Study Guide for CMN 142 Exam 3
What does the author claim about the quantity of fake news?
For the rest of us, we’re knee deep in the fake stuff and sinking fast. It comes at us from every quarter of
the media—old and new—not just as satire but disguised as the real thing, secretly paid for by folks who
want to remain in the shadows. And though much of it is clever, it’s not all funny.
Note the U.S. Gov’t and Armstrong Williams examples.
Take for instance, the U.S. government’s 2005 initiative to plant “positive news” in Iraqi newspapers, part
of a $300 million U.S. effort to sway public opinion about the war. And remember Armstrong Williams,
the conservative columnist who was hired on the down low to act as a $240,000 sock puppet for the
president’s No Child Left Behind program? William’s readers had no idea he was a paid propagandist until
the Justice Department started looking into allegations of fraud in his billing practices.
What does he claim about the Bush Admin.?
The Bush administration has worked hand-in-glove with big business to make sure of it. Together, they’ve
credentialed fringe scientists and fake experts and sent them in to muddy scientific debates on global
warming, stem cell research, evolution, and other matters.
What are the VNRs and how are they used?
VNRs in p.r.-industry parlance-touting the administration’s Medicare plan. The segments, paid political
announcements really, ended with a fake journalist signing off like a real one.
Where have hoaxes migrated today?
In modern times, hoaxes have migrated from the mainstream papers to the tabloid outriders like the old
National Enquirer, the new
, and the hoaxiest of them all, The Weekly World News, purveyor of the
“Bat Boy” cover stories.
What percent of Americans trust the media?
Six of ten Americans polled in 2005 trusted “the media” to report the news “fully, fairly and
accurately,” a slight decline from the high-water mark of seven-in-ten during the Woodward-and-
What’s more, in a veracity dogfight between the press and the government, Americans say they trust
the media by a margin of nearly two to one.
What does he claim about CNN and the NY Times re: the lead up to the Iraq War?
Both CNN and the NY Times were used by the U.S. military as unwitting co-conspirators in spreading
false information, a tactic known as psychological operations, part of an effort to convince Americans the
invasion of Iraq was a necessary piece of the war on terror.
What is the history of fake news?
Fake news has been with us for a long time.
But the actual term “fake news”—two delicious little darts of malice (and a headline-ready sneer if
ever there was one) seems to have arisen in late nineteenth century America, when a rush of emerging
technologies intersected with newsgathering practices during a boom time for newspapers.
What does he claim about the new technology?