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An Aesop's Fable Unmasks 'Fake News' Media

10/02/2017 13:49

There are a lot of discussions going on about fake news and whether they exist even in the considered as reliable media as Donald Trump constantly declares even before becoming the US President. This situation reminded me of an Aesop's Fable titled 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' or else 'The Shepherd Boy & the Wolf.'

In my opinion, fake or unreliable news exist massively outside the top league media, either with intentionality or not. The best newspapers, websites and channels are reliable most of the times. But they cannot always be reliable. And even inside the reliability there are details which are not true. Humans make mistakes. Sometimes the unreliability of high level media is by mistake, but other times, once or twice in a long period, might be carefully hidden in their image of reliability. What I mean is that if they want to serve interests, they will rely on their reliability so as to make people believe them. This is my own point of view. Now I will present Aesop's (from Wikipedia: a slave and storyteller believed to have lived in ancient Greece between 620 and 564 BCE) Fable 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' or 'The Shepherd Boy & the Wolf.' Its moral, if reversed, can show how top league media may impose fake news if they have an interest for it.

'The Shepherd Boy & the Wolf

*The story is from The Library Of Congress

A Shepherd Boy tended his master's sheep near a dark forest not far from the village. Soon he found life in the pasture very dull. All he could do to amuse himself was to talk to his dog or play on his shepherd's pipe.

One day as he sat watching the sheep and the quiet forest, and thinking what he would do should he see a wolf, he thought of a plan to amuse himself.

His Master had told him to call for help should a Wolf attack the flock, and the villagers would drive it away. So now, though he had not seen anything that even looked like a Wolf, he ran toward the village shouting at the top of his voice, "Wolf! Wolf!"

As he expected, the villagers who heard the cry dropped their work and ran in great excitement to the pasture. But when they got there they found the Boy doubled up with laughter at the trick he had played on them.

A few days later the Shepherd Boy again shouted, "Wolf! Wolf!" Again the villagers ran to help him, only to be laughed at again.

Then one evening as the sun was setting behind the forest and the shadows were creeping out over the pasture, a Wolf really did spring from the underbrush and fall upon the Sheep.

In terror the boy ran toward the village shouting "Wolf! Wolf!" But though the Villagers heard the cry, they did not run to help him as they had before. "He cannot fool us again," they said.

The wolf killed a great many of the boy's sheep and then slipped away into the forest.'

The moral of this story is that 'Liars are not believed even when they speak the truth.' The opposite is true too. People who tell the truth are believed even when they speak lies. That is how I believe the situation may be with top-notch media and fake news. In any case, not everyone is perfect.

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