This is a list of some quotes from James Balls Book: Post -Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the World.
The book is mundane. It’s quite amazing how someone could take such an interesting topic like ‘Fake News’, write almost 300 pages on it, and say so little of interest. Generally, the book reads like a veiled hit piece against far right and traditional left-wing politics, with frequent attempts to portray both groups as being similar, even though they are completely different, with different agendas, and different group dynamics.
A more accurate title for the book: In Defence of Centrism. The book does make occasional reference to wrongdoings of the mainstream media and the part they played in creating the ‘fake news’ epidemic. However, the responsibility they bear is given nowhere the full consideration it deserves. The author’s omission in this regard makes sense when you are aware he is part of the mainstream media cesspit: James Bell has worked for The Guardian, Buzzfeed, and other mainstream media outlets. It not wise to torch the house you live in – this may explain why the book is absent of comprehensive criticism of the fake news these outlets produce.
Nonetheless, here are some quotes from the book. Please do keep in mind, any text within the squared brackets [ ] are my words, not that of James Bell. The square bracket text is added to make the quotes make sense.
Enjoy! What little there is to enjoy.
Ball, J. (2017. Post -Truth: How Bullshit Conquered the world. London: Biteback Publishing.
Some outlets shift their coverage to suit their dwindling and ageing reader base, giving up entirely on ever reaching a younger audience in print. 10
The trick is to promote any kind of row to get a huge influx of partisan readers. 11
[in the UK, according to NatCen] ‘economically deprived,anti-immigration’ voters – making up 12 per cent of the population…overwhelmingly backed Brexit, by a factor of 95 per cent to 5 per cent. 61
Johnson has described black people as ‘picaninnies’, referred to ‘watermelon smiles’ said Africa’s problem is that ‘we are not in charge anymore’, claimed Obama had an ‘ancestral dislike’ of the UK due to his part Kenyan heritage and referred to President of Turkey as a wanker. 84
Jeff Jarvis noted: ‘Fake news didn’t come just in Facebook. It came from Fox and CNN, and newspapers. Bullshit news. 141
Emile Bell: ‘Fake news is a proxy for a host of concerns over the obscure power of our emerging news ecosystem’. 141
Sharing a post that your bubble may disagree with risks provoking backlash… That desire to share only a particular set of our views creates a feedback effect and can push polarisation even further. 153
What we read and what we actually claim to want to read are radically different things. 164
Margaret Thatcher: ‘Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you can get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.’Outlets start to look like enemies from partisans on both sides, rather than a trusted voice for either. 225
Don’t explain: it’s a very old saying in politics, if you are explaining, you are losing.