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tv   Washington Journal  CSPAN  December 1, 2016 3:41am-4:26am EST

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take place.
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max ng us from new york is read, he is a senior editor for "new york magazine" "select all," section of the website. here to talk about topic of fake news. good morning. morning.ood host: could you talk to us, you wrote a recent piece looking at idea, the title saying maybe the internet is not a fantastic tool for democracy afterall. you give us a sense of what led you on your writings about news?opic of fake guest: sure. you know, for the last three decades, it's been sort of a internet is a tool for democracy, for civil ights, for freedom of speech, for freedom generally, and that as been true in a lot of situations. you look at the beginnings of the arab and judgment revolution social media allowed mass protests to flourish in public
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people to owed organize and talk to each other, but in the last six or seven we've seen enormous rise f popularism around the world of autocratic, auch racist genophobic leaders, not just russia, but western europe, asia, and one thing that seems to be clear across he world is leaders view the internet to whether intentionally or because their supporters are on them to target critics, harass journalists, to their own pob -- populous revolt. is a moment to look at the intern sxet say maybe this myth the internet is a tool for democracy isn't true. component powerful labeled broadly ake news, highly misleading,
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untrue stories put out by hyper sites that m news circulate widely on social media nd there doesn't seem to be a lot of control over how and why the stories get debunked or allowed on social media. one infamous example, an article before the election claiming the pope had endorsed donald trump, which of course, shared by that was hundreds of thousands and probably seen by millions of eople across facebook and twitter. host: when it comes to looking cited one s, you example, is this a partisan thing? is it equal opportunity when it people put tisan thanksgiving type of information out there? know, everybodyu likes to share and read news hat confirms their own biases, it is a human thing. it is true there are fake news sites, facebook pages toward the
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wouldl side of things. i perpetuate fake news if i didn't tends to go right. hyper partisan conservative ages have more false or untrue information on them. you even look at the reporting talk to the you entrepreneurs who are fake news sites, they said, they tried to put together sites around hillary around bernie sanders and it is donald trump trump in particular, that traffic the kind of that allows them to make big profits. host: we have a listing of professor what one mc elissa zimdar, mary college, compiled list of websites classified as fake amongst other things. give us examples, who are the websites you are familiar with comes to this type of new? guest: well, one interesting happy to t this, i'm list the names, there are a lot of them outlets you never heard
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before. places were set up on the fly within the last year or year and a half. people in not even by the u.s. there was a recent buzzfeed about the country of macedonia, one city, bunch of college students and teenagers are setting up ebsites to make money to buy themselves music equipment. one thing facebook has done, facebook and google made it easier to put together a or official-looking sounding news website. website like ending the fed dot com, most people would not recognize or understand as news ource, is turning over unbelievable traffic, traffic any legitimate institutional love to nization would have by posting fake news like, endorsing donald trump. the broader definition of fake that might include incredibly hyper partisan sites
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for example, rt, is you know, that would include the left or bright bart on the right and those kind f sites, they would hate to be put in this category, a lot of what they writes in fact true, ust taken from extremely partisan viewpoint. host: max read joining us to has about fake news, written for "new york magazine," joining us to talk to you about it. questions, 202-748-8000 for democrats. republicans. for 202-748-8002 for independents. max read, tell us about the of "new york tion magazine," what is it? guest: we like to cover echnology from a cultural perspective, to look at how it is being used by people on day-to-day way. this election has been a ascinating example of how the internet transformed our ability to have conversations online organize tics, to political move sxment this is something we're particularly
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in.inated and interested we post funny videos and silly stories about the stuff going on too.ne, the internet has changed the world and i think we're still eckoning with the ways our lives are different because of it. host: max read, is there a say fake news to influenced the election for donald trump? guest: no, i'm not sure there is. i imagine there are a number of studies being undertaken right now. what i can tell you, i know stan are studies recent ford study released last week youngtrated sophisticated people, have trouble distinguishing fake news from news, have trouble distinguishing advertiseing from genuine journalism. and you can look at raw numbers, number of people who have seen headlines, in the millions, and that is hard for me to believe there is no n. fact, facebook itself is business model relies
