How ‘Fake News’ Continues To Manipulate Your News Feed
- Direct lying about matters of fact.
- Leaving out vital information
- Limited hangout. (This is an admission of a crime or a mistake, which only partially reveals the whole truth. The idea is that by admitting a fraction of what really happened and burying the biggest revelations, people will be satisfied and go away, and the story will never be covered again.)
- Shutting down the truth after publishing it—includes failing to follow up and investigate a story more deeply.
- Not connecting dots between important pieces of data.
- Censoring the truth, wherever it is found (or calling it “fake news”).
- Using biased “experts” to present slanted or false “facts.”
- Repeating a false story many times—this includes the echo-chamber effect, in which a number of outlets “bounce” the false story among themselves.
- Claiming a reasonable and true consensus exists, when it doesn’t, when there are many important dissenters, who are shut out from offering their analysis.
- Employing a panoply of effects (reputation of the media outlet, voice quality of the anchor, acting skills, dry mechanical language, studio lighting, overlay of electronic transmissions, etc.) to create an impression of elevated authority which is beyond challenge.
Rappoport expands further explaining that one could find more forms, or divide these ten into sub-categories. Such techniques are often on full display in medical and health reporting. Over the past year, there appears to be a larger push by corporate media outlets to shut down inconvenient truths and facts. At the New York Times, where brutal rounds of layoffs and budget cuts have axed copy editors and ad execs, the outlet appears to now be a full, unapologetic mouthpiece for vaccine manufacturer advertising. Its recent piece titled Should I Get The High-Dose Flu Vaccine is nothing more than a simple vaccine manufacturer marketing brochure transposed onto the Times’ website. Unfortunately for the readers, the article omits the serious adverse events and deaths reported during the vaccine’s pre-licensing trials in which the shot wasn’t tested against an inert placebo. Another New York Times article titled Why Don’t We Have Vaccines Against Everything goes all-in surrendering any semblance of investigation to call for more funding and revenue streams to create more vaccines.
A similar angle was also reported on by euractiv.com, a Merck-sponsored media outlet, when European Commission’s deputy director-general for health and food safety Martin Seychell said during an event at the European Parliament “We are not doing enough to incentivize innovation if we don’t look at the business model that is used to bring this innovation to market.” What is omitted from such stories painting Big Pharma as a benevolent, cash-strapped victim is the fact that vaccine manufacturers enjoy the luxury of liability-free products, are openly allowed to skip the scientific method when researching the safety of their vaccine products, and whose revenue has increasingly benefited from government laws forcing their for-profit products onto global populations.
In the digital age, online news reporting enjoys the ability to first gauge public reaction and then disappear information accordingly – a technique called the memory hole. For example, in 2018 the Washington Post ran the headline Researchers find hint of a link between flu vaccine and miscarriage. It took less than a day for the educated public to point out that the “hint of a link” was actually over a seven-fold increase of miscarriage after flu vaccination. The Washington Post then changed their original headline to a more authoritative one, What to know about a study of flu shots and miscarriages, in which the media outlet still lied to its readers by omitting the dangers and ineffectiveness of the flu shot.
Sometimes stories slip through or investigations hit too close to home and expose a factual narrative that corporate media often fights to isolate or omit. An eight-month investigation was reported by Slate and found the major Gardasil trials were flawed from the outset. The piece was one of the few recent examples where a corporate media outlet didn’t fawn over the HPV shot and did real reporting surrounding the sordid history and lack of science underpinning it. Almost instantly, Slate felt the need to apologize for doing original investigative work. The article now carries an embarrassing preamble as its opening sentence directing readers to a seven-paragraph explanation why Slate felt the need to investigate the HPV vaccine at all. The original Slate author, Danish journalist Frederik Joelving, recently learned that a PR company secretly compiled a list for his country’s health authority with names of 180 journalists who are color-coded according to their supposed stance on the HPV vaccine. Will such lists be used to reward vaccine sympathizers with government funding as to artificially bolster certain “trusted” views and organizations? Canada’s Justin Trudeau has just earmarked $595M to “assist Canada’s news industry” which is “struggling to adapt to new media” reports The Globe and Mail. Meanwhile Slate’s findings, and other HPV clinical trial flaws, have been detailed in an open letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb calling for immediate investigations into the seemingly fraudulent trials sponsored by Merck.
When fake news fails, the public has witnessed and experienced a historically dangerous new trend of ham-fisted open discrimination to dehumanize certain populations. For example, the LA Times recently put out the idea that parents and doctors who utilize medical exemptions to vaccination are akin to cockroaches who are “notoriously hard to kill.” Previously, the Boston Herald said of the doctors and researches who laid out facts about vaccination at a local community forum that doing so “…ought to be a hanging offense.” Even the medical community isn’t immune with biased reporting. The LA Times asking in 2017 Why hasn’t California cracked down on anti-vaccination doctors? Their reporting has been in unquestioning lockstep with the authoritarian narrative by Big Pharma profiteers pushing aside your pediatrician to make the practice of medicine, medical care and decisions a mechanized bureaucratic delegation of the state.
The good news is that several media outlets and individuals are reporting on the continued, growing laundry list of inconvenient truths and unsettled science surrounding vaccination. From the inaccurate vaccine adverse event reporting mechanisms obscuring the true risk of vaccination to the layers of assumptions regarding vaccine safety that resemble a pyramid scheme, issues are being uncovered and presented transparently on a regular basis. Research institutes, blogs, recently published books and even letters to the editor are commonly addressing topics and painting more complete stories with greater courage than corporate media has been willing to.