“Fake News” Has Been a Problem for Thousands of Years … Here’s How It’s Been Stopped

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

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.

Benjamin Franklin

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”.

The fake news pushers’ crime:  Insulting the strongman (gasp!) or criticizing his policies.

Book Burnings

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”.

His crime: Questioning the Iraq war.

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.


This entry was posted in Media, Politics / World News, propaganda. Bookmark the permalink.
  • PJohnson

    The fix looks like it was on in Milwaukee (for Hillary):

    This is absolutely stunning. Wonder if this was a pattern for major metro areas throughout the nation.

  • Carl_Herman

    Sharp angle on this issue, GW; thank you.

    We’ll keep pointing to the data. Hopefully this time, we’ll win rather than have the vast majority of our community vote for our executions rather than hear our voices, as was the end of Socrates.

  • Southern

    It’s dangerous to be right on matters when the established authorities are wrong ~ Voltaire

    Just as true today as when that quote was penned.

    For people that are passionate about truth in the media — there’s simply nothing quite like small to medium independent news sites, the ones that are not for sale cannot be controlled by the big media.

    • Pythia

      Voltaire should be required reading.

    • nobody

      That quote is awesome. Thanks for posting that!

  • David Schultz

    “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” — George Orwell

    Daniel Ellsberg……..charged with espionage
    Frank Serpico. ……. left for dead by fellow police officers
    Karen Silkwood. … murdered
    Jeffrey Wigand. ……threatened with death
    Thomas Drake……..prosecuted
    Brad Birkenfeld…….prosecuted
    Thomas Tamm……..home raided by FBI
    Chelsea Manning….convicted of espionage
    Edward Snowden….exiled to Russia, charged with espionage
    Ben Strickland………administrative review
    J. Kirk McGill…………under investigation

  • Aidoneus

    Socrates crime, or impiety, was disparaging and challenging a tender new form of government by the demos (people)–what we now call democracy. Plato was a patrician and, like his hero Socrates, he despised democracy. Even a cursory reading of The Republic amply demonstrates his hatred of the common man. In particular, Plato ignores the whole issue of Socrates failure to protest when the oligarchs established a short-lived dictatorship. With Athens at war and fighting for its very existence, Socrates persisted in undermining the very notion of a democratic government. In other words, he was fomenting rebellion among the youth (the most impressionable element in any society) within the city and thus a traitor. Too many people are fooled by the eloquence of Plato’s writing to see that he was and has always been a spokesman for oligarchy.

  • David S

    “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” – Ron Paul

    It doesn’t get more accurate than that.

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  • Joe Blow

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.”
    William Casey CIA Director (from 1st staff meeting 1981)

    • nobody

      We’re not very far from that very state of affairs, sadly.

      • Joe Blow

        Never too late to “fight the machine.”
        Help carry water, Mr. Trump can’t do this alone. Attend any meeting that affects the life and livelihood of you and yours…PTA, city and county councils, school boards, anything on Agenda 21, flouride, cell towers, vacinations, land annexation, etc.

  • Charlie Primero

    “Fake News” doesn’t matter if people are educated in the Trivium and Quadrivium.

    This is exactly why Marxists removed The Trivium from the American educational system, to make people susceptible to their lies and further degrade/animalize the populace to make them better tax cattle.

    Minds with built-in anti-virus software like The Trivium don’t need outside protection.

  • George_Costanza

    But what if they call you a ‘person who explains crimes’

    Oh, I am sorry: conspiracy-multi-person crime, theory [-ist] -systematic explanation based upon facts & evidence.
    Too bad it was overused these past 50 years, and has no more sway.

  • Christian Man

    Curiously you left out the most famous! Yeshua was crucified for spreading “fake news”. His “fake news” opposed the satanic powers of the money changers and the manmade religious authorities THAT He is Creator God. He told the truth of His death and victory over sin & death verified by bodily resurrection & His standing offer of the Ruach to those who repent and believe.

    • DebL.

      It’s okay to call Him Jesus Christ…don’t need the “sacred name” meme here. I’m sure God won’t punish you if you call His Son Jesus Christ. Don’t think you have to call God Yahweh either. It’s what’s in your heart, not what comes out of your mouth or keyboard. And just what is a Ruach?