Scrambling for an explanation for Donald Trump’s victory, many in the media and on the left have settled on the idea that his supporters were consumers of “fake news” — gullible rubes living in an alternate reality made Trump president.
To be sure, there is such a thing as actual fake news: Made-up stories built to get Facebook traction before they can be debunked. But that’s not what’s really going on here.
What the left is trying to do is designate anything outside its ideological bubble as suspect on its face.
In October, President Obama complained that we need a “curating function” to deal with the “wild-wild-west-of-information flow.” Who would be doing this “curating” is unclear — but we can guess: “Obviously,” Noah Feldman writes at Bloomberg View, “it would be better if the market would fix the problem on its own . . . But if they can’t reliably do it — and that seems possible, since algorithms aren’t (yet) fact-checkers — there might be a need for the state to step in.”
In other words, censorship. And who might the government look to target in this crackdown? In an interview with Jann Wenner of Rolling Stone last week, Obama said again that the “The biggest challenge that I think we have right now in terms of this divide is that the country receives information from completely different sources.” Uh-oh.