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Monday, July 22, 2019

The Loudest Voice 1.4: "We Create the News"



Another powerful episode of The Loudest Voice tonight - 1.4 - in which Roger Ailes lays bare the basis of fake news: "we create the news'.  I should say, the basis of real fake news - that is, news that is fake.  We need to make this distinction because Trump now daily bashes our legitimate news media as fake news - which would be fake fake news -  a tactic that comes right out of Hitler's denunciation of the press in 1930s Germany as the Lügenpresse (the lying press).  When you're trying to replace democracy with a totalitarian regime, it's wise to discredit and get rid of the people who can call you out on that and let the rest of the country know - the press.  (See my short book, Fake News in Real Context, for more.)

Speaking of Trump, we also hear on The Loudest Voice tonight that it was Aisles and Fox who gave the Trump the idea that Obama was not really born in America.  I have no idea if Trump got that paranoid right-wing notion from Fox or not.  And here it might be a good idea to mention, as I always do, that there's a big difference between documentaries and docu-dramas.   Even documentaries are not necessarily entirely truthful - they may leave out important facts.  But docu-dramas go even further - they actually make conversations up, conflate events, etc, to tell a more effective narrative.  (The excellent docu-drama Chernobyl, which I reviewed here in May-June, did a lot of that.)

The Loudest Voice certainly focuses only on selected Fox News luminaries - selected for whatever reason.   Tonight we saw a lot of attention to Glenn Beck.  A few weeks ago, it was Sean Hannity.  Both of these Fox News hosts are portrayed in detail by actors.  In contrast, Bill O'Reilly, who had Fox New's leading show for years, is mentioned as such, and shown (the real O'Reilly) briefly on the The Loudest Voice, but no actor portrays him and we see nothing of his back story.  Why not?

I guess all of this adds up to taking The Loudest Voice with a grain of salt, as we should with any docu-drama.  It tells a crucially important story, and is therefore worth watching, even if something less than the complete truth and only the truth shows up on our screens.

See also:  The Loudest Voice 1.1: Fox Launch ... The Loudest Voice 1.2: September 11 and After ... The Loudest Voice 1.3: Prelude to Trump


 

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