What You Don’t Know

I don’t watch a lot of television and though I really like watching 60 Minutes (A news weekly in the United States) I rarely take or make the time to see it. 

But I really enjoyed the live show on Christmas evening. I was absolutely fascinated watching Mike Wallace interview Mark Twain. I guess it was live because it was Christmas but whatever the reason it was truly amazing watching two living legends going back and forth talking about a major topic of the day.

Fake news!

One of the more profound things that Twain said was “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” 

His point was that much of what you read on the internet just can’t be believed. He also added that sadly, today it’s just not just the internet you can’t believe, sometimes even the mainstream media reports inaccurate information. Gone are the days when all “news” needed to be verified by two or three sources, now it seems more important to be first than to be right.

Hillary Clinton said recently that fake news was an epidemic in the U.S. Not only is she right but it’s not just the United States, it’s everywhere.

Some people will apparently believe anything. Did you hear about the guy that read about the same Hillary Clinton operating a child sex ring out of a Washington DC pizza shop. This knucklehead went to the pizza shop with a gun to “investigate” for himself. Somehow the gun went off … I think the guy is still in jail.

I mean how crazy do you have to be to believe everything you read online?

Apparently not very crazy. 

In an article published by something called AWDNews on Tuesday December 20, former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon was quoted as threatening to destroy Pakistan if it sent troops into Syria. “We will destroy them with a nuclear attack,” the article quoted Yaalon as saying. There is no evidence that Yaalon ever said those words.

Pakistan Defense Minister Khawaja Asif responded to the fake news article on his official Twitter as if it were real. He warned Israel that it was not the only nuclear power. “Israeli threatens nuclear retaliation presuming (Pakistan) role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear State too,” Asif wrote late on December 23.

Pakistan has figured out that the “news” reports were fake so the world can live a while longer.

One can only wonder what obviously fake news will be believed next.

Maybe we all need to take a step back and do what real journalists used to do… Verify all information with two or even three sources before we believe it. 

I wouldn’t believe anything I saw in the “news” until I saw it in several places. You’re responsible for what you believe, not the people making stuff up. 

With that I should probably come clean and admit I did not see 60 Minutes on Christmas night. I don’t even know if it was on.

I did not see Mike Wallace interview Mark Twain on live TV. That would have been entirely impossible because Mr. Wallace passed away sometime back and Mr. Twain passed away sometime before that.

But I’d bet a days wages that somebody is right this second searching YouTube to find that Mike Wallace/Mark Twain interview. The amazing thing is that even though the interview never took place they may still be able to find it.

Some people really will believe anything. 

4 thoughts on “What You Don’t Know

  1. Reblogged this on Theological Reflections and commented:
    This is so true, especially in the society within which we live today. Sadly, the content being released by news publications are almost entirely based on what will maximize their readership, thereby their bottom line. Creditability as well as the reliability with the authorship of news publications and other communication channels is pointedly limited nowadays.

    • It does seem as if every “news” outlet has gotten something wrong in the last few months. And you’re 100% correct, it’s all about profits. It not so much about news anymore, it’s more about entertainment.

  2. Steve, I’m apolitical though I always enjoy watching the parade surrounding the election season. Especially the 2016 Presidential election.

    What I learned from this election season is I need to read a lot more to better educate myself about the issues.

    There will be views from the extremes both left and right. In the end, I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle, more or less.

    The big loser this election in my opinion is the media. There’s more of an emphasis on being first vs. being right. This mentality has to change.

  3. I agree 100% … the truth is somewhere in the middle. I also feel like the middle is getting smaller everyday. It’s not actually of course but the media and the extreme left and right are making it feel that way. It’s going to be a heck of a ride this year, the extremists on both side are going to be pushing at the middle like never before… fasten your seatbelt!

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