Podcast explores the importance of telling apart news

It is important to be able to differentiate between fake, false, and skewered news in a time of sharp ideological divide in the United States, the new York Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens told Jason Greenblatt during a recent episode of newsweek‘s diplomat podcast.


Greenblatt, a former White House envoy to the Middle East under former President Donald Trump, discussed strategies for consuming news content with Stephens during an episode diplomat, which Greenblatt hosts, released Thursday.

The conversation touched on a wide range of issues but primarily focused on advice for Americans on how to achieve a balanced news diet.


Stephens told Greenblatt that he believes there is such a thing as fake news, but added that it is important to be “accurate” in his use of the term, which can be confused with other types of misinformation.

“I think there’s fake news, I think there’s false news, and there’s slant news,” Stephens said.


“Fake news, in my book, is news that is written with the knowledge that it is fake news, with the knowledge that I am going to insert a deliberate piece of misinformation, knowing full well that it is There is wrong information.”

During a recent episode of Greeley Tribune’s “The Diplomat,” writer Brett Stephens noted that there are important differences between fake news, false news, and slang. Above, a person on February 24, 2019 in Washington, DC. Places a “fake news” sign at the Smith Center in the U.S.
Michelle Layton / Getty Images

False news, Stephens explained, is “false” news, or news that is false but not intentional.

“It’s a gap that is in danger of being lost,” Stephens said. He said that due to the nature of the industry at the moment, the media landscape is full of false news.


The kind of news that Stephens identified as “the most common” is skewered news.

“It is entirely possible to tell stories that are accurate in their description, but ultimately misleading in the picture they portray,” he said of Skew News. Such news stories may lack the context needed to provide a complete and balanced overview of the problem.

“I think it’s the job of responsible journalism to try to apply a sufficient number of filters so that you can remove obvious biases,” Stephens said, calling into question both sides of an issue and calling them “widespread.” Can include quoting both ” and “quite”. “Within an article. The point of view shared at the end of any story often serves as a “tip-off to a certain type of slang,” he said.


The media industry is “very upset” at the moment, which Stephens said is partly a result of the industry facing charges of spreading fake news. He said this environment has made many mainstream outlets “too defensive” and “blind to their own prejudices” instead of being more aware of them.

Before digging into the distinction between fake, false, and skewered news, Stephens noted the presence of the social media age during an extensive discussion about the current path America is traveling down. He said social media has created a “sharp and clearer, more clear, more stable, partisan and ideological divide” in America.

Still, “I would say that I think there’s a secret appetite for a more civil form of discourse,” Stephens said. He pointed to “The Conversation,” a weekly discussion with his liberal-leaning colleague, Gail Collins. The goal of “conversations” is “conversations, not arguments,” Stephens explained, while discussions “barely exist” on social media, they are popular among the new York Times‘Readers.

Stephens said he believes people are “really hungry for a sense of civility” and “for disagreements that are healthy, not toxic.”

Greenblatt asked Stephens how he would advise young adults to seek a broader perspective and avoid falling into a situation where they are always getting news from the same source. Stephens said he has “always” encouraged his children to seek opposing views so that they can understand the different sides of an issue.

“I think the other important thing is that you need to surround your news reading with a broader architecture of facts, a broader architecture of understanding,” he said. While supervising apprentices in the past, Stephens said he needed them all to read Paul Johnson’s Modern Times: A History of the World from the 1920s to 1980 So they would have a strong historical background on the events of the last century.

“I think it’s important,” Stephens said. “That means the newsreader, the young newsreader, brings more to the table than the words that come before them.”

Stephens said it’s also important for news consumers to “keep an eye out” for opposing viewpoints.

“Look for those countervailing points of the data; look at the information outside the consensus, before you swallow whole what the consensus has to say,” Stephens said.

Greenblatt concludes the episode by noting that while his own views are not always in line with his views. the new York Times, he reads the paper.

For individuals who “want to be educated about what’s really happening in the world,” Greenblatt noted that “reading all kinds of news media to get a better understanding of what’s really going on.” And consuming is important.”