Fake News is the fictional troll under the media bridge, conjured to distract attention away from the fact that the real trolls are prancing around in the middle of the bridge, waving great banners of incompetence and hurling insubstantial vitriol with megaphones. The interesting thing about Fake News as a concept is that once someone has staked everything on the existence of this fake media as a way in which to devalue all opposing political positions (and through this to notionally create more value for their own ideological and political assertions), there is a corrosion of the more general cultural value of truth. Calling into question your opponents’ assertions in this way and in what is essentially an immature manner creates just as much doubt about your own positions and opinions and, much as with most psychologically disruptive illness, this potentially leads to a descending spiral of desperate paranoia and insecure instability.
The takeaway from this: the defensive “Fake News” fabrication sweeps up with itself what may be genuinely questionable news, authentic journalism and also – the assertion of the existence of Fake News. You can’t question truth without questioning everything including the assertion that Fake News actually exists and this will probably lead the purveyors of the untenable positions that require Fake News to improve their own political capital to fall into escalating and deteriorating, downward spiralling insecurity and desperation. The projection of one class of falsehoods to attempt to protect the legitimacy of another is an utterly nonsensical position to assert.
This is ultimately not even about Left-Wing or Right-Wing politics – this is a reflection on the fact that if you can not sufficiently defend your own actions and statements in the public arena without resorting to infantile name-calling in lieu of constructing comprehensive, intelligent defence of your own ideological assertions and political positions – you are probably not qualified for the job. This brings to mind the Dunning-Kruger Effect, which “is a cognitive bias in which low-ability individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability as much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive incapacity, on the part of those with low ability, to recognize their ineptitude and evaluate their competence accurately.” Otherwise put: there are political figures who are themselves thriving on the construction of actual fake news while decrying opposing positions as Fake News and it is highly probable that these people may not be competent or intelligent enough to possess the metacognitive insight into what they themselves are doing.