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news feed, when you click through facebook, that influences you f. fake news doesn't influence the election, you see is not influencing you to think one way or the other then facebook's entire model is broken. seeing something in your feed as you are scrolling through, the act of almost like , repeating the news yourself, important way to form your sense true and not true influence the way you think about it sdchlt it mean you or ch from hillary clinton donald trump because of the fake news? help t think so, it will shore your briefs or help you decide not to vote at all. behavior in ting subtle and important ways and in an election as close as this worth looking at. host: do you think it changes the behavior of someone looking news story itself to check other sources to see if it
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was true or not? no, i think if you -- performthe word, if you basic media hygiene, you don't trust single sources, you try to wide variety of sources, if you are immersing yourself in areerent ideas, i think you probably safe from the skurj of fake news. that what facebook has news.one-serving spot for 40% of adults get news from facebook. north lion people in america, use it, more than voted everyday in the election. to get news,cebook what you are getting, news from sources like "wall street ournal," "new york times," places that have long histories of smart and rigorous side and in long fact looking identical to news from places like ending the fed com. and i think if you are a busy person and we all are, you are stuff in your gh news feed in line one day, you
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might not know or recognize that these stories, one story you see, without reading is from from mes and one story is ending the fed. and it is easy to have that catch in the back of your mind way of formulating your opinion about things. i think people who have, you sense of media literacy, who are interested in tcan still news affect their perception of the candidates. host: calls lined up for you. keith from chicago, illinois, democrats line. keith, you are on with our max read. go ahead with your question or comment. good : great topic and morning, max. ey, you know, we're going to look at fake news, we really ave to start at the granddaddy f them all and print digital media, drudge report. model, so to the speak. drudge, of ut of
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course. and bannon came out of drudge. of course that is supported of course radio and fox news. that is trium verate of is siege tion and it and siege and builds and builds, the gene seout of the bottle, no will be rebottled. we have to have a better population, that simple. host: thanks, keith mrchlt max read. is importantinuing to look at the history of how we got here and part of that is talking about assaults on the legitimacy of the media, over the lastight 20 years. important figure in this. i would be cautious putting in the fake category, drudge links to a lot of
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sources.e he does link to a lot of correct and legitimate sources. a strongly partisan slant, that doesn't make him a lies.er of i think the big difference drudgu was internet operating in in the '90s and the distribution s power around facebook there is a difference between having a site drudge, even if you hate it and think it is the worst peddler of misinformation that other options de for you, each of which has own signalling ability to is and what hat it it is about. what worries me, when that stuff single nched into serving squares in a facebook difficult to it distinguish one sort of news from another that empsighs the sharing it over the place they knew it was from.g i think that cable new system just as important as the
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forming in terms of public opinion in the u.s. cable news and the internet other, they feed off each other, no reason to top attention to fox news or drudge just because we have a ew front to be worried about legitimacy of the information. it is important to pay attention holistically. caller: good morning, gentlemen. max, great to have you here. grazed across and touched upon the issue, the question i had for you. to ask you for your opinion from your how much if at all ould you attribute the sudden and it wasnd success the presidential election, of e has been a lot
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reporting on voters who relied the coming through the ources that were later proved to be straight, how much, if at all, do you attribute that to the sort of vacuum left blind by formerly legitimate news divisions having been either or both eviscerated of their needed news gathering personnel and budgets and transform into celebrity, sex and scandal and corporate press eleases, that is kind of marketing/news. hat is role of legit nat journalism here? host: thanks, eric. that is a really complicated question and i don't have a simple answer. internet has in fact viscerated the journalism model. it means organizations that were
