'Tis all the rage these days, on both sides of the political aisle, to bleat sheep-like about "fake news."
We've even had the charge leveled at us, recently, on social media. In our case it was because we had the temerity to suggest that a net quarter-cent reduction in sales taxes in Pittsburg was a tax cut.
The logic here — such as it was — was that without the three-to-one vote in favor of levying a quarter cent tax for roads the reduction would have been a half cent; therefore the net reduction is really a tax increase.
Now anyone with the sense to pour sand out of a boot understands that 9 percent is less than 9.25 percent, but noting this was "fake news."
From this I surmise that "fake news" is any news the bleat-or disagrees with — particularly after they lose an election.
Yes, the accusation did rather offend me, why do you ask?
Here's the thing.
Fake news isn't news you disagree with. It's news that is either coming from some satire site that looks real, but isn't. Or it's the sort of nonsense being spewed by the mainstream national media using anonymous "sources" with no back up.
It's yellow journalism, pure and simple, and it is not reporting fairly and honestly about a local sales tax election.
Fake news is CNN running with a story about a "Russian" dossier accusing then-candidate Trump of some really disgusting acts with hookers. It was fake news because the New York Times — no fans of the president they — had had the "dossier" for months and wouldn't touch it because it was bullcrap.
Yet CNN ran with it.
Fake news is making a major national story out of a Twitter meme and then bullying the creator into apologizing — and then proceeding to threaten to out him by name if he doesn't behave.
Fake news is taking things out of context or using quotes without context in order to support a point of view rather than simply reporting the truth.
We do none of those things here at the Morning Sun, nor will I tolerate them on my watch.
I've been a journalist for most of my adult life. I regard it not just as a job, but as a calling. A sacred trust if you will.
Local newspapers are the last bastion of real journalism. We're the only outlets still reporting on the news which affects you directly. And we do our best to do it fairly and honestly and without bias.
We're the ones who still ask the tough questions of local and state leaders. Who report those answers fairly. We're here to help the local family who lost everything in a fire, or whose child has cancer and needs help for medical expenses.
We don't do fake news here, and we're ashamed of our so-called colleagues who do.
All IMHO, of course
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.