My Experience with “Fake News” Journalism

Fake News will most likely become the word of the year. Anytime there is a disagreement about this or that claimed fact or the positioning of a story, fake news will be the culprit. Of course, not every story a person disagrees with is fake news. At the same time, there is a great deal of fake news and biased reporting going on.

I’ve had first-hand experience with the media. Most of it has not been good

Some years ago I was interviewed by Tad Friend for New York Magazine. The title of the article was, “Does America Hate New York. . . Or Has it Just Stopped Caring?” The cover of the magazine carried a more provocative, thumb-in-the-eye title: “Why America Hates New York: What We Look Like to Folks Down in Newt Country.”

Former congressman and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Dr. Nelson Price, then pastor of Roswell Street Baptist Church, a very large conservative church in Cobb County, Georgia, former Georgia governor Lester Maddox, and Dent “Wildman” Myers, the resident Confederate rabble rouser, were also interviewed.

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The article was rather strange because of the images that were included. There was Gingrich holding a bull whip, Tad Leithead, the outgoing chairman of Cobb County’s Chamber of Commerce, standing on the top rungs of an extended aluminum ladder in a way that OSHA would not approve, and Dent Myers holding a long rifle, with a Confederate flag over his right shoulder and a Klansman with a noose around his neck over his left shoulder. Bizarre!

The purpose of Friend’s article, of course, was to cast a cultural shadow over this part of the South by digging up old stereotypes while offering a backhand compliment to the progress of the so-called New South.

When Friend first sat down with me, to get the conversation going, I asked him who he had interviewed before me. He told me that he had met with former Gov. Maddox who is best known for refusing to serve black patrons at his Pickrick restaurant. Here is what I said in response:

“You northern reporters are all the same. You come down South looking for the usual stereotypes to reinforce a certain image for your northern readers. If Lester Maddox were dead and buried, you would go to the graveyard and dig him up just so you could say to your northern readers that you interviewed him.”

Here’s how Friend “interpreted” what I had said: “Maddox is an anachronism, a corpse that just smells bad.” As you can imagine, Maddox’s many friends were upset with me. Of course, if I had really said what Friend had me saying, they would have had every right to be!

But these rock-ribbed conservatives should have known better. Much of what we read in articles written by liberals is designed to distort the truth. Some are willing to lie for what they perceive to be their idea of the greater good. Others just put the worst spin on out-of-context statements to elevate the blood pressure of their targeted ultra-liberal audience…


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Gary DeMar

Gary DeMar was raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University (1973) and Reformed Theological Seminary (1979). He has served as researcher and writer at the Christian Worldview ministry American Vision since 1980 and President since 1984. Today he serves as Senior Fellow at American Vision where he lectures, researches, and writes on various worldview issues. Gary is the author of 30 books on a variety of topics – from "America’s Christian History" and "God and Government" to "Thinking Straight in a Crooked World" to "Last Days Madness." Gary has been interviewed by Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, the BBC, and Sean Hannity. He has done numerous radio and television interviews, including the “Bible Answer Man,” hosted by Hank Hanegraaff and “Today’s Issues” with Tim Wildmon and Marvin Sanders. Newspaper interviews with Gary have appeared in the Washington Times, Toledo (Ohio) Blade, the Sacramento Bee, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Marietta Daily Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, The Orlando Sentinel, and the Chicago Tribune.

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