The fake news – fake narrative epidemic Pt. 1

The fake news – fake narrative epidemic Pt. 1

The CIA and FBI say Russian hackers influenced, or tried to influence, last November’s election, with Vladimir Putin himself directing the covert cyber-attacks. These claims have been made without evidence to back them up. There have now been tens of thousands of references to “Russian hackers” in mainstream media over the past month. Most of these, as a lawyer would say, assume facts not in evidence. I guess repetition counts as evidence these days, however.

Fifteen years ago the CIA said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and that there was a real and living threat he would use them against the U.S. This evidence-free claim led, back in 2003, to the worst foreign policy blunder of the new century, as Bush II launched the Iraq War. Saddam’s regime was brought to its knees in less than a month. But then what? An insurgency began; over 4,000 Americans ended up losing their lives; tens of thousands of Iraqis were also killed, with tens of thousands more people displaced as war spread across the region, today’s hotspot being Syria. Small wonder Donald Trump could call U.S. foreign policy “complete and total disaster.”

No weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. This turned out to be the fake news story of the decade.

Fake news is the order of our times. In mid-2015, when Trump first announced, his candidacy was a joke. The “experts” said so. He would never be taken seriously. Then, of course, he was. The “experts” went on to say he had no chance at the nomination. Then, as one by one, his empty-suited competitors fell, he did. Trump, who was invoking issues the GOP base cared about such as outsourcing, immigration, globalism, and jobs, began racking up delegate votes, until Ted Cruz was his only opponent. Then he won the GOP nomination. He still had no chance against the Clinton machine. The pundits said so. The major polls all said so. Then Trump won the Presidency!

The rationalizations began. It was “whitelash” (said Van Jones). Then it was James Comey’s fault and Email-gate. Then it was fake news on Breitbart, Facebook, and Twitter. More recently it became Russian hackers. One could make a case for the first of these. Many white people are fed up with political correctness. They have had it with being told they have “privileges.” They are fed up with official narrative on race, gender, homosexuality, and so on. Trump actually said little about these, but what he did say appealed to the white working class. Ergo, he’s a racist, a sexist, and so on. This is Exhibit A in the decline of critical thinking skills amongst the “experts” of our era, and certainly among so-called progressives. At one point, Trump told black America, “Your schools are terrible.” This is the truth. Most public schools are terrible. Some are worse than others, though, and those of the inner cities border on dysfunctional.

We are awash in fake narratives, promulgated in universities and government as well as major media. Fake narratives form the backdrop that gives mainstream media fake news credibility. If the subject is race, the fake narrative begins with the premise that America is a structurally racist society, that what is harming blacks today is the legacy of slavery, not their own behavior; that they continue to face unjust discrimination; that their visceral hostility and violence is to be blamed on the “white majority,” and that more “education for diversity” is the cure.

If you don’t agree, then you’re a “basket of deplorables” racist, “irredeemable” and possibly even a “white nationalist” or “white supremacist.”

Thus you will not read about black crime in any general way, even if a few dramatic incidents like the four blacks who kidnapped and tortured the autistic white kid in Chicago might be covered. You will read that Black Lives Matter, but you will be told that to respond, “all lives matter,” is to be racist. You will not read that blacks are 13% of the population but commit well over 50% of all violent crimes in the U.S., and in big cities, this number rises to over 90%, most of it against other blacks. There is far more violent crime by blacks against whites than by whites against blacks. There is far more hatred of whites by blacks than there is hatred of blacks by whites. These, too, do not fit the fake narrative, any more than does the occasional black conservative who has figured all this out. Thus if you assert them, you must again be a “deplorable” and possibly a “white… Well, you get the idea.

Or take gender, that “social construct” (i.e., academic superstition) that is something other than biological sex. Women are held back by the “glass ceiling”; never mind that one just ran for president and would have won had it not been for the Electoral College. Women, it seems, face hostile environments, because everywhere they go, they face the “patriarchy.”

Universities have a “rape culture” where one in five (one in six? one in four?) girls can expect to be sexually assaulted at some point. Another fake narrative. Recall the “campus rape” story at the University of Virginia fraternity house that Rolling Stone reported? Completely discredited, this sordid tale owes its existence to the fake “rape culture” narrative. The article has been taken down. I am not surprised. It is embarrassing. Read (I copied and saved portions of it):

“Jackie was sober but giddy with discovery as she looked around the room crammed with rowdy strangers guzzling beer and dancing to loud music. She smiled at her date, whom we’ll call Drew, a good-looking junior – or in UVA parlance, a third-year – and he smiled enticingly back.

“Want to go upstairs, where it’s quieter?” Drew shouted into her ear, and Jackie’s heart quickened. She took his hand as he threaded them out of the crowded room and up a staircase….

