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