Fake News for the Ages

No self-respecting student of Fake Western Civilization could fail to be moved by Socrates’ immortal words: “I only fake that I fake nothing.”

Editor’s Note  We commissioned Professor Matterson to research fake news in pop culture and throughout history, as his notes below reveal. He told us that “Any simplistic narrative about fake news is problematic.”

Leaders of Western Thought

“Why, then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either fake or real, but thinking makes it so. To me CNN is a prison. Well, then it isn’t one to you, since nothing is really real or fake in itself—it’s all what a person thinks about it. And to me, CNN is a prison.” –William Shakespeare, Fake Hamlet

“The propensity to truck, barter and exchange fake news is common to all men. It is not out of benevolence that the fake news writer writes fake news.” –Adam Smith

Thus “fake news” means αποφαινεσθαι τα φαινομενα–to let that which shows itself be seen from itself in the very way in which it shows itself from itself. –Heidegger

It has been frequently remarked that it seems to have been reserved to the people of this country, by their conduct and example, to decide the important question, whether societies of men are really capable or not of establishing good government from reflection and choice, or whether they are forever destined to depend for their political constitutions on accident and fake news.  –Alexander Hamilton, Fakeralist 1

“Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of fake news may speedily pass away.” –Abraham Lincoln, Second Fake Inaugural Address

“America is great because she bans fake news and if America ever ceases to ban fake news, she will cease to be great.” – Fake Tocqueville

so much depends


a fake news


glazed with russian


beside the white


William Carlos Williams

These fake news articles I have shored against my ruins.  –T.S. Eliot, The Fake Waste Land

Two clicks diverged on the internets, and I—

I took the #fakenews less trending by,

And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost, The Fake Road Not Taken

Sing, O Muse, of the fake news of Achilles… –HomerThe Fake Illiad

Wily Odysseus, sacker of cities, creator of fake news. –Homer, The Fake Odyssey

No man reads the same fake news twice, for it is not the same fake news and he is not the same          man. –Heraclitus

Everything not based on numbers is fake news but you aren’t allowed to know it. Hippasus told someone that rumors about the square root of two was not fake news. So they killed him. –Pythagoras

This is the fake news that ought to be true. –Herodotus

I only fake that I fake nothing. –Socrates

Justice is fake news. –Thrasymachus

Fake news is a plucked chicken. –Diogenes

All men live in a cave of fake news and the news that claims not to be fake is the fakest. –Plato

All men by nature desire news. A sign of this is the delight we take in fake news. –Aristotle

I sing of fake news and the man… –Virgil

#fakenews delenda est! –Cicero

Caesar believes his own fake news. –Brutus

In most cases men willingly believe the #fakenews.  –Caesar

My senses are not fake news. –Epicurus

Fake news should not affect us. –Stoics

Lord, make me stop reading #fakenews, but not yet. –St. Augustine

Get the news into precise Latin so we can figure out whether or not it is fake. –William of Moerbeke

Only a few people, with much difficulty, after a long time will avoid fake news without the good news.       –Thomas Aquinas

There is hell to pay for fake news. –Dante

Who will rid me of this of this purveyor of fake news? –Henry II

Use fake news for the good of the state. –Machiavelli

What can I print that is not fake news? –Gutenberg

We need a method to deal with fake news. –Descartes

Man is born free but everywhere there is fake news. –Rousseau  

Reason is a scout for the fake news. –Hobbes

If you read my fake news, you are going to make a lot of money. –Locke

Fake news is either a 1 or a 0. –Leibniz

The Fifth Postulate is fake news. –Gauss

The fake news and the real news never touch. –Kant  

They pretty much touch, but only at the end. –Hegel

The good news is fake news. –Feuerbach

Makes up fake news because he thinks the good news is fake news. –Spinoza  

All happy news is alike, but all fake news is fake in its own way. –Tolstoy

If there is a gun in the first scene it will go off in the second. I fake you not. –Chekhov

You inherited fake news from your syphilitic father. –Ibsen

Fake news makes you stronger. –Nietzsche

The news should be stood on its head. The point is not to interpret the news, but to fake it. –Marx

