Bozeman Not Immune From Fake News
Bozeman recently had a taste of fake news on the eve of our special election when there was an alleged altercation between GOP candidate Greg Gianforte and a reporter from The Guardian news service.
Gianforte has been charged with misdemeanor assault and will have his day in court.
So where does fake news come in?
News Reports All Over The Place
If you followed this story, you know that there were several accounts of this incident and they changed over time as the story developed.
Only those who were on the site know exactly what happened but even eyewitnesses can see different versions.
Newsreaders were hard-pressed to determine the true facts because reports are now designed primarily to achieve ratings more than accuracy.
What we saw is the Gianforte camp releasing their version and a Fox News crew releasing another version.
Later it was discovered that the Fox News reporter might have embellished the story.
The accounts from the Gianforte camp were also questioned and being less than totally factual.
Fake or Just Plain False
The line between sensationalism and news is becoming more blurred by the hour. Almost every news report is suspect.
The Manchester bombing had too many versions to count in the first few hours.
Shots fired, shots not fired, balloons popping, no balloons popping, one person, several persons - it changed by the minute.
The definitions of fake and false give journalists little wiggle room. Apparently it’s OK to go with non-facts as long as you’re first with the story.
It’s always easier to get forgiveness than to get permission. The newest fact always erases the old fact along with whoever reported it.
Some Final Thoughts
We live in a 24/7/365 fact-gorged world. You’d think with all these people reporting, blogging, and talking that the true story would come out quickly.
However, that doesn’t seem to be the case as long as there’s a primary goal of being first or having the most.
Rather than being more informed with accurate information we’re less informed with more information.
You heard it here first.