Politics & Other Mistakes: Faking it
Everybody is freaking out about fake news. Everybody should relax. Fake news is a big improvement over real news.
Let’s consider some examples.
Real: “Maine Democrats announce a new plan to address the state’s economic and social problems.”
Fake: “Maine Democrats admit they are a bunch of hopeless wusses, who’ve been trying to conceal the fact they have no clue how to deal with difficult issues.”
Oddly enough, what’s technically fake comes uncomfortably close to being the truth. Over the years, the Dems have unveiled numerous ambitious proposals for doing something or other, all of them either unrealistic, unworkable or unaffordable. This didn’t concern party leaders because they never had any intention of implementing these plans. But as the public gradually began to catch on to this scam, the donkey party’s influence waned to the point where it’s now firmly in control of nothing except parts of Portland, Brunswick and a few scattered enclaves of aging hippies.
Real: “Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin dodges questions about his positions on controversial issues, saying such matters have nothing to do with the important stuff he’s dealing with in Washington.”
Fake: “Poliquin admits the only issue he cares about is whether he wins the next election, and he’ll say (or not say) whatever it takes to accomplish that.”
The only part of this that’s fake is that Poliquin would make such an admission.
Real: “Portland Mayor Ethan Strimling promises to work more closely with city councilors and the city manager to avoid controversies.”
Fake: “Strimling kidnaps his political opponents and works them over with a rubber hose until they bend to his will.”
Ha ha, nobody in their right mind would buy that story – ow! – hey – ow! – stop – ow!
Real: “Newly elected legislators promise to work in a respectful and open-minded manner in order to make this session the most productive in recent Maine history.”
Fake: “An Augusta gun shop owner reports a huge increase in sales of assault weapons coinciding with lawmakers’ return to the capital.”
You know that’s fake, because most legislators couldn’t pass the background check. They buy their weapons through unregulated private sales.
Real: “In his weekly radio address, GOP Gov. Paul LePage said, ‘All elected officials must respect the will of the people.’ LePage then called for massive changes to two referendum questions – a minimum wage increase and a tax on rich people to pay for schools – approved by the voters in November, saying the public didn’t understand what it was supporting.”
Fake: “LePage says any referendums with which he disagrees should be shot between the eyes, hung up by the hind legs, gutted and left to rot on the State House lawn as a warning to liberals not to take this democracy thingy too seriously.”
In reality, a hearty eater like LePage would never waste all that meat.
Real: “Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins might run for governor in 2018.”
Fake: “Collins might be running a child sex ring out of the basement of Simones Hot Dog Stand in Lewiston.”
Does Simones even have a basement? If not, Collins is probably using Dysart’s in Bangor.
Real: “In the past two years, state Sen. Troy Jackson has transformed himself from a conservative Democrat with a focus on issues affecting rural Maine to a populist leftist with a focus on getting himself elected to some higher office than Senate minority leader.”
Fake: “Space aliens have abducted Jackson and substituted a pod person. Notice how much more articulate he is. It’s a dead giveaway.”
Real: “GOP state Rep. Larry Lockman of Amherst spouts extremist nonsense. No one pays attention.”
Fake: “Rep. Lockman receives awards for humanitarian service from women’s groups, LGBTQ organizations and Sen. Troy Jackson, who said, ‘Him-a-lot-like-me-only-uses-gooder-grammar.’”
Alt-right ain’t alt enough for Lockman. Or right enough, either.
Real: “LePage gives a speech filled with misstatements about immigrants, welfare, drug dealing and 'the ziki fly,' while launching scurrilous attacks on politicians with whom he disagrees.”
Fake: “LePage sticks to facts in his latest public address, while characterizing his opponents as people of good will with whom he hopes to find grounds for compromise.”
In this instance, the real news is a lot more interesting than the fake stuff.
I’m not lying when I say you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.