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nce all powerful, newspapers like the "new york times," newspaper necessary any major forced to n area are compete on different terms. you know, no news organization one way or the like to t i think we think of as frivolous news, sex, celebrity gossip and crosswords, cooking, even sports. that doesn't bother me as a that stuff, ilove read that stuff n. many cases that stuff is more important for. we give it credit what is happening now, every news organization is required in that it reach audience need in order to survive as a be ness, it needs to immediately receptive to whatever the audience wants at a given moment, a lot of week, over thehis last couple weeks about the extent to which journalists are to respond to tweets that donald trump is sending out. nd this is difficult question, in part, because obviously the
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president, his statements are newsworthy, but oftentimes based in complete, in his imagination, no relationship to the truth and sometimes they are sort of vin dickative and weird and not fruitful or productive. o, you know, one strategy in 1960 might have been pretending we had newspapers and twitter, other internet, you put utranss on 818, report them they are important and diminish their importance. is its y single article own unit that can be shared on facebook or twitter. editors to ult for make judgment about news worthiness. i've gotten off track here. the journalism as institution or the change that t is undergoing means there is enormous base for hoaxes and lies. is important to acknowledge journalism has not served readers in the way it the last 20 ver years. talk to almost anyone about the
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"new york times," i think the greatest newspaper in like rld and enormous old-school, smart, rigorous eporting, also had a number of essentially false reports about the iraq war in 2003. trust, the as f trust gets eroded in that way, it make its easier for the feeder of facebook to seize that space and take those readers. host: mindon, louisiana, republican line. jeff, good morning. morning.ood yeah, i am 70 years old and been watching the news for a long time and to me it's pretty much or distorted to give you a prime example, to watch all the different channels and outlets, kind of curious when came out with findings on clinton and the
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cnn, ines that flash on james comey claims hillary careless. there is a world of difference between extremely careless.nd of how just one example they're distorting it. i don't know if it is -- not a great student of history, but i think that is how the communists used to do it. 65,000 e-mails come out and no nbc and cnn.c, kind of american, i'm concerned because i grew up, years ago, ii'm 70 grew up when you got the truth, nothing, bututh and the truth, far from what is happening now. caller.anks, guest: yeah, i think that obviously every journalistic comes from a specific place. nstitutional biases, and they don't need to be political
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biases, they can be business-based biases. they don't want to cover or it would turn off advertisers. they know they can bring particularly valuable audience in. literacy education would need to include that, no is on to imagine that cnn the gospel truth. what i would caution anybody the current media environment is that power is a reasingly concentrated in small handful of countries. the healthiest free press in any one that has wide outlets and allows people to choose between them, to assemble a space where we can all agree on what the truth is and what reality is. that is the only way to have a peaceful, liberal democracy, if can ople across the aisle look at each other and agree that this thing is true and this is not true. even regarding clinton's e-mails, obviously other end of the spectrum who claim the media
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covered them too much there is between extremely careless and careless. i will say in cnn's defense they did accurately report he said the word careless starting point from which we can have a discussion about that. fields several football away from the pope endorsing onald trump or an f.b.i. agent attached to hillary clinton killing himself, another item of the denvereported by guardian, didn't exist until a year ago. louise in san antonio, democrats line. max, i was wondering if information onus alex -wars put out by jones, president-elect seems to fascinated with him
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and i hear from senior citizens in making statements that come from drudge and these rs on c-span and people -- i know c-span doesn't like to correct people, but some the things i hear from callers is just so far out there like if they really do need to be corrected. anyway, i wish you would give that, thank you. guest: sure. info-wars is probably the most famous site that belongs in the fake news.ition of mongering spiracy tin foil treme right hat kind of place. i hate , i don't -- coming on here.
