Updated May 24, 2020
Is all news fake? In one sense, yes, because all accounts of what happened are incomplete and biased. ” In Marshall McLuhan’s words, news is fake “because it has to be made, then selected, and the very, very tiny bits that are actually written up and reported and presented to the public are fictions in every sense of the word. . . . They [news stories/accounts] are fictions in the sense that they do not correspond to actually what is going on, but they are made, literally created.” (pp. 169-70.) What’s really going on, he continues, is a “happening” and “[a] happening is not a point of view. A happening is all sides at once with everybody involved in it.” (p. 234)
The news, in other words, cannot capture what’s actually happening, the constant flux, interconnectedness, and interdependencies of the real world. The news is always an abstraction of the real world. Failure to recognize the distinction between what’s an abstraction and what’s real/concrete is to commit what’s called, the fallacy of misplaced concreteness. Don’t commit the fallacy of misplaced concreteness! Remember, as soon as anyone documents an event it becomes tainted by what is, of necessity, omitted and also skewed by the interest/perspective of the documenter that determines what is included in the story. The news is always other than what actually happened and, in that sense, always fake.