California legislators, with all of the foresight of a newspaper columnist, have scanned the news pages in search of new monsters to destroy. With the shock of Donald Trump’s election, they’ve alighted upon “fake news” and “the Russian hackers.”
Assemblyman Marc Levine of San Rafael plans to introduce legislation that would require the state adopt a history curriculum teaching about Russian interference in the late election. He calls it the “Pravda Act of 2017” and says students need to “understand how Trump’s policies are colored by the way he rose to power.”
Earlier, Los Angeles Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez and Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa introduced a pair of bills to develop curriculum to spot “fake news.”
Levine’s “Pravda” is about as Soviet as it gets—partisan propaganda pure and simple. Here’s a fact Levine may not like: While the exact provenance of the WikiLeaks documents is controversial, nobody disputed their veracity. To the extent Leon Panetta’s hacked emails and Hillary Clinton’s leaked speech transcripts moved voters, they were moved by the truth.
As for teaching kids to distinguish fake news from the real stuff, well, good luck even settling on a proper definition . . .
Read the rest at the Sacramento Bee.