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a x jones is a character, hell of a character, for a long ime he was that, a crazy conspiracy theorist with a weird radio show that existed in a way allowed you to enjoy his entertainment without having to fear it as a source of news. the rise of social platforms as ews distribution meant alex jones is not just a guy in texas with a local radio show ranting government, he is somebody, as you say, has audience of voters and concerned citizens who seem to believe what he says. you know, i don't have a solution to figuring out ensure that the stuff that alex -- conspiracy theories about one world government or hatever else alex jones is peddling. e claimed that without evidence, claiming three million in the oted illegally
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most recent election appeared out of the mouth of the president-elect in the form of twitter feed. and that to me is really i worry that d we're not thinking hard enough bout how we can ensure that that kind of totally baseless adequately rebutted and responded to. facebook has twit sxer responded then in light of this and what technology have they place? how does it work? guest: well, so facebook a couple different swings about this. c.e.o. came out after the election and insisted idea ught it was a crazy that news influenced anybody one way or the other. about as we talked earlier, i think -- i don't think that is true and i facebook y don't think institutionally believes that. have advertising-based
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business model there is reporting group of facebook employees formed a secret working group attempting to come up out of the eyes of the executives, attempting to come solutions. zuckerburg said they would consult with fact checking attach labels to news organizations, i actually skeptical about the direction. on ink focusing too much giving facebook the power to make editorial decision over appears on the site is the kind of quick fix that is hurt us.come back and facebook, the problem at the facebook has too uch power and asking it to yield power in ways we like versus ways we don't like is a short-term solution. long-term solution, ensure facebook doesn't have power over
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the media conversation generally. twitter is a smaller part, but near influential, journalists politicians use it. our president-elect uses it. the big, it has less of a a blem with fake news for certain number of design reasons. it has a problem with and abuse, especially against journalists, color, women, people of against huge antisemitism problem on it, few days after announced n, twitter anti-harrassment tools that can e put to use to stem some of the problem. it remains to be seen whether fix the actually situation. host: our guest, max read of "new york magazine," he's the take a look at the topic of the internet, news across it, topic of fake news overall. hi.e, republican line, caller: hi. thanks for taking my call. a republican, going to vote for trump, i think fake news
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contributed to the rise of him. personally, i've seen things on facebook that just even as republican. you, k my question for what role does the mainstream media have in all this? why are they not reporting on the fake news the way they the public ducating about these fake stories that i the ubt think influence election? guest: well, a couple answers to question. the first is, it is like whack-a-mole, hundreds of day with no basic and fact. it is difficult to figure out to be rebutted, how you go about rebutting them them.t amplifying further, there is a problem with widespread problem with trust in period.a, people who just don't think the media has their best interest in
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sensationalizing or lying or too biassed. people who think that are likely to believe the so-called fake news stories. and then, there's finally the media problem that the just beholden to the facebook news sites the fake are. this isn't a situation where facebook and fake news sites and the institutional media and two separate groups the institutional media should use power to stand up and fight facebook. facebook subsumed the media. the media requires facebook it spends took f. much time railing against facebook or worrying about the fake news on the opulation, it is going to let power wane even more. host: katie from apex, north
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carolina, good morning. caller: good morning. max, i hope you would address my phone call in your own professional the standards of journalism, which ave definitely been drifted away from in that now the onversation is in regard to "fake news," where viewers were seeking information and the were gettinghat we was that a lot of these different news sites were biassed.y a lot of interviews when people were confronted with things that released tunately through wikileaks were flat-out be ed and later proven to true. when you have someone that you're hopefully receiving truth from and then you repeatedly have evidence that is case, there needs to be a commitment first to professional journalism before a 're going to have conversation about fake news. going to f you're discuss fake news, then what was the real news.
