Speculative News Is Fake News

Nobody asked but …

Today I took a dreary passage down the path of a slow news day, a day in the middle of the weekend news cycle.  It would be sort of OK if this phenomenon were marked with a drought of information, but instead it is littered with misinformation and disinformation (the first is inaccurate, the second is deliberately inaccurate).  Apparently, the media wants us to believe there is an endless cornucopia of critical news.

Examine the linguistic forms in the headlines.  They are bloated with tentativeness.  So-and-so will, shall, may, is to do, has concerns regarding, wonders if, looks forward to, expects, speculates, threatens, questions, rhetorically questions, promises, predicts, as often happens …

There is an old downhome saying, “the sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass all the time.”  Therefore, speculation about the various permutations of the situation are mundane.  We don’t need an endless list of guesses while we await events.

Most of the small potatoes of human events can pass without remark.  Black holes, for instance, are vast, but seeing a speculative artist’s illustration of a black hole is small potatoes.

Most of the time, the media are just treading water, while the establishment is doling out quasi-info with dessert spoons.  Is it any revelation that sometimes the ink-stained ones get tired of waiting, to resort to speculation to fill that empty page, to make sure that the video crawl is not empty.

There is the thing called the Fallacy Fallacy, wherein the mere fact of speculation does not mean that a forecast may be untrue.  The sad part is that the status quo gives both the liar and the honest man a chance to cry, “fake news!”

— Kilgore Forelle



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