The right wing mythos
Charles Sykes, a former right-wing talk show host, morbidly watches the monster he helped create:
For years, as a conservative radio talk show host, I played a role in that conditioning by hammering the mainstream media for its bias and double standards. But the price turned out to be far higher than I imagined. The cumulative effect of the attacks was to delegitimize those outlets and essentially destroy much of the right’s immunity to false information. We thought we were creating a savvier, more skeptical audience. Instead, we opened the door for President Trump, who found an audience that could be easily misled.
Paul Rosenberg explains how “fake” news takes on power when it is used to weave a false history and false state of the world, that nonetheless hangs together in a psychologically compelling way:
While Trump lied in many different ways about many different things throughout his campaign, fake history provided the surrounding mythological framework that made his other lies work. It justified them, made them sound plausible and formed the foundation for other lies he built on top of them — especially the notion that he was a unique truth-teller on the side of “real Americans” and that anyone who said anything different was out to get them, especially anyone who challenged Donald Trump. .. Trump is a salesman, and he’s selling a story: a story of American decline that he alone can fix.
There has been a flurry of articles in the right-wing media trying to point out newsstories in the main stream media that were somehow wrong, i.e., “fake” news is a problem everywhere. Those are directing people’s attention to the trees, and away from the forest.