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constantly give an example of those foundational you're sayingthat and referring to as "we," or zuckerburg saying facebook influence, what is fake? was it all fake? you know, honestly, i agree with you, i think big part is decliningm here thet in the media thanks to needs and concerns of people reading it. worry that -- as a country we have to sit down and say this, is true, this is not true. he way we do that, accepting collective media ecosystem and and we agree ngs
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things are true and we trust this particular, not one particular institution, but in aggregate number of different media institutions as they circle around something. what worries me, what used to be that sort of establishment group organizations that allowed for some sense of common truth hasn't been -- the right thing to do would be to expand way that allows it to still exist and allows views that were outside of it used as political, racial, sexual who are kept ople out of the news, whose ideas and justice ind of social issues were kept out of the news. that stuff expands thanks to the expansion of media and the audience. e accelerated all the way into complete extremes, especially on one side and partly on another side. that initial
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group of media, gatekeepers has disappeared. say what you will about the failure and number of failures political and journalistic failures of the media, but they macedonia g, like the teenagers, they are not interested in giving you eality, they are interested in buying guitars and they are going to sell you whatever you it.t to hear in order to get so, you know, like some point, is not perfect solution to say, okay, let's go back to the wall street jury room and new "washington post" and abc and nbc. of course not. but i don't think that it is replacing institutions with ending the fed dot comand denver gardener. host: democrat line, jane, hello there. hi.er: thank you for c-span. i appreciate you. comments.couple
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first, i was very, very unhappy with the framing of this political election by the mainstream broadcast media, where they gave hours and hours meanwhile, have, the 16 other candidates and traily clinton out on the and coverage of their rallies ould say hillary didn't have a platform, she didn't have any did, but they were not covered. they would have debates, people another ue with one with no moderation and then just disturbing that places msnbc, 6:00 on the est coast covering things like why my husband, why people marry in body who they meet prison, are t.v., russian debateson, have evolved about what is go og in syria or fghanistan and it is very slanted from russian point of going on. it is so disturbing that we don't have actually broadcast
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reporting news that affects the world, affects the disturbing to me because people on the left and on the right take nothing fake news. i have people, i'm a liberal democrat. have friends telling me pizza gate is a real thing, that involved in on child trafficing and they believe these things. jane, thank you. we'll let the guest respond. guest: you know, i agree. really have anything else to say. it is absolutely true that we figuring out in that ountry how to ensure intelligent and sort of evel-headed coverage of presidential elections, for xample, doesn't devolve into feeding the beast with whatever most attention-grabbing thing going on. a big reason e, donald trump won, it is not just, sounds simple as though
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whomever gave free media, he is particularly attention. grabbing e is particularly talented at grabbing attention in ways he wants to do it. in a world where your success as media organization is measured by how much attention is being paid to you, that is how you advertising, that candidate who grabs attention and frankly candidate whoys a and president who was able to direct attention toward himself has been doing now, those candidates get more coverage than the opposition. know, i think i'm not going to come up with a solution to this, because the answer -- russian day, the television station is not the answer. funded, i don't want to say propaganda outlet, independent media. a way to ensure independent
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media is given the space it needs to bring important and voters, nt coverage to we need to find that. i wish i had a better one answer to it. it will take a lot of thinking and thought and some degree of outcry before it changes. line bob on the republican from pennsylvania. caller: good morning. wondering, max, you are talking about fake news and i challenge you, i challenge you or ome up with one article sound bite where mr. trump says -- your three million words, three million people who voted illegally. you do that, mr. fake news? mean, he tweeted it like a few days ago. tweeted that he -- they were trying to do recount and he
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ould have won the popular vote anyway if three million people, maybe two million people hadn't illegally. newt gingrich gave an interview about it yesterday saying he didn't think, he thought that damaging thing to say and trump should not be tweeting so much. ost: independent line, jennifer, hello. caller: hi. thanks for taking my question. young person, trained in science and something that is how fake eeply to distrust of science and especially the information that contributes to climate change skepticism. my question is, with climate being such an immediate future especially to my and also bernie sanders said our ingle greatest threat to national security and with complete lack of acknowledgment party in the republican that it is even a serious threat at all. how we might eas immediately begin to reverse the
