Letter: Some quotes change way people think

To the editor:

This is a reader response to Another Viewpoint, featured in the Nov. 14 issue of this newspaper; specifically, “Don’t let fake news dupe you.” AMEN to the quoted sage advice of Bob Schieffer, “Face the Nation” anchor, when he writes “…be skeptical of what you see online. Vet your news sources. Don’t take anything for granted.” So true.

But, how to vet (examine closely)? During a recent Writers’ Colloquium at Earlham University, in Richmond, the following resources were recommended for separating real news from fake news. Most everyone knows of snopes.com, but few about whois.icann.org — which identifies owners of all URLs. Then there’s allsides.com, followed by left- and right-leaning factcheck.org & politifact.com

Know what? There’s a new comprehensive resource available these days, in Sharyl Attkisson’s new book, “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What Your Think, and How You Vote.” I routinely read two books weekly, a mix of fiction and non-fiction. Took more notes during this read than any other perused to date. So, this from the end of Ms. Attkisson’s book: “… one thing you can count on is, most every image that crosses your path has been put there for a reason. Nothing happens by accident. What you need to ask yourself isn’t so much ‘Is it true,’ but ‘who wants me to believe it — and why?'”

Me thinks an errant word choice, “curated” news near the end of this Fort Worth Star-Telegram editorial, suggests a more apropos word choice. First, there is no verb form of curate, hence no “curated.” But there is a “curate’s egg,” i.e. “something of mixed quality” — think fake news — describing a cartoon in Punch (6 November 1895), where “a meek curate,” when served a bad egg at the bishop’s table, replies that “parts of it are excellent.” Random House, Webster’s College Dictionary.

George Allen