Biden should appoint a Fake News Czar

He or she would accumulate all the crap that Fox News, OAN and Newsmax spread each week, and then get on TV once a week and debunk everything. While I think the inclination is to just ignore them, this is precisely why Trump rose to power to begin with. However ludicrous their stories, articles and conspiracy theories are, we know that large swaths of the American population swallow them whole. By taking these head-on, perhaps even 5% of their followers could be swayed enough to at least stay home next election and prevent Trump v2.

I doubt this would work sadly. Those who are inclined to believe them aren’t going to listen to a government official tell them it’s false. They’re not even believing Fox when they say Biden has won and Trump’s not going to pull a rabbit out of a hat.

Personally I wonder if it’s possible to expand/change the definition of slander and libel so any conspiracy theories can be challenged in court and anyone found knowingly repeating something known to be false faces a warning and then a penalty.

Equally unworkable no doubt.


Which is to say it wouldn’t work. Directly challenging CT believers on their beliefs only causes them to dig in and double down. The only thing I’ve heard that possibly works at all is to take a position that you’re trying to understand their point of view, be open and friendly, and ask questions about their beliefs. In this way you create a dialog and hopefully get them to realize the holes and flaws in their logic. Sort of the Socratic Method Lite.

Of course this wouldn’t work on everybody, and wouldn’t work en masse, it only really works as one-on-one deprogramming.

A lot of the stuff they say already sounds like slander/libel, and I suspect the main reason the entire right-wing media isn’t in jail already is because they’re standing atop a mountain of money and lawyers.

However it would be nice if somebody could bring suits based on slandering facts, science, and reality. Climate change deserves its day in court.

It would take ten seconds for the far right to figure out that such a strategy would at the very least double the PR they seek, and they would take full advantage of it.

Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech.

What else does one need to know?

Where does the OP advocate passing laws?

Well, I’d be curious to know how slander laws got passed, for a start.

ETA: And the OP does indeed restrain himself to just having some other person exercising their own freedom of speech - which is not to say that would be effective. The lies he’d be countering would include the lie that the person countering the lies is lying.

You’re right. A “czar” can’t pass laws on his own. But why should we put someone on a government salary to advocate restricting speech in general?

It’s not restricting speech.

In what way is that proposal “restricting speech”?

OK, so why should we appoint and pay someone to criticize speech the Biden Administration doesn’t like?

What are you asking for-a brand new right to criticize without fear of response?

Correcting lies.
Why did you not protest Trump’s attempts to trample of free speech with such vigor?
Here’s a sampler.

Simply put, the right to lie comes with the right to call out the liar.

Of course we should call out liars. Why does s/he need to be on the government payroll?

  1. You tax dollars were used to steal children from their families-Let’s see a little bit of consistency.
  2. If the government is being lied about, I see no problem with the government responding. If not, the alternate complaint would of course be “If we are lying about the government, why isn’t the government responding, huh?” I can recognize a no-win situation when I see one.

No one is “stealing children” . Please drop the hyperbole.

Nobody is stealing the right to free speech in the OP’s proposal.
Right back atcha.

I’ve got to say, I’m simply flabbergasted by this thread. I can’t quite wrap my mind around these proposals being made with any seriousness.

Donald Trump and the White House Press Secretary have spent the last four years attacking various news outlets as “fake news”, and attempting to debunk their reporting. President Trump and his Press Office have been, rightly, castigated by both his political opponents and advocates for freedom of speech and for protection of journalists for these attacks on a free press.

And you want to institutionalize these attacks? With a permanent, paid, official U.S. government post whose sole responsibility is to attack and undermine journalists and citizens whose reporting and opinions the administration disapproves of? A literal Ministry of Truth? I just…I really just can’t understand this.

Imagine such a position had been established by the Obama administration in response to birther conspiracy-mongering. Then imagine what the Trump administration would have done with such a position, with that precedent.

As to expanding libel and slander laws, you realize that’s literally, exactly, specifically something Donald Trump himself proposed? For which he was roundly (and rightly) castigated by both his political opponents and proponents of freedom of speech and protection for journalists?

As it stands now, by the way, libel and slander laws do apply to conspiracy theorizing, when they involve private individuals. Leonard Pozner won just such a defamation case. However, public figures, and even more so public officials, have a much higher bar to clear to sue for libel and slander. Whether it’s a “conspiracy theory” is irrelevant.