The legacy media has been finding ways to generate stories out of thin air for decades. Long before the advent of "fake news," a historian observed the phenomenon of “pseudo-events,” LevinTV host Mark Levin explained Friday night on the radio.
The concept of a pseudo-event was first discussed in Daniel Boorstin’s 1961 book, “The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America.” Boorstin was a historian at the University of Chicago and headed up the Library of Congress.
It used to be that people didn’t expect journalists to come up with content if there wasn’t any news happening, Levin explained. In modern times, however, Boorstin says that responsibility for making the world interesting shifted on to journalists, who resorted to making up news through “pseudo-events.” Pseudo-events aren’t propaganda, the host explained. Rather, they’re the stories generated from speculation, allegations, questions, and non-sequiturs that saturate the media market these days.
“The common prefix 'pseudo' comes from the Greek word meaning 'false' or 'intended to deceive.' And we are surrounded, folks, by pseudo-events,” Levin said. "Boorstin explained that with the advent of round-the-clock media, the news gap soon became so narrow that in order to have additional news, so-called, for each new edition of each new broadcast, it was necessary to plan in advance the stages by which any available news would be unveiled. With more space to fill, the newsman had to fill it ever more quickly. News-gathering turned into news-making." Levin noted that a perfect example of this phenomenon is the media’s treatment of the Russian collusion allegations against the president.
Levin explores the concept of pseudo events and the modern media in greater detail in his forthcoming book, “Unfreedom of the Press.”
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