In the minds of many on the right – and I think it fair to say this debate is one that would not exist without the right – there is a certain world out there. It is a world in which Sweden is falling apart because it is ‘socialist’. A world in which gays are repellent. A world in which the Bible is the final word in truth. A world in which immigrants on the street are a bad thing. A world in which blacks have found their rightful place in society and should not aspire to rise above it. A world in which so many things simply are. This is the very basis of reality.
The problem with the mainstream media is it doesn’t appear to reflect that world.
Insofar as their media of choice do reflect that world, adherence to the facts is secondary to the necessity of adherence to reality overall. It doesn’t much matter, really, whether Obama did or did not bug Trump Towers. The important fact is that Obama is a seriously bad guy, and the underlying truth of the article is ‘Obama is bad’ regardless of whether or not it is true he committed this particular act. That is an irrelevance.
When a Whitehouse aide spoke of ‘alternative facts’ over the Trump inauguration debate she may – consciously or otherwise – have been making this very point. It doesn’t much matter whether more or less people turned out for Trump’s inauguration than Obama’s. The fact, the underlying reality, is that Trump is the better man and so should have had more. In Orwell’s 1984, ‘Truth Is Lies’. Facts may lead you astray, and sometimes lies are required to point us in the right direction. If a fact makes you uncomfortable, then it is because it is not in accordance with the underlying reality. Better to have ‘alternative facts’ truly reflective of the world as it is.
Fox News once fought a case in the courts blatantly stating that nothing in American law put it under any obligation to tell the truth. Had CNN done that, the Washington Post, the New York Times, they would have lost much of their audience. Their audience is hung-up on facts. For the viewers of Fox News the statement was irrelevant. Fox News provides them with a view of the world they know. A world in which a major city in the UK is a no-go area for non-Muslims because even if it isn’t, it could be. That reflects the reality of Islam. A world in which no Muslim ever condemned an Islamist terrorist attack because hell, even though they did and in their droves, they were lying about their true feelings and secretly they rejoiced. A world in which incidents of rape have risen dramatically in Sweden since it played host to so many Syrian refugees because they’re foreigners and simply can’t integrate. If their figures were falsely presented, so what? These foreigners don’t understand the basics of consensual sex. Consequently something bad surely happened last night in Sweden and, if it didn’t, it surely will tomorrow night, the night after, next week, next month.
There are facts, there are always facts, but way more important than any individual fact, even a regiment of facts, is the underlying reality. It is that to which we must remain true. If mere facts get in the way of that, condemn them. If a creative fiction working within the bounds of realism produces an alternative fact more true to the world as it is, then it is to be embraced and should take precedence.
The news may be fake, then, but the reality it reflects is not. It is therefore truth. It is the MSM, in its slavish devotion to the facts, that fails to reflect reality.
Truth really can be lies.