Fake news is Old News

Abhishek Paul
2 min readOct 9, 2018

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” — Ecclesiastes 1:9

My wife and I recently watched the brilliant “Mr Smith Goes to Washington” starring James Stewart and directed by Frank Capra (their more famous collaboration was “It’s a Wonderful Life” came later and had much of the same cast). While the movie came out in the 1939, the political machinations are startlingly similar to today (especially relevant since we watched it the day after Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court).

The movie is about an idealistic first time senator trying to go up against a corrupt political lobby. What struck me most was the tactics used against him. He was pulled up in front of a committee, falsely accused of a crime, had a well funded campaign working behind the scenes to seemingly mobilize public opinion against him. The biggest reveal was how all the newspapers in the state were coordinated to paint him as a corrupt politician without reporting anything on what he actually said! Sound familiar??

So when I see people getting worked up around fake news and dismissing it as crazy conspiracy theory, I do not share their certainty. Maybe we would all do well to watch the movie.

PS: Interestingly when I searched “Brett Kavanaugh” in Google, the first page are all newspaper sites that still have the allegations in the headlines (eg: NY Times, Guardian, CNN, etc). The fact that there are no publications supporting him being shown leave me a little confused.