When I was a kid, my idea of a nutritious breakfast consisted on a large bowl of corn flakes from whatever brand I was propagandized into without even realizing it.
Children of the GMO Corn
The 1980s were probably the most successful years for televised commercials. Only a handful of TV conglomerates owned every single channel your eyes could watch.
And let me tell you, they weren’t that many channels to begin with.
There was a limited amount of screen time where all the product companies in the world had to compete for the costumer’s attention. But here’s the thing:
There never really was a competition.
Only the biggest and richest could afford to pay for that screen time, and more importantly, many of these mega-companies actually owned either shares, or even entire television channels.
For them these were truly times of wine and roses.
You would hear of any competing products and they would make you believe that their product is the best there is. They could replace solid nutrients with cheap but questionable fillers while convincing you that you’re paying for top-notch quality.
Hell, they could even take some sugary-water and convince you it’s the nectar of the gods.
And they did.
“Right now, there is a whole, an entire generation that never knew anything that didn't come out of this tube. This tube is the Gospel. The ultimate revelation! This tube can make or break Presidents, Popes, Prime Ministers. This tube is the most awesome, god-damn force in the whole godless world. And woe is us if it ever falls into the hands of the wrong people” - Howard Beale.
What if Fake News is All We Had
I still remember how back in 2007 any talk about a potential economic crisis was completely ridiculed by anyone I knew.
“There will never be any crisis in the western world now stop being ridiculous.” You’d hear time and time again.
Television is never wrong, or so they say.
The same thing happened with the Tonkin incident which resulted in the Vietnam war and some of the darkest chapters of human history.
It makes you want to wish everybody believed those “conspiracy theorists” instead of TV and saved the world a whole lot of bombs.
As it turns out TV can be wrong, the same as they have been wrong about the so called “Big Brother paranoia”.
As it turns out, all those people were not paranoid. The government was.
So yes, television lies. There’s no lie detector attached to the cable network to make sure that the anchors would only broadcast truthful information.
And the same goes for objectivity. Between the sponsors, the investors, the shareholders and not to mention the special interests that actually own the goddamn channel… If any piece of information was damaging to any of those parties or their friends, then you know that news will never see the light of day.
And the same goes for shaping or twisting information to fit a certain narrative, or even making stuff up when necessary.
Or in the case of Brian Williams, he’ll tell you that he was there.
There was a time where most people believed anything that came out of the tube and felt a significant discomfort whenever they are presented with a new information that contradicts the one coming from their beloved TV.
That phenomenon is known as cognitive dissonance.
You see, television was “the pleasure box” for many people during multiple decades. Their favorite actors were there, their favorite programs, their favorite sport… Even porn was there.
Every single day, they would receive a daily dose of pleasure associated with TV. So when you just come around with some opposing view that may indicated that the pleasure box was lying to them, people would inevitable react to that.
It is as if you’ve told them that their parents were lying to them.
But now the game has changed.
Now if someone wants to watch a movie they’ll just stream it. If they wanted to watch a series they’ll probably go to Netflix or a similar app.
If they wanted to watch porn, they’ll go to a website that provides them with the exact type of porn that they’re into.
And they can watch it from everywhere.
Television is no longer the most important member of the family.
And the attachment to it is not nearly as strong as it was in the previous generations.
Which means that the predisposition to cognitive dissonance is not nearly as strong as in the previous generations. So it becomes much more easier for the common man to see behind the lie than any other time before.
And from that point forward, it was only a matter of time until the term Fake News became mainstream.