Recently the news dropped that I’ll be co-directing Mike Cernovich’s second documentary production, Hoaxed: The Media’s War On Truth. Not only is this an exciting development in my exo-Hollywood film career, it’s a subject I’ve been fascinated by for a long time, which explains why 90% of the following article is from a draft I wrote several months ago – before Mike even announced he was planning a new film.
Being able to explore this topic in a format I love (film!) and share in Mike’s substantial platform is both humbling and empowering. I figured I’d publish the article to give you my take on Fake News. Elements of this will undoubtedly seep into Hoaxed, but will undergo an alchemical transmutation, fusing with both Mike’s bold vision and my co-director Scooter Downey’s own unique views and inspirations. I’m stoked to see the result of this fascinating process, as I’ve already forged a positive working relationship with both Mike and Scooter.
Thanks to all who are supporting Hoaxed. We’re going to create something special.
- Support Hoaxed on Kickstarter
- Follow me on Twitter
- Follow producer Mike Cernovich
- Follow my co-director Scooter Downey
Fake News Hysteria
It amuses me how the term ‘fake news’ has become such a buzzword in recent months, with the mainstream media zealots acting as if an unknown alien virus suddenly invaded our dimension, threatening the very foundation of the human experience – and they’re the only ones who can save us from this existential danger.
Of course, anyone not caught up in the media’s customary hysteria knows that fake news has been a problem long before the 2016 election.
One only has to revisit this 1990 gem from the reigning King of Fake News, CNN:
Fake palm trees, bad acting, corny sound effects, clearly shot in studio… All to push a war that had no reason to happen. Little did CNN know back then that discerning audiences would one day point out their amateur fakery on a site called YouTube on this ethereal network called the Internet. Not that it seems to matter to them, as they still continue in their arrogance (note: since this sentence was written we’ve been blessed by the start of the Second Great Meme War). But arrogance blinds.
It’s a sad fact that the media has colluded with government / establishment for (at the very least) decades, leading us into supporting needless wars and the candidates that instigate them. Check out this clip explaining Operation Mockingbird, a CIA program influencing foreign and domestic media that was exposed in the 70’s:
Our modern-day mainstream media only started screeching about Fake News after a critical mass of viewers figured out that they actually are the fake news and turned their eyeballs toward the rising alternative media instead. This exodus of eyeballs has been going on for some time, but it reached fever pitch during the 2016 American Presidential election, culminating in the against-all-odds election of outsider Donald Trump.
Desperately clawing onto their rapidly vanishing credibility, the fakestream media is doing what any cornered bully does: accuse others of that which they are guilty themselves. Now, the establishment media is forced to call people like Alex Jones by name, if only to try and pass off the mantle of Fake News they’ve so richly earned onto their newfound competitors. Watching formerly reputable outfits like 60 Minutes clumsily expose their own bias against self-made media stars like Mike Cernovich is a joy indeed.
The mainstream’s pearl-clutching outrage over the people’s increased preference for unvarnished truth is even more joyous to behold. They act like the alternative media is some soul-destroying cosmic power that will melt your face off by merely glancing at it:
But all this begs the question: why? Why would the established media go through all this trouble to plant lies in our minds, when they could easily just, you know… report the news?
Why Does Fake News Even Exist?
If everything is as it seems, if it’s true that humanity evolved from single celled organisms to our present condition, hurtling along a linear timeline carving itself out in space-time with no defined end in sight, free from the shackles of Dark Age religion and basking in the light of unfettered scientific inquiry, then why on earth would there be this highly organized and well funded effort to separate us from accurate information? I mean, given this worldview, it simply makes no sense for fake news to even exist.
Unless, of course, this worldview itself is fake news.
What if fake news goes beyond just what you see on the ‘news’? What if it completely permeates the input signals entering your brain, from music, movies, advertising and TV shows to celebrities, manipulated social media trends and journals peer-reviewed within the scientific priesthood (every important social industry has a priesthood) – all underpinned by our Western education system? What if an entire generation’s outlook on life – how they view reality, how they interpret evidence, how they determine value – has been shaped by these faithless institutions?
It’s a miracle there’s still hope, however little that may be, to reverse these effects. This is owing, of course, to the brave men and women who are building the alternative media from the ground up. They are increasingly being called the New Media. Many of these great people may not even be aware of how deep this rabbit hole goes, but they noticed all the lies and took action. It’s deeply instinctual for humanity to seek out truth.
See, fake news is not just a blight on recent generations, but also an ancient curse. ‘Fake news’ is just a modern term for the ancient art of deception.
All warfare is based on deception. – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Fake news is deception. Deception is a tool of war. Wars are fought over control. Control over resources like land, sea ports, oil deposits, mines, etc. More specifically, deception is the very foundation of psychological war, which is usually fought over human resources. In other words, you. Your vote. Your money. Your voice.
Ultimately, your consent. The most precious human resource.
You’re a lot easier to control when you think what your enemy wants you to think. You don’t have to be forced, you just comply. Few understand the immense power of human consent, which is why so many are prime targets for deception.
This is why fake news exists.
But this realization leads to a further question:
Who Wants To Control Us, And Why?
Cui bono? The answer, as I currently understand it, is somewhat ineffable when it comes to the relatively crass practice of blogging. In other words, I don’t want to write it in plain language in a short article; it will sound too preposterous. I feel that the arts, at this stage at least, are more suitable a vessel to venture into this territory (Note: it remains to be seen to what extent this question will be explored in Hoaxed. Remember, the alchemical process of filmmaking will do its work, and I have faith the result will be what people are ready to receive).
Circling back to Mike Cernovich’s interview with 60 Minutes’ Scott Pelley, Mike struck a poignant chord when he told Pelley that “…we’re in these different universes”.
What Universe Are You In?
In our current age of moral relativism and subversive language like ‘my truth’ and ‘your truth’, it’s only too easy to forget that there is such a thing as objective truth. You would be called arrogant for such an assertion today. Rather, it’s incredibly humbling – knowing that objective truth exists but being unable to fully grasp it. We may catch glimpses of it, but our individual experiences are still relentlessly subjective. This makes finding the truth very difficult, if not impossible sometimes, with our limited human abilities. But if you’re a hypocrite desperately trying to keep the backstage curtains closed, you say things like, “I find the truth all the time”, just as Scott Pelley did in the aforementioned interview.
Don’t be like Scott Pelley.
If truth is objective, and there wouldn’t be science or even a stable legal system if it weren’t, that means we are all sharing the same reality from varied perspectives. We live in our own subjective ‘universes’, and the truth is only ever partially revealed. As is written in a wise book:
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12
What matters is honesty. Acknowledging and admitting to biases. Affording others the opportunity to speak their peace in peace. Relentlessly pursuing truth above all else.
So, which universe do you live in? The one where Scott Pelley sees no issue with taking a political campaign at their word, or the one where Mike Cernovich looks at objective signs and events and starts asking the hard questions the evidence demands? Hard questions sometimes lead to inescapable conclusions. Faux moral outrage and the censorship of political correctness are designed to keep you from reaching those conclusions.
But our moral goal must be to align our subjective experiences with the objective universe as much as possible, otherwise known as The Search for Truth. It requires incredible humility. Some look for truth in empirical science; others in the realm of the mind with philosophy. Some even realize that the flawed nature of their own humanity precludes them from even finding the truth, and therefore appeal to “higher powers”. Personally, I hold all these avenues to be valid and necessary, especially the latter – though fraught with even more deception than mere fake news.
And that’s only skimming the surface of the epistemological ocean.
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