In the age of the internet “media literacy” is more important than ever before. Schools around the country are debating setting up “media literacy” courses to assist young children in interpreting the “news” they come across on the internet. The problem, half the country disagrees on how a “media literate” person interprets information. How does a person know what is true? What is false? Hoaxed Movie by Mike Cernovich does an effective job showing the ways in which news is manipulated to control the public mind.
The documentary explores the issue of “fake news” on multiple levels; each being necessary to understand the next. Did you know that the New York Times covered up the Holodomor. Millions of Ukrainians were intentionally starved to death as western journalists were given Politzer prizes for covering up genocide. Did you know that the primary excuse for the escalation of the Vietnam war was a fabricated government story engrained in public consciousness by the American news media? Did you know that the Gulf War and the second American Invasions of Iraq were made possible by similar government lies pushed by the news media? Did you know that in the late 1970’s the congressional Church committee uncovered that the CIA had deep ties with the American news media? The history of American media is the first level of understanding necessary for a person to accurately interpret all of the information presented on a given day. Hoaxed discusses the history in detail.
Hoaxed illustrates rampant media hypocrisy by showing the media attempts to character assassinate independent journalists by linking them to lone incidents of violence that they are at best loosely connected. A stark contrast in scope when you consider the history, especially the recent history of the media elevating government lies in efforts to get the American public to support wars. How many people died in Vietnam? How many people died in the second Iraq war?
Character assassinations of independent journalists don’t stop there. The documentary reviews case studies of a multitude of independent journalists who have been the target of media disinformation campaigns. The information presented is clear, concise, and verifiable. It shows the media willingness to label individuals as monsters, even Nazi’s if an independent journalist becomes a threat to the media narrative.
Narrative being an important word. The media manipulates people just as much by what they don’t choose to report as what they do report. For example, how many white people can you name off the top of your head that have been the victim of police shootings? I doubt one. How many black people can you name? Did you know twice as many white people are killed by police shootings as black people. Talk about a narrative shift. Examples like above are presented all throughout the documentary.
Narrative is powerful and understanding it is vital to interpreting the world around you. Over the last two years half of the country has been led to believe that President Trump is a puppet of Russia. The other half of the country claims the Russian narrative is fake news. Who is correct. Hoaxed highlights undercover video obtained by Project Veritas that catches multiple high ranking staff members at CNN admitting that the Russian story has no factual basis. At one point an editor at CNN says “ethics in journalism, that’s adorable. This is a business”. A profitable business at that. Haven’t you always wondered about the financial incentive and backing of the media? After watching Hoaxed you will understand the relationship between media and money.
As people and especially as parents it is important that we study the media and learn to interpret the world presented in the press. Watching Hoaxed will assist any person in their understanding of just how manipulative the media can be. Below are a list of suggestions for any parent wishing to raise a child to have media literacy.
-Always encourage children to look up references. How can a person determine what information is true if they don’t know where the information originates from?
When learning history:
-Text books lack value – children only learn to repeat back information, not decide what information is true.
-Allow children to remain on topics for as long as they need. Encourage them to get back to primary documents and read the actual writings of people involved in historical events.
-Allow your children the freedom to grade themselves. Encourage them to think about the source of information and determine if the information is true. This teaches children to think about where information comes from.
-A parent is a guide. Ask your child: What was the agenda of the historical writer? Who funded the writer? Did the wrier have limitations on what could legally be said at the time? Etc..
-Everything we do as parents should be designed to create independent thinking adults who don’t seek truth from authority and are capable of making a living without relying on other people.
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