The process by which boogeymen are created is simultaneously fascinating and repulsive. The political left does not have a monopoly on the process but they seem to have perfected it.
First, there is the problem that the boogeyman is expected to deflect attention from. The boogeyman can NOT be the main cause of the problem…else it would be accurate, and that’s the last thing you want in a boogeyman. No, there can be only a tangential connection between the boogeyman and the problem that birthed it.
The ideal boogeyman is something nebulous…something not easily defined…but something with a snappy title. It needs to be nebulous so its progenitors can shift it as need be. It needs to be hard-to-define because that allows the progenitors to define it. And the catchy name makes it easier to stick into people’s consciousness.
I could take up untold amounts of bandwidth and still not be able to come up with a comprehensive list of modern-day social boogeymen, so I will focus on the newest one that’s getting most of the attention these days. Fake News.
From the White House to the Editorial Boards at major periodicals, Fake News is all the rage. Apparently the dubious stories that flood our Facebook and Twitter feeds were not a problem until Donald Trump won the election. Before 11/8/16, we were left to our own devices in order to separate the wheat from the chaff. How did we ever survive?
As a boogeyman, Fake News fits all of the above criteria. It’s catchy…and it is impossible to accurately define. That is on purpose. The political left would be MORE than happy to assume the role of gatekeeper for the purposes of separating Fake News from “Real” News. And that’s the problem. The ones who are screaming the loudest about Fake News are the ones I would least like to define it. I wouldn’t trust them to remove a splinter from a rat’s ass. Why would I give them such power?
Until the Government establishes the Bureau of Fake News Discernment, here are some helpful phrases to watch out for. If you see them in a headline, it’s probably fake news:
“You won’t believe what (_____) did, said, etc.”
“Shock poll shows…”
“You Tube video cited in Benghazi Attack.”
“Hillary wins in a landslide”
“Trump apologizes for…”
“I’m Brian Williams, reporting for NBC.”
Feel free to print and carry with you. You never know where this dastardly boogeyman will strike next!!