I’m writing this blog in the very early hours of a summer’s morning, by the dawn’s early light. Post-op complications awoke me in the middle of the night (I’ll spare you the details), and unable to get back to sleep, I had these thoughts still running around my mind from before I hit the pillow:
A Facebook friend had shared a post that stated the U.N. had ‘declared Israel the #1 violator of women’s rights’ and yet again, I was reading it, thinking it just didn’t ring true to me. The article author was incredulous that the U.N. could do such a thing when we all know that it’s the Muslims who mistreat their women the most. I come across much information on social media that is true misinformation, and while it can usually be debunked with a minute’s googling, it also usually comes from some rabid right-wing ‘news’ source. Very often it is Fox: I do not say ‘Fox News’ since that is an oxymoron.
This time a google did not throw up an instant debunk. I found maybe about two dozen citations of the same headline or similar. I looked through these for a reliable source. There was Fox right at the top, but the rest I did not recognise; a few were clearly Israeli news/ comments/ sites/ blogs, then there was Rush Limbaugh (now he’s not known for rash unfounded statements, is he?). I sought some of my favourites: the Independent, the Guardian, the BBC, the NY Times… nothing. Tried ABC, MSN… no! Hmmm, I thought, could it be true that such things are not reported by ‘the liberal media’? Was I onto something here, which all my conservative friends try to tell me? That ‘the truth is not told by these pinkos!’? So I then searched some reputable conservative sources – The Washington Post, The Times, The Telegraph… still nothing! Nobody could accuse these sources of being liberal; the Telegraph has the nickname ‘the Torygraph’ here! These are newspapers that may have slants I would not concur with, but they are generally factual in their reporting i.e. they’re proper journalists.
Further digging and I found a cnsnews report that stated there was a U.N. Human Rights report which included Iranian abuses of women but was instantly incredulous that a separate earlier report cited Israel, as if it was understandable against Iran but ridiculous against Israel. Yes, cns is conservative, but that article was three years old! The best I then got was on Yahoo – there was a recent report by a U.N. committee, but it was a specific report into conditions in Gaza and the effects of the Israeli occupation on women. One may agree or disagree with its findings, but it was not a general report that looked at women over the whole world and then found Israel to be the worst misogynists, so the original headline was, yet again, made up, blown out of all proportion, sensationalist… oh, I get so tired!
Why is it that my Facebook feed is so full of this crap? Is it the friends I have? Or is Mark Zuckerberg just one of these nut jobs that has to feed the world any old nonsense just as long as they’ll all be dragged along the highway by the [fill in your relevant extreme right-wing party according to your location]? A thought entered my mind that I should start my own news blogging site and just call it ‘The Truth’, maybe with a bold majestic animal masthead, like a fully-maned lion, or even a white unicorn! Why did I think of those? They’re very ‘British’, aren’t they? My new ‘magazine’ might get millions of followers, and I shall establish my status of ‘mythbuster’ with a huge official badge and award. Maybe the Nobel Committee will inaugurate a new prize…
But no! Such ‘Truth’ is boring, mundane, matter-of-fact. Nobody really wants that. They all want the sensationalist stuff, the sort of thing that they can look up from and say to their long-suffering spouse “you’ll never believe what they’ve gone and done now, dear!!!!”
Grace be with you.