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that proliferates from the fake new? thanks. host: thanks, caller. boy, i wish. i don't. i think the climate change issue it is rest nothing part, a really good example of how the time we havea long accepted agreed upon truth based impure cism, n scientific method and science and climate change is good sort of f how that acceptable that public sphere of acceptable opinion has been eroded away. skepticism change, about climate change is not result of fake news. fake new system riding the train. skepticism comes from business interests that are don't want to e regulated in ways that would help stop climate change, create turning it into tribal issue for what fake newsnd does, finds tribal issues, finds that signal belief in particular ideology or
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tribeship in a particular and because social media the way media innews on social certain ways a way to perform our own identity and belonging when you , remember share article on facebook, it becomes attached to your you, about whole, you are when you share something. you start to share change, yourclimate attitude tells people something about who you are as a person, american, as a voter. you know, climate change in particular, i don't think there to fix that issue versus fixing the whole broken sort of system by which we distribute information. host: this is john, herndon, on with our are guest, max read. caller: good morning. taking my call.king my
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max, this is what just happened, there is a call from pennsylvania and ask question, did donald trump ever lie? that, trump, when he say muslims were celebrating during that isat is fake news, a lie. the problem that we have here, news, e a place like fox who lie listeners day in and day out and never have any consequence and i know this, politician day, lying about something and they don't stop it. what you are say suggest not fact f. we don't when nge the politicians they lie and put them on the spot, nothing can be done about this. have to blame them facebook or anything, reporters nbc or whether t is fox news or cnn, we have seen people come on live elevision, lie to the american people and no one challenge them and that is ridiculous, no ever.quences whatso tlt host: john, thank you.
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guest: yeah. interesting you say, you know, mention the celebrating muslim system an news.e of fake one particularly interesting and component of the ew dynamic set up, the president-elect and every president from now on, i her ne, will have his or own twitter account, no different from the twitter account of the "new york times" personal twitter account or yours, if you have way, which means in a weird donald trump is himself a news spreading and disseminating fake news, or has he ability to, just like i know. the sharing is able to occur on that stuff , means that you tweet or say can be a scale ke wildfire at and speed we've never seen before. there is very difficult to out how to debunk. i agree with you, it is
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the state, for journalism to stand up for whatf and for some idea of truth and reality is, but it voters, to be people, viewers, readers who stand up ensure that outlets aren't allowing t away with lives to spread. that means complaining to neighborsd talking to and friends who watch fox news guardian.e denver you know, bringing people back to some sphere of shared reality is most important thing to create one. host: mobile, alabama, you are n line, bill, on, go on, please. ekt caller: i watched fake news 50 years ago. in tuscaloosa. at the public library and across the street marchers, ivil rights bill connor up on top, it was
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raining. the library were looking out, they said, don't go out there, so i did. on the porch, on my side of the street, the library news man, was a camera man and the guy who was the organizer, a black guy. was saying to the black guy, you got to get me something, this is nothing. what do you want me to do? get the marchers over there where the dogs are. to go over there where the dogs are, they might bite us. me something, or we're going back to new york, wife got nothing. marchers near the dogs, the dogs start doing what leash.o when on a host: your point is -- we're running out of time, what is the point? been faking have news since time began. i mean, i can't speak to that particular example. i don't think you need to invent instances where the police and
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civil th were abusing rights protesters. maybe we can bring it back to example,and more famous spanish you know, american war, you supply me pictures, i'll supply you the war. the media has at times in history, broadly, the 150 years is point, worth of tabloids and news channel, you can name dozens or hundreds of examples of information, ake the big difference that has changed in the lasts 10 years, speed at which that information can move around. no longer spaces in which false, ake, incorrect hoax, lies, misinformation can be debunked, discourse making worse. host: max read, moving forward, going into a new administration, is the warning? what are you looking for as far
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as this type of news dissemination? guest: i think the first and most important thing we can do demand action from facebook, which they seem to be taking. broader, the he long-term goal has to be to concentrated power that companies like facebook, and sort of itter conglomerates have merat over the landscape. anti-trust action should be termstely on the table in of talking about how facebook bundled huge number of services together, effectively monopoly line.l over news on about eeds to be action this. this approach is not working. host: max read with "new york magazine."

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