|The Impossible Battle against Fake News: The Horse Manure Crisis in London
Posted: 18 Jun 2018 10:42 AM PDT
Illustration and initial text from a recent post on WUWT
Sometimes, I have this horrible feeling that the battle against fake news and propaganda is just impossible to win. The latest example is an article appeared on the unnamable WUWT blog, which repeats the story that someone in 1894 « predicted » that 9 feet of horse manure would soon accumulate in the street of London. And, of course, since that didn’t happen, we are free forever and ever from any and every possible kind of catastrophe.
Let me repeat it, this is a legend. I wrote that two years ago on the Cassandra blog: nobody ever wrote such a thing on « The Times » nor anywhere else. People keep repeating what they hear from other people and keep thinking that sheer volume means truth. It is pure invention, fake news.
What I found most bewildering is how slick it is the report on WUWT – note how subtly they link an article with the words « but fake« . It is a recent article by Rose Wild where she says exactly what I said in my 2016 article: There never was such a headline on The Times.
But the WUWT author, Larry Kummer, never states that explicitly. The hurried reader will surely think that the term « but fake » refers not to the existence of the 1894 article, but to its wrong predictions. This is reinforced by the sentence « accurately describing the views of the time. » It is hard to think that a non-existing article could be accurate about anything. Slick, indeed.
You would think that people have had enough of propaganda after having been duped so many times on so many issues but, no, propaganda continues to exist and thrive. Actually, it seems to be increasing in volume and importance. Maybe it is part of the way the universe works. Maybe the universe itself has been created as a giant propaganda machine to convince the Gods that the Ragnarok will never come and that Odin will never be eaten by the wolf Fenrir. Who knows? Maybe we are all the dream of a sleeping God who is having a nightmare.
Note: there are hundreds of thousands of Web pages reporting the story of the « Great Horse Manure Crisis of 1894 » as if it were a historical fact – If there are any which say it is a hoax, they are extremely difficult to find