Three generations of fake news is enough. –Oliver Wendell Holmes

Fake news is not the case. –Wittgenstein

Space and time as you know them are fake news. –Einstein  

In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of fake news.                 –Churchill 

I have a hard time caring about fake news so I killed someone on the beach. –Camus

Fake news is banal. –Hannah Arendt

Fake news may contain news if read closely. –Leo Strauss

The way to good news is through a land of fake news. –C.S. Lewis  

The fake news must be thrown into Mount Doom. –Tolkien

This is not news. –René Magritte

It’s fake news all the way down. –Richard Rorty

Fake news is power. –Foucault

Fake news is neoliberalism. –Zizek  

Western Civ and Fake News in Three Sentences

Socrates argued against fake news but said that to write it down would be fake news. Plato wrote about Socrates arguing against fake news. Aristotle wrote lectures about how the news does not have to be fake.


Islam:  Blame Israel and the United States for fake news.

Judaism:  Why are we always in the fake news?

Catholicism:  You should feel guilty about fake news.

Jesuits:  Who are we to judge fake news?

Traditional:  Pope Francis is fake news.

Protestantism:  Jesus saved me from the fake news.

–Evangelical:  Let’s celebrate fake news!

–Calvinism:  God will punish fake news.

Jehovah’s Witnesses:  May I talk with you about the fake news?

Christian Science:  Fake news is all in your mind.

Ecumenism:  Any fake news will do.

Capitalism:  I’m making money off fake news right now.

Fascism:  You will listen to the news!

Communism:  You will listen to everybody’s news!

Presidents and American Statesmen

The cherry tree bit was fake news, but I don’t lie.  –George Washington

The HBO series about me was partly fake news, but I’ll take it. –John Adams  

Some things can’t be faked. –Thomas Jefferson 

I’m satisfied with Lin-Manuel Miranda‘s fake news. –Alexander Hamilton

Fake news started the Civil War. –Abraham Lincoln

Make the world safe for fake news. –Woodrow Wilson

The only thing we have to fear is fake news itself. –Franklin Delano Roosevelt

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the #fakenews complex. –Dwight D. Eisenhower

I am not fake news! –Nixon

The fake news is our fault and makes us sad. –Carter

Mr. Gorbachev, tear up that #fakenews! –Reagan

This fake news will not stand. –George H.W. Bush

The era of fake news is over. –Bill Clinton  

Fake news misunderestimated me. –George W. Bush

We are the #fakenews we’ve been waiting for. –Barack Obama


“Oh, no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was #fakenews killed the Beast.” – King Kong

“When the #fakenews becomes fact, print the #fakenews.” –The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

“I am big! It’s the #fakenews that got small.” –Sunset Boulevard

“You don’t understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could’ve been somebody, instead of #fakenews, which is what I am.” –On the Waterfront

“Forget it, Jake. It’s #fakenews.” –Chinatown

“Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty #fakenews” –Planet of the Apes

“#fakenews is people!” –Soylent Green

“The greatest trick the #fakenews ever pulled was convincing the world it didn’t exist.” –Usual Suspects

“That’s like, your #fakenews, man.” – Big Lebowski

“Say what you will about the tenets of #fakenews, Dude, at least it’s an ethos” –Big Lebowski

“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t #fakenews.” –Godfather

“Keep your friends close, but your #fakenews closer” –Godfather II

“I love the smell of #fakenews in the morning.” –Apocalypse Now

“#fakenews is the path to the dark side” –Star Wars

“A fact-checker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.” –The Silence of the Lambs

“You can’t handle the #fakenews!” – A Few Good Men

“My mama always said life was like a box of fake news. You never know what you’re gonna get.”                 – Forrest Gump

“I see #fakenews” – The Sixth Sense

“They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our #fakenews!” – Braveheart


“And that’s the way it is.” –Walter Kronkite


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4 responses to “Fake News for the Ages

    • I assure you, no one was “paid” for this garbage. All professors and their institutions are cheap dates.

  • Corrigendum: Non erat Cicero qui dixit “Carthaginem delendam esse”. erat Cato Maior.

    This fake news thing is trickier than it looks and probably should be left to professionals.

Comments are closed.