French President Emmanuel Macron says he will propose new laws to crack down on “fake news” and its sponsors, and that persons who produce “fake news” will be “punished” somehow (https://www.politico.eu/pro/macron-proposes-new-law-against-fake-news/).
Does that mean I’d better not do any more jackalope stories?
How does Macron define “fake news”? Is it just reporting things that aren’t true? Gee, he’d have to ban almost all the America nooze media. Like, really–babbling away on Election Night, 2016, about Hillary’s impending landslide victory: how fake was that? Or the New York Times, year after year, printing Walter Duranty’s lies about the workers’ paradise being created in Russia by Stalin? It was all lies, and they got a Pulitzer Prize for it.
When you make laws against “fake news,” you have to anoint somebody to decide what’s fake and what isn’t, and that’s where the whole idea goes wrong. Suddenly “fake news” is any news critical of the punks in power. Try to imagine Loretta Lynch with the power to label and prosecute “fake news.” It ought to make your hair stand on end.
Our First Amendment guarantees, by law, the freedom of the press–without adding that the press is, of course, free to report all the news deemed “not fake” by the government. Because that freedom comes with no strings attached, we have always had to put up with “journalists” who are something less than a credit to their profession. We have always had to put up with a certain amount of bogus news. Our mainstream nooze media is, frankly, a disgrace. But because the First Amendment prohibits putting fetters on the press, alternative news outlets, made possible and effective by the Internet, have been able to develop and thrive.
Confound these power-hungry empty suits, like Macron, who are always trying to chop down the tree of liberty! Always for our own good, of course–which they know, but we don’t.
The partisan nooze media we have to tolerate now is an annoyance.
But giving some government dummy the power to decide what news is fake and what isn’t–well, that would be a lot more than just annoying.