This is an installment of Chris Yobb’s weekly column “My Two Cents”
Fake news continues thanks to a writer for The Huffington Post who wrote one of the most laughably spun articles of all time this week.
While scrolling down my Facebook newsfeed I read a very troubling headline. It was a Huffington Post article written by Caroline Bologna and it implied that Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, does not believe that low-income students deserve free lunch at schools.
I was upset when I read the headline because I could not believe that our country’s secretary of education would think such a thing about less fortunate students. I then went on to read the article which showed me that I was fooled by an unfortunate headline.
This article, written by Bologna – whose story ironically replicates her last name – was a response to a quote by DeVos at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). The exact quote reads, “[I’m] perhaps the first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Bologna then took this quote and spun it to make a story that DeVos should be ashamed to say that because there are kids across the nation who depend on free lunches to be able to eat at school.
This would have been an exceptional story if it was actually what she meant when she was talking about “free lunch.” Bologna certainly must know that “there is no such thing as a free lunch” is an extremely popular phrase. In fact, I remember it being the first thing that my professor in economics taught me on the first day of class. The phrase simply means that even if someone buys you lunch and it costs you nothing, you are still spending your time to eat it, there are people that are getting paid to make it, and so on and so forth. When DeVos, a renowned business woman, said the phrase at CPAC, she was obviously referring to all of the “free” programs that Bernie Sanders always talks about implementing and implying that they will still cost money, not reduced price lunches.
Bologna’s spinning of this DeVos quote and making it into something that it was never intended to be is why people are beginning to lose trust in the media. This is the reason why we can expect a dozen “FAKE NEWS” tweets a week from our president. This article was under the “Parents” section on Huffington Post. Bologna took a quote, spun it, and instilled anger and fear into any parent reading it. Knowledge is power, but when that knowledge is tainted by journalists who do not know what they are talking about, it only results in weakness.
I encourage everyone to read beyond headlines and to do their research after reading a story. Bias is always going to be a problem when reading someone’s work, so do your homework and come to your own conclusions based on facts, not opinions.
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