Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed the word of 2016 to be “post-truth,” a scary concept that was popularized by the repulsive presidential campaign waged by Donald Trump. It refers to his chronic dissembling, invention of facts and intermittent grasp of reality heralding a new era where fabulists, revivalists and snake-oil salesmen are finding redemption.
The collateral damage to the media is accumulating as serious journalism vies with fake news and the principle of balance is slyly manipulated to lend credibility to the incorrigible. The post-truth era depends on collective acquiescence and the averting of eyes from the devious deceptions and disingenuous half-truths that muffle the voices of reason. In this polarized climate the media must be resolutely truthful, not misleadingly neutral.