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And now all those fake scandals begin to appear

February 4, 2018 GMT

Scandals are becoming ubiquitous; practically every day there is a brand new disclosure. In the bygone days, scandals were real, but now fake scandals emerge on a daily basis. Consider the case of Mr. Aziz Ansari, a comedian who was nearly pushed into the doghouse, on the basis of fake news.

Mr. Ansari did not do anything out of the American norm in situations of the type: “Guy meets Doll,” or in his case, Mature Dude encounters Young Dolly-bird. Having read the article in the publication Babe, I am convinced that the purpose of the article was to draw public attention to Ms. Grace through a smutty, semi-pornographic, narrative of a one night stand. And, of course, Babe wants to garner escalating readership/subscribers. Mr Ansari is a victim of this fake MeToo.

We are indeed becoming a land of fakery. Although, America has a predilection for fakery, quackery and something-outside-the-norm (a la Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not), we have reached a state where we have a real president who behaves like a fake one. Can a day be far when we will have a fake president who will pass himself off as the real one? That might be the day of reckoning!

Social development in America is such that substance is less important than form. Everything has to be couched and packaged in words and pictures that do not reflect reality (of the person or the issue) but is likely to create a desirable image. This aspect of current American mores is based on a totally marketing approach to life.

Here is how it works. Come up with a pithy slogan and if you detect public interest/amusement (Facebook lingo: “likes”) then keep building momentum through ad nauseam repetition, e.g. “Lock her up,” “Make America Great.”

The art of fakery has been advanced and developed, with considerable help from academia, especially departments of marketing, with affirmative help from schools of journalism. America can be a free society without becoming either amoral or immoral.

Jamil M. Chaudri is a professor of computer science at Marshall University.