The Fake News Fad

If everyone is going to start calling stories they don’t like fake news, then I’m just going to stop holding back. After all, I operate in the ultimate fake news environment – the music industry – and it’s my job to parse out the real from the fake.

At least once a day, I’m presented with an item that falls somewhere on the fake news spectrum.

Weekly World News
– Bat Child

There are stories that are just patently untrue – fake Coachella lineup leaks, Daft Punk tour dates and the Rumor Mill column at Hits Daily Double.

But most people know that stuff is fake.

The gray area is when we start calling stories fake not because we disbelieve them but because we disagree with the decision to report on them in the first place. Take for example last week’s firestorm over revelations that

He called the reports “garbage” and “fake news.”

But here’s the thing: He really did make those contributions, albeit years ago. So are the stories fake news or are they just repackaged old news timed for maximum impact?

Or take Jan. 11’s press conference at Trump Tower, where the President Elect called CNN fake news for reporting on the existence of an embarrassing dossier, and slammed BuzzFeed for actually publishing the “golden” details of the naughty party.

Is that fake news or is that real news about a potentially fake (or possibly true) incident that hasn’t been verified?

What about an A&R rep that fudges numbers to boost a record’s chart position, or a promoter who misrepresents ticket sales? What about ScoreBig’s David Goldberg going on Bloomberg TV with retired NBA All-Star player David Robinson to talk about the health of the company when, in reality, it was nine months away from total insolvency?

What about Bob Sillerman telling the financial papers that

Is that fake news or is that just the media doing the best it can to report what’s being said, based on the information they had at the time?

People want news as it happens, reported as honestly and transparently as possible. Information is not fake and reality is not subjective.

If you’re going to label something as fake whenever it harms your world view, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Why? Because the only thing that hurts more than lies is the truth.

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