Although it’s the most-recently-written of the songs presented here so far and not on my first album, Fake News is the song I’m releasing first due to its current relevance. The term ‘Fake News’ suddenly entered the mainstream dialogue during the 2016 Presidential election, and now it’s impossible to go anywhere without hearing it. But the reality of controlling the masses by controlling the dissemination of information is as old as history itself. (For the iconic and most influential book ever written on the subject, take a look at ‘Propaganda’ by Edward Bernays- it was written in 1928 and remains a game changer to this day.)
It struck me as necessary to write a song about this distressing phenomenon, especially as disagreements about how we perceive the world are dividing us right now.. Good people are encouraged daily to feel nothing but disdain for other equally good people who merely perceive things through a different lens, and the result has been a torn national fabric.
My song is dedicated to the pawns in this game- we the people, subjected to a daily barrage of narratives, almost always twisted in conscious ways in order to stir certain sets of emotions and responses. If there’s one thing I’ve always been fascinated by in people, it’s the idea of “confirmation bias”- studies show that baseball fans really believe that the ump’s controversial call should have gone their way, not just that they wish it had. The same is true with news- both sides in this divided country are completely convinced that the actual facts are on their side… and so attempts to convince people to change their minds in either direction are almost always fruitless. I’ve spent my life as a “devil’s advocate”, but all that really means is that I wish people would take the time to understand why people they disagree with hold the views they do. But in this song, I’m just trying to express the sadness embedded in the fact that our culture is so splintered. I’m curious to hear any feedback- not necessarily about the song itself, but of examples in people’s lives where an inability to see eye to eye about some sort of perception has damaged friendships and relationships. My guess is that it’s happening with a lot of people right now.