Anatomy of a Piece of Domestic American Propaganda


On January 18, the New York Times published a piece by Scott Shane titled “From Headline to Photograph, a Fake News Masterpiece.”

The piece might have been given the title of this post or “Anatomy of a Piece of Complete Fiction”–with an ironic tip of the hat to the novelist Robert Traver (the pseudonym of Michigan Supreme Court Justice John Voelker) and film director Otto Preminger.

What is remarkable about the story that Shane reports is that it involves no one directly associated with the Trump campaign or administration, but it showcases the very troubling implications of the increasing promulgation of and acceptance of “alternative facts” and “fake news.”

Moreover, it demonstrates how the creation—literally–of such “facts” and “news” can be a way to establish political credentials—and that, at least in the current environment, not even the national exposure of this dubious sort of self-promotion may be professionally damaging in…

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About martinkich

I am a Professor of English at Wright State University's Lake Campus, where I have been a faculty member for more than 25 years. I have now served multiple terms as the President of the WSU chapter of AAUP, which now includes all full-time instructional faculty, and as the Vice-President of the Ohio Conference of AAUP. I have also served several terms as an at-large member of the Executive Committee of AAUP's Collective Bargaining Congress. In addition to serving as co-editor of the Academe blog, I am also a member of the editorial board of Academe and have been a guest editor for an issue of the magazine on collective bargaining strategies. As co-chair of the Ohio Conference's Communication Committee, I began to do much more overtly political writing during the campaign to repeal Ohio's Senate Bill 5, which would have eliminated the right of faculty to be unionized. I have sustained that activism, and at the risk of stating the obvious, I have very much enjoyed contributing to the Academe Blog and to our chapter blog. I also maintain several other blogs to which I have re-posted, by topic, my posts to the Academe blog, as well as some other items.

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