Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is opening a unicorn reserve where he will breed baby unicorns with rainbow coloured fur to spread peace and love around the world.
Oh no, wait. My bad. He’s launching a new website called Wikitribune whose main purpose is to combat “fake news”.
So, just like unicorn farming, then, only a bit more fantastical, naive, and ludicrous.
If “fake news” were a thing – that is, if it were the major threat to the quality of public discourse that progressives claim it is – then clearly Wales’s project might be a worthwhile venture.
But “fake news” is fake news.
Sure there might be one or two young entrepreneurs in Macedonia who somehow make a living out of selling fake news stories. Which is huge if true because it’s difficult enough to make a living these days selling true news stories – so if they’re really swinging it, these guys deserve all the money they get.
Easily the main reason, though, why we hear about “fake news” so much these days is that it’s the liberal-left’s favourite excuse as to why they lost Brexit and why they lost the U.S. presidential election. Apparently, if it hadn’t been for all the completely “fake news” claiming that Hillary Clinton was a lying, scheming, cheating, email-hiding crook with blood on her hands, not a single person would have been stupid enough to vote Trump.
Ditto Brexit: it was all to do with “fake news” stories like the £350 million figure on the side of the bus which literally everyone who voted Brexit thought was going straight to the NHS – otherwise, of course, they would all have done the sensible thing and voted to remain shackled to a failing, democratically unaccountable, incompetent, corrupt, socialist superstate currently run by a rude drunkard and a bunch of fascistic technocrats. Fake news made all the difference. Not.
When I explained all this in a panel discussion on the media at Chatham House in London a few weeks ago, the senior editor from The New York Times and the senior editor from CNN were aghast.
They were too polite to say what I’m sure they wanted to say which is that – as most liberals do – they mentally include Breitbart in the fake news category.
But they both very much believed that “fake news” was a thing and that it posed a significant threat to the kind of fair and balanced and scrupulously accurate news that their own organisations produced.
At this moment I realised something extraordinary: liberals actually believe this shit.
No really, they do. If you had to run that senior editor from The New York Times and that senior editor from CNN and Jimmy Wales through a lie detector test and asked them: “Do you believe the news you produce is fair, balanced, accurate, unbiased and neutral?” they would all swear to God (Gaia, whoever…) that this was the sole purpose of their journalism. And they would pass the lie detector test, because this is how the liberal-left mindset works: it creates “narratives” and then believes them wholeheartedly.
We on the right, being of a less romantic but more honest disposition, know this just isn’t true. We know there is no such thing as unbiased news. Think of almost any issue: tax, healthcare, Syria, Putin, climate change… The idea that there could be one acceptable and reliable opinion on such subjects is patently absurd. Only a liberal would be naive enough to think otherwise.
This is why the BBC is so hateful: not because it’s so hideously, irredeemably biased towards the liberal left but because it puts out its liberal left propaganda with public money while simultaneously pretending that it’s serving everyone’s interests because, hey, it’s not biased – it’s Charter Obligations say so.
It’s why CNN and The New York Times are so hateful.
It’s why Jimmy Wales’s Wikitribune is going to be so hateful.
They’re hateful because – unlike, say, Breitbart which is perfectly frank about its political bias – they won’t accept that the news they produce is essentially liberal-left propaganda.
Oh and one more thing. True news? From the creator of Wikipedia?? Really???