Drew ushered Jackie into a bedroom, shutting the door behind them. The room was pitch-black inside. Jackie blindly turned toward Drew, uttering his name. At that same moment, she says, she detected movement in the room – and felt someone bump into her. Jackie began to scream.

“Shut up,” she heard a man’s voice say as a body barreled into her, tripping her backward and sending them both crashing through a low glass table. There was a heavy person on top of her, spreading open her thighs, and another person kneeling on her hair, hands pinning down her arms, sharp shards digging into her back, and excited male voices rising all around her. When yet another hand clamped over her mouth, Jackie bit it, and the hand became a fist that punched her in the face. The men surrounding her began to laugh. For a hopeful moment Jackie wondered if this wasn’t some collegiate prank. Perhaps at any second someone would flick on the lights and they’d return to the party.

“Grab its [sic.] m********* leg,” she heard a voice say. And that’s when Jackie knew she was going to be raped.

She remembers every moment of the next three hours of agony, during which, she says, seven men took turns raping her, while two more – her date, Drew, and another man – gave instruction and encouragement. She remembers how the spectators swigged beers, and how they called each other nicknames like Armpit and Blanket. She remembers the men’s heft and their sour reek of alcohol mixed with the pungency of marijuana. Most of all, Jackie remembers the pain and the pounding that went on and on….

When Jackie came to, she was alone. It was after 3 a.m. She painfully rose from the floor and ran shoeless from the room. She emerged to discover the Phi Psi party still surreally under way, but if anyone noticed the barefoot, disheveled girl hurrying down a side staircase, face beaten, dress spattered with blood, they said nothing. Disoriented, Jackie burst out a side door, realized she was lost, and dialed a friend, screaming, “Something bad happened. I need you to come and find me!” Minutes later, her three best friends on campus – two boys and a girl (whose names are changed) – arrived to find Jackie on a nearby street corner, shaking. “What did they do to you? What did they make you do?” Jackie recalls her friend Randall demanding. Jackie shook her head and began to cry. The group looked at one another in a panic. They all knew about Jackie’s date; the Phi Kappa Psi house loomed behind them. “We have to get her to the hospital,” Randall said.

Their other two friends, however, weren’t convinced. “Is that such a good idea?” she recalls Cindy asking. “Her reputation will be shot for the next four years.” Andy seconded the opinion, adding that since he and Randall both planned to rush fraternities, they ought to think this through. The three friends launched into a heated discussion about the social price of reporting Jackie’s rape, while Jackie stood beside them, mute in her bloody dress, wishing only to go back to her dorm room and fall into a deep, forgetful sleep. Detached, Jackie listened as Cindy prevailed over the group: “She’s gonna be the girl who cried ‘rape,’ and we’ll never be allowed into any frat party again.”

This story began to unravel almost at once. Efforts were made to identify “Drew,” something “Jackie” had refused to do from the start. There was no evidence he existed. And are we really supposed to believe that these people rolled around in broken glass for three hours? Or that following a brutal gang rape, she and her friends would be pondering the future of their social lives?

It turned out that when someone checked its calendar, the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity had not held an event the night of the alleged “gang rape.” As “Jackie’s” friends were located, they had different stories of what happened that night, leaving investigators with an incoherent mess. “Jackie” stopped cooperating. Surprise, surprise.

Had this “gang rape” actually happened as described, would there have been the slightest doubt? Ever knocked a drinking glass to your kitchen floor by accident? Of course you have; we all have. You locate the pieces and pick them up gingerly, unless you want to sustain a few painful cuts. For part two click below.

© 2017 Steven Yates – All Rights Reserved

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Steven Yates

Author Email: [email protected]

Steven Yates is an independent scholar and author with a doctorate in philosophy. He is the author of the books Civil Wrongs: What Went Wrong With Affirmative Action (1994), Four Cardinal Errors: Reasons for the Decline of the American Republic (2011), and the ebook Philosophy Is Not Dead (2014). He is an expatriated American living in Santiago, Chile, with his wife (a chilena) and their two cats, Bo and Princesa. He owns Final Draft Editing Service, which caters to Chilean academics needing editorial oversight with their English (although he accepts U.S. clients as well as clients from elsewhere around the world). He is currently completing his first novel, to be entitled Reality 101, to be published later this year, while continuing with nonfiction projects such as The Fifth Stage of Civilization and others. Dr. Yates occasionally blogs about philosophy and related matters at https://lostgenerationphilosopher.wordpress.com, and has just joined Patreon.com: if you find his writing valuable and important enough to be worth your financial support, please consider visiting the site and making a contribution (free books and possibly more are in the offing). He might also be building his own house soon.

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