflect not so much racism as bigotry. It’s also true that with any single statement, it is possible that Trump misspoke or was misconstrued.”

Racism is the belief in the superiority of one race over another. I could call Biden, Sanders, Warren, or Waters racists. And if I repeated it enough times and more people began following my lead and repeating it also, pretty soon it would be almost impossible for them to shake the stigma whether they really were in the beginning. The label will stick!

Another tactic often used by politicians and candidates is to label their opponents with inflammatory words that immediately tripper emotional reponses. Words like Nazi, gestapo and concentration camps all have a very negative connotation. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with others, use this rhetoric in expressing her views. To me, this is lowest level a person can stoop to. Hey AOC! You are a Nazi!

Back to the subject at hand, fake TV shows. One of my favorite shows are the court shows, Judge Judy and the Peoples Court. However, I know that they are completely fake but entertaining in the fact I see just how stupid people can be. It is all about entertainment, not a real legal process.

Court shows like Judge Judy , but instead they are an arbitration process, which is a way to resolve disputes without actually going to court. An arbitrator, always some sort of neutral party, hears a case and makes a binding decision. It’s less formal than a court case, but it does require training.

“Assigning a level of ‘reality’ to reality court shows is difficult because, like with most reality TV, these shows fall more in the area of ‘contrived’ than exactly genuine or fabricated,” says Dave DiVerniero, a producer at Black Chip Studios in San Diego. While TV court programs may not actually have scripts, there is certainly a desire to create as much spectacle as possible, and playing up the drama is strongly encouraged by producers. “They often ask the guests to change case details and dramatize their stories to provoke reactions,” says DiVerniero.

However, in most situations, the cases and people are real, DiVerniero confirms, adding, “Occasionally, people will fabricate cases to get on a show and get an appearance fee. I have heard that even if producers know the cases are fake, they do not stop them from appearing.”

To be clear, what’s happening on these shows isn’t a real trial, nor are the judges acting as real judges (though they may have been—or are currently—judges in real life). You’re actually watching a legal process known as arbitration, a legally binding form of what’s known in legal terms as “alternative dispute resolution.”

In the non-TV world, people use arbitration and its cousin—mediation—to work out disagreements without having to deal with the court system, and to try and come to a mutually beneficial resolution. The ruling of an arbitrator is legally binding; however, an arbitrator’s ruling can be overturned, particularly if a court decides the issues included in the arbitration fall outside the scope of the agreement.

Reality television has faced significant criticism since its rise in popularity. Critics argue that reality television shows do not accurately reflect reality, in ways both implicit (participants being placed in artificial situations), and deceptive (misleading editing, participants being coached on behavior, storylines generated ahead of time, scenes being staged). Some shows have been accused of rigging the favorite or underdog to win. Other criticisms of reality television shows include that they are intended to humiliate or exploit participants; that they make stars out of untalented people unworthy of fame, infamous figures, or both; and that they glamorize vulgarity and materialism.

HERE is a list of scripted TV shows.

The whole point between fake news and fake TV is that the American people are being duped. We are so brainwashed with this material that we begin to believe what ever lie is told. We hold some fault ourselves. We tend to watch shows that favor our way of thinking, thus just reforcing are beliefs. We should view the opposing views as well and then make intelligent and knowledgeable decisions ourselves, not relying on others to think for us. We do not question, we do not doubt, we do not investigate. We allow people, celebrities, talking heads, advertisers, the media, corporate giants to shape our thinking. We are not thinking for ourselves. We are letting others do this for us.


Mike Holeman |