By Jonathon Van Maren
In the wake of claims that so-called “fake news” helped turn voters against Hillary Clinton and toward Donald Trump in the last election, the term itself has become so overused that it is nearly meaningless. Trump uses the “fake news” label to deride the mainstream media and highlight their liberal bias, while the Democrats insist that “fake news” tricked many ordinary people into voting against their own interests. Since then, there has been much discussion concerning how to limit “fake news” — Canadian, German, and American politicians have all cited “fake news” as a concern that needs to be addressed.
As a pro-life activist, these sorts of discussions make me nervous. Not because I don’t think that any “fake news” exists — I see plenty of social media posts from obviously fake websites peddling obviously fictitious stories. What concerns me is the fact that I don’t trust government authorities or the mainstream media or the academic establishment to determine what is and is not “fake news.” Inevitably, this sort of thing will end up resulting in the censorship of views that progressives dislike.
Consider the current conversation on abortion, for example. How often are media sources actually willing to discuss what abortion is? Pro-lifers are portrayed as wild-eyed religious fanatics or fundamentalist throwbacks trying to control female sexuality, while abortion supporters are portrayed as liberty-loving reproductive rights warriors. But imagine if a newspaper simply printed photographs of the human being in the womb at each stage of development, from conception until birth, and asked questions about when it was ethical to end that life? Or imagine if journalists confronted politicians with the fact that abortion often involves doctors tearing the limbs from the bodies of pre-born children, and asked if this was a humane response to a crisis pregnancy?
This, of course, would never happen. Media discussions of abortion exclude any details of the procedure we’re actually talking about. When the Planned Parenthood videos were released, for example, the media immediately accused David Daleiden and his investigators of “deceptively editing” the footage. Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that the media’s accusation had been correct. What about all those discussions about “crushing” the fetus? What about those abortionist panels that had audiences in stitches over stray eyeballs plopping into the doctor’s lap? What about the abortionist casually chatting about how she had to “pull off a leg or two” during abortions? Nobody was claiming that those videos were “deceptively edited,” because they obviously were not. So why did those — and many other — horrific revelations not make the news?
The reason is simple. The abortion industry has progressive politicians, the mainstream media, and much of academia running cover for their barbarism. The media assists them in the coverup of what actually takes place within the abortion industry, which is why bombshell videos of abused animals get nonstop coverage but casual discussions about crushing tiny human beings gets dismissed and the whistleblowers maligned and slandered. That’s also why it took a concentrated social media shaming campaign to get even the slightest bit of news coverage for the Kermit Gosnell trial, where America’s most prolific serial killer was being charged with murder. Some journalists openly admitted that they didn’t want to cover the trial because it made the abortion industry look bad.
If we want to see what abortion activists intend to do to free speech, all we have to do is look at Europe. Two Members of European Parliament have begun the process of attempting to criminalize pro-life views and assert that opposition to abortion is “a form of violence.” The French Broadcasting Council and the French State Council actually banned a beautiful video called “Dear Future Mom,” because it showcased happy, smiling children with Down syndrome telling parents not to worry, and that they loved their parents like any other child would. It was decided, however, that this video would make the thousands of mothers who decided to abort their child with Down syndrome feel bad, and thus it should be censored. Those who are willing to violently end the lives of pre-born children will think nothing of censoring the truth and restricting freedom of speech.
“Fake news” may be a problem, but it is a problem borne out of our divided society, where nobody can agree on what the truth is anymore — if “truth” even exists. When government bodies and academic institutions begin to discuss how to address “fake news,” you can be sure that they do not simply mean fabricated stories with no basis in fact. They also mean the truth about abortion, and a wealth of information that they find inconvenient to furthering their so-called progressive causes. Our media and our politicians assist in the coverup of some of humanity’s greatest crimes, inflicted on our own offspring. They are not committed to truth, and we must be very wary when they begin to pretend as if they are.