On Requiring Truth in All Publication

by Alex Sea

We require truth from all things claiming to present it. If a fictional novel must include the stipulation that “all persons, places, and events herein are fictional and any likeness to real people, places, and events are coincidental or accidental” why can this not be expounded to political, academic, or media endeavors? Imagine CNN running a notice along the scrolling marque stating “all commentary contained in this program is the opinion of newscasters and is not intended to be a concrete representation of factual information, unless otherwise stated”. Imagine the current versions of “social science” course materials being marked as “social commentary”. Imagine current “history” textbooks being instead sold as what they really are – propaganda tools.

In this way, truth would be required of ALL – either you only present truthful statements, or you must clearly declare that you are not. Fiction is fine so long as it as known to BE fiction.


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