The political backfire is almost complete.
Indeed, just as the dinosaur media members pushed, and saw backfire, the “fake news” narrative, it appears that leftist political big-wigs in the United Kingdom have begun to realize it’s come ‘round to bite them in the heels.
On October 23, The Telegraph reported that the UK Parliament has banned the use of the term in government discourse and publications.
Should one applaud the irony or be frustrated by the absolute silliness of a government banning a popular phrase within its circles?
Perhaps neither, because this new rule is meant to be a “guide” for UK “regulatory” agencies, particularly those agencies granted the power to punish people for online content in a nation that has seen a near evisceration of free speech in the past few years.
As Margi Murphy writes for The Telegraph:
The government has banned the term “fake news” after urging ministers to use ‘misinformation’ or ‘disinformation’ instead. The phrase - a favourite of US President Donald Trump - will no longer appear in policy documents or official papers because it is ‘a poorly-defined and misleading term that conflates a variety of false information, from genuine error through to foreign interference in democratic processes,’ officials said. While ministers may speak freely in the House of Commons, any strategy documents referring to election meddling or internet safety will need to use the new definition.
The sweet irony truly is profound. By keenly observing the course of political rhetoric employed in 2016 by people like Barack Obama, the DNC, The Washington Post, the mysterious group “Prop-Or-Not” (which created a list of “Russian propaganda” sites like RonPaul.com and AntiWar, both of which are libertarian and have nothing to do with Russia, and which was published by the WAPO), CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, NPR, and Senators Chris Murphy (D. CT) and Rob Portman (R. OH) (to name a few), the leftists in US politics and media bandied about the term “fake news” in order to denigrate and name-call, without actually addressing the substance of the information they were dispelling.
Essentially, they were employing two tactics from Saul Alinsinky’s “Rules for Radicals”.
The first is, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” And nothing says polarity better than claiming that virtually any negative news about your favorite collectivist candidate or policy is “fake”.
The second is, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” So, as both the Democrats and Republicans love to do when they’re pushing policy or candidates, ad-hominem attacks take the place of policy analysis, and even information dressed up as policy analysis is really just propaganda, bereft of any connection to reality.
But the tactic backfired, and observant citizens in the US (and UK, where the term was also popularized) realized and noted that it was most often the collectivist pushers of government-created propaganda and government-backed stifling who engaged in peddling “fake news”.
So, those in the UK who want more stifling will proceed apace, they just won’t say they’re going after “fake news”, because it won’t help their cause.
Said the UK government committee offering the new step in speech policing:
We recommend that the Government rejects the term ‘fake news’, and instead puts forward an agreed definition of the words ‘misinformation’ and ‘disinformation’. With such a shared definition, and clear guidelines for companies, organisations, and the Government to follow, there will be a shared consistency of meaning across the platforms, which can be used as the basis of regulation and enforcement.
And there you have it. Orwell called it years ago when he wrote “1984”. Political officials will never stop their voracious quest to gain power, and if they need to redefine words in order to do so, they will.
So, at first blush, this move inside the British government might appear to be a mere absurd decoration on an already bizarre propaganda weapon that got turned against those who initially tried to wield it.
On closer inspection, however, it’s a telling sign of just how deceptive and duplicitous bureaucrats and politicians will be in their quest to stifle dissent and control peoples’ lives.