The facts are that we have mountains of information that we do not know how to process with any certainty.
I am deep into a book about this subject. The title is: Enough Said. The author is Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times Company. Thompson is an academic of considerable merit, Oxford graduate and more. His position is persuasive. It is that language matters and it shapes the way we believe. One of the sub chapters of the book is titled: It is not what you say, it's what they hear. A whole industry is built around that concept. Advertising........Political parties are now shrewd enough to hire advertising agencies, psychologists, and whomever they can use to cause their language and outward behavior to be most influential. Salesmanship is king.
Juicy rumors and/or conspiracy theories are gobbled up by the somewhat less sophisticated,.......In 2019 the ACA (Obamacare) was just being launched. The former lieutenant governor of New York , Betsy McCaughey, added her two cents to hottest topic of the summer. That would be Obamas plan to reform Americas health care system. Here is what Mc Caughey said on Fred Thompsons radio show.July 16, 2009. " One of the most shocking things I found in this bill, and there were many, is on page 425, where the congress would make it mandatory....that every five years, people in Medicare have a required counseling session that will tell them, how to end their life sooner, how to decline nutrition, how to decline being hydrated, how to go into hospice care.....these are such sacred issues of life and death. Government should have nothing to do with this."
That woman has a PHD from Columbia and has the impressive legitimate title of Doctor. The fact of the matter is that Doctor McCaughey lied through her teeth and no such text is present in the ACA bill. Not long after her bald faced lie, the tale was picked up by none other than Sarah Palin who is not famous for her thorough understanding of the law or of the printed word. Palin, the "bulldog with lipstick" used the phrase "Death Panel" to reinforce the egregious McCaughey lie. That offensive lie and the subsequent pair of words, Death panel. was widely taken up and believed by perfectly innocent citizens all across the country. So much for Obama care. Torpedoed by a falsehood that got some wildfire publicity.
Words matter. This is a whole new world where we can get news or presumed information within a heart beat. There is plenty of opportunity for purveyors of the information or the news to mold the language to agree with their own persuasion. How we get our information is not particularly important but whether we can place our confidence in the information is in serious question.
I recommend the book to thinkers like so many of my fellow HAFers.