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C. S. Lewis on Wicked Journalists

In the essay, “After Priggery- What?”, C.S. Lewis discusses methods to shut down “Cleon”, a wicked journalist, in a democratic way. Cleon is a catch-all name for wicked journalists of his time, but it does seem like Lewis has a particular bloke in mind. Cleon is deemed wicked because he “disseminates for money falsehoods calculated to produce envy, hatred suspicion and confusion.” Is that not the definition of “fake news” today? Cleon is somewhat of a political hack, he’s sold his “intellectual virginity” to give his patrons a baser pleasure than a prostitute who sells her physical virginity to a John. Lewis boldly says that Cleon, “infects them with more dangerous diseases”. Did you catch that? C.S. Lewis said that fake news is worse than STDs! Whether you agree or not, the man’s boldness is admirable!

Why is Cleon so dangerous? So what if there is a little fake news here and there? Lewis explains, “If we remain a democracy they render impossible the formation of any public opinion. If – absit omen – the totalitarians threat is realized, they will be the cruelest and dirtiest tools of government.” So according to Lewis, fake news is dangerous in a democracy because all the contrary opinions and fake stats confuse the public and a consensus goes out the window. Furthermore, fake news can become dangerous propaganda, leading the people into a totalitarian regime and then continuing to control them through propagating fake news. …  C.S. Lewis on FAKE NEWS  

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • ghostsniper June 28, 2020, 9:47 AM

    Cleon is married to Karen.
    They are childless and spend most of their time talking down each other.
    But Cleon makes good coin and Karen renders good skall, so it works for them.

  • BillH June 28, 2020, 10:00 AM

    While reading that my mind pictured CNN’s Zucker.

  • Rob De Witt June 28, 2020, 10:25 AM

    Some things never change – this essay was first published about the time you were born, and I was 8 months old.

    Excellent find, btw, particularly the doodle presentation.

  • Auntie Analogue June 28, 2020, 5:59 PM

    Cleon is a mere mercenary, bought by the lucre of the Ruling Cla$$ scum who own the newspaper. That’s where we are today with the mercenary “academy” and Enemedia-Pravda and their Ruling Cla$$ owners who are the kneeling, shoe-shining – and funding – vanguard of the Great Replacement of our heritage and, indeed, the Great $ellout of . . . us. That’s why Cleon is today immune to being sent to Coventry.

  • psychodave June 28, 2020, 7:04 PM

    I hope each of you took advantage of the Peter Pencess’ at the end where he suggests:
    “Also check out After Priggery – What? Doodle to hear a proper Brit read this essay and entertain you with doodles.”
    It has lots of detail about the “real” Cleon.

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