Throughout history, government officials have tried to stop “fake news” through various means before it was published.
The crime of the peddlers of fake news: failing to acknowledge that those in power were perfect saints.
For example, Socrates was killed in 399 BC for spreading “fake news”.
His crime: “Failing to acknowledge the gods that the [mainstream media of the day] acknowledges”.
William Tyndale was killed in 1536 for spreading “fake news”.
His crime: Translating the Bible into English so that everyone could read it for themselves, and no longer had to rely on the clergy to tell them what it said.
In 1616 and 1633, Galileo was tried for spreading “fake news”.
His crime: Saying that the Earth rotates around the Sun.
Scores of people have been killed over the centuries for spreading “fake news”.
Their crime: Saying anything that the church authorities of the day disliked.
In 1773, Ben Franklin was fired as colonial Postmaster General for spreading “fake news”.
His crime: Informing the American Colonists about what the British were really doing.
Strongmen of all stripes have cracked down on “fake news”.
In 1933, the Nazis carried out numerous book burnings of “fake news”. The targeted authors included Einstein, Freud, Kafka, Hellen Keller, Jack London, Thomas Mann, Proust, Upon Sinclair and H.G. Wells.
The authors’ crime: Their book “acts subversively on our future or strikes at the root of German thought, the German home and the driving forces of our people…”
There have been many other book burnings of “fake news” throughout history.
Mussolini had around 2,000 purveyors of “fake news” killed.
Their crime: Opposing Mussolini.
Stalin and the Soviet Union
Stalin handled the peddlers of “fake news” by murdering them or throwing them into insane asylums.
Their crime: Criticizing the Soviet government or Communism.
Other Communist Regimes
China’s Mao and other Communist leaders killed many “fake news” spreaders.
Their crime: Failing to sing the Great Leaders’ praises.
In 1972, CIA director Richard Helms said anyone spreading “fake news” would be labeled as “terrorists”.
Their crime: Expressing a dissenting opinion.
The extremely popular tv personality Phil Donahue’s show – the most popular on MSNBC – was canceled for spreading “fake news”.
Indeed, many reporters have been fired, harassed, spied upon and even accused of terrorism for reporting stories critical of government actions or policies.
See how easy it is?
If only U.S. Supreme Court justices stopped being such sissies.