Well now, Axios has finally let loose at least for a day on the fundamental problem of our time. Axios says Trump has "done more to discredit and diminish truth, facts and media" than anybody in recent memory. Why not go the whole way and say Trump is unprecedented but hardly unexpected. I'll get to that.

Axios acknowledges we might love Trump's raised central digit aimed at the media, but they point out a side effect of Trump's endless rants about Fake News. He is being emulated worldwide. Fakery is growing with no brakes, such as truths wed to values.

The Axios indictment includes the following points. Some fifteen countries have been found to use fake news to obscure, ignore or make fun of real human rights matters and other news of importance.

It gets worse

Almost worse is a practice which is becoming common. A violent crime or attack takes place. If there is an opportunity to cast principals in a partisan light, facts take a back seat.

There have even been GOP operators who boast of their ventures into mendacity. If stories like this get picked up, they either do their propaganda undisturbed, or the sources apologize later for fake news they have been gullible enough to circulate.

Which is worse, a fake news operation that knows exactly what it does or a platform that is duped?

In either case, the damage is done. That is if we value truth and beauty and justice and freedom.

Election mayhem

In Western nations, referendums and elections are now battlegrounds and who knows where the damage will end when it results in the erosion of life itself. In Eastern nations, WhatsApp, a Facebook company has generated violence by channeling misinformation.

I can give personal testimony to the insidious practices of Facebook's Messenger. I was almost hooked by a scam because I believed a long lost friend was finally getting in touch with me. It was only the errors I detected in the message that made me entirely unwilling to even approach that medium. Messenger is apparently poison when it comes to misinformation.

Universal values to the rescue

According to Axios, free nations are trying to find ways to right things without killing free speech. In dictatorial places like Russia, and China propaganda is central, and censorship hits all opponents.

"The real problem with fake news is that people don't believe the real news." That is what Axios believes is the real danger.

Yes, well. But the dive must be much deeper. The reason for fake news in the first place is the reason we are condemned to it and why we need to move from binary to triadic thinking. Values are the only protection against fake news, Tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy go a long way to determine the value of any communication.