In the past couple of weeks....there's a new German 'platform' that has come to exist in some fashion, that claims they are the counter-weight to Breitbart.
The network? "Schmalbart".
Their theme? "Against Breitbart. Fair. Open. Critical. Neutral. Freedom."
It's a group of bright and clever German individuals who believe that fake news and populist trends are waging some battle against reality. So they've banded together.
Their hyped up sense? That they can be a catalyst to hinder or halt fake news sites.
Part of their gimmick is to create the image that quotable locations (foundations, lobbyists, agenda groups) are "safe". How "safe"? Well....if Schmalbart endorses them, they must be safe (the logical assumption).
Am I skeptical of this? Yes.
In a group like this....the initial crowd will be thrilled, hyped up and driven. At some point....probably three to six months into this....someone will ask a thoughtful and logical question about this dividing line and why some fair, open and neutral sites are given a free ticket by Schmalbart and others are on some bad-boy list? That individual will be quickly pushed out and cast aside. A few members will observe the 'mobbing-tactic' (German phrase for bullying), and quietly step out for a extra-long sip of coffee...the infection of sorts (kinda like Star Trek and the Borg guys) will have started. They will pick up the topic of why the dividing line is controlled by certain members of the group, and why no discussion can occur over that dividing line.
By fall, if you were on the inside of this crew with Schmalbart....you'd notice a few faces missing each month as people just leave the movement. It won't be discussed in the open because no one wants to be mobbed. It'll be a topic that you only discuss with trusted friends. Naturally, it's not a big deal because Schmalbart will always go on and find new members or hosts to participate.
The minute that you open a clever and intellectual group up and lay down a simple card of skeptical nature....it will be like a 'Jesus-moment' occurring where people suddenly reflect upon themselves and the openness of debate is swung to a dimension that the people running the gimmick really don't want.
You can only have this type of operation existing....as long as the debate is only centered upon one single view of the topic.
My view of Breitbart? You can go and generally review 20 of their daily stories (say over Europe). All start off with a factual story that is generally 100-percent true. It's hard to avoid the solid nature of the story as it opens. Then you go into what I'd call the 50-50 split. After the initial truth is laid out....half of the stories go on with other factual information and deliver a story that is undeniably true. The other fifty-percent? Well....they paste bits and pieces of other stories which may or may not fit the opening story. Of that group, you end up with a promising story with limited value because it doesn't really say much in terms of truth.
On this, Schmalbart could probably stage some value and point things out. The problem (I expect this to occur) is that they will attempt to dissolve all of Breitbart's stories and end up creating some fakeness themselves.
Could Schmalbart swing around and take on ARD/ZDF (the public networks of Germany)....if they wrote up long-winded report with some facts and fakeness mixed together? No. It'd be an unwritten cardinal rule that you can't touch them. That suggestion alone would make people within Schmalbart ask questions over the purpose of the organization.
So I am amused mostly by this. So much talent....so much intellectual potential....so much value in terms of clever nature, and it's mostly a baited group with no ability to view things in a 360-degree fashion.
Will there be a Schmal-Schmalbart group? Yes. The meaning of schmal is "narrow", in terms of narrow focus. Some alt-right group will appear and logically become the anti-schmalbart crew. If you were looking for entertainment....all of this has interesting potential.