Fake News is Real; and it’s Dangerous!

Regardless of what one may think about President Trump, the fact remains that he’s right about one thing: Fake news is a real phenomenon. No doubt he plays this to his advantage in an effort to discredit what may very well be credible allegations against him, but sensationalist journalists keep proving him right. In the process of reporting fake news, not only do they unjustly discredit their many responsible counterparts, and not only do they undermine the value of their profession, but they also sow the seeds of dangerous social unrest.

Last Tuesday, TVA reported that representatives from two mosques in the Côte-des-Neiges district of Montreal, made a formal request to the construction company conducting roadwork on their street, asking them to bar women workers from the site during Friday prayers. The report portrays this as being more of an insistence than a request, claiming that women were chased away (chassées) from the site, and claiming that they had already been penalized by missing work.

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Advice from a 17th Century French Aristocrat for Public Figures of Our Times

For many years Senior Discourse Contributor, Neil Cameron, has been fond of sharing a piece of Christmas doggerel with friends and colleagues.

This holiday season his inspiration is François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld, Prince de Marcillac, (1613-1680) who was one of the finest writers of maxims in the 17th century. The carol ‘Good King Wenceslas’ is about a 10th century Bohemian monarch, now patron saint of Czechs; its melody is from 16th c. Finland, the English lyrics from 1853. For Christmas 1916, the notion came to Neil that, with a few judicious adjustments, a dozen of the Duc’s maxims could be sung to the melody of the carol, as good advice to some celebrated folk of our time. Here it is for your fireside pleasure.

Re-reading La Rochefoucauld, found us still his brothers;
Had we no faults., be less pleased, finding fault in others.
And take one on success eased, done in manner steady:
Always pretend, when you can, you’re success alrea-dy.                              (Donald Trump)

Judging speeches aimed at you, use this firm foundation:
Sincerity is found in few, much dissimulation.
Self-reflection seldom nails, how two things we sever:
All admit their memory fails, but their judgement ne-ver.                                (Hillary Clinton)

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