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HBO's After Truth: Disinformation and the Cost of Fake News is full of chilling sequences

  • Andrew Rossi's documentary tackling fake news is "absorbing and impressively researched," and "traces the insidious and interlocking ways that full-moon fantasy has leaked, like a virus, into our national news stream," says Owen Gleiberman. "One of the film’s more entertainingly sleazy figures is Jack Burkman, a huckster-lobbyist who offers an unabashed defense of fake news ('I mean, what is truth? You study philosophy, there is no reality, there is only perception') as he tries to sell the made-up notion that Robert Mueller is guilty of sexual assault. He’s even got a victim to prove it! (Or so he says.) Burkman calls a press conference, and the victim, conveniently, never shows. But the meme is planted (did you hear? Robert Mueller got #MeToo-ed!), the mud is splattered, the seed of the right-wing-media talking point planted. There is no reality. There is only perception. That’s one minor example of how the sausage gets made. But as After Truth reveals, fake news isn’t just a lot ghoulishly fabricated PR bullsh*t that a lot of suckers believe. It’s a toxic stimulant that people get addicted to. It heightens their day, it stokes and cleanses their anger, it terrifies and reassures them, it explains the world. Once you buy into the cult of fake news, you tend to descend to deeper and deeper levels of it, as if it were a video game that’s playing you."


    TOPICS: After Truth: Disinformation and the cost of Fake News, HBO, Andrew Rossi , Documentaries

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