In my first television interview in 21 years, I spoke this morning with Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten, hosts of the WGN-TV Morning News in Chicago, about my new book, Propaganda 2.1: Understanding Propaganda in the Digital Age.
In all fairness to the hosts and producers of the show, they assumed what most people assume when they hear the title of the book: "Oh, this guy is going to show us how to identify fake news that comes to us via social media." That's kind of the zeitgeist right now, isn't it? That's exactly what seven years of mainstream mass media, propaganda 2.0 coverage has done to us. We've been massaged (sometimes brutally) to doubt everything that comes to us through our "new media" digital information environment and to trust only the information we receive through the older, non-digital mass media.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) that kind of thinking -- so typical of our society at the moment -- is proving itself to be less than productive. Reliance on the mass media for our information brought us Donald J. Trump in the first place, and made Bernie Sanders' candidacy for the Presidency a dead issue. (With the help, of course, of a rigged primary system, a thoroughly corrupt Democratic Party establishment, and an indolent and acquiescent mass media establishment.)
This book has been a real learning experience for me -- from ten years of reading and writing, a year in the editing/publication process, to three months of promotion. My mind has changed on a lot of issues in ten years, and the entire thrust of the book changed with. It actually started out (which is to say that I actually started out) as exactly the kind of "Don't trust the Internet" book that everyone seems to be expecting.
It's not. I hope you'll read it. Who knows? It may turn out to be a learning experience for you as well.