‘Obsessed with excrement’: Pope & Denzel Washington slam #fakenews
Fake news is under attack again by two unlikely allies – Pope Francis and Denzel Washington. The pontiff equated the spreading of disinformation to an unhealthy obsession with excrement, while Washington accused the media of spreading “BS.”
In an interview with Belgian Catholic publication Tertio on Wednesday, the pope said the media had to be careful not to fall into the sickness of “coprophilia,” the abnormal fascination with excrement and defecation.
Those who consumed misinformation were eating excrement, claimed the pope. He prefaced his comment saying “no offence intended.”
"No-one has a right to do this. It is a sin and it is hurtful," said Pope Francis, adding to the criticism of the media’s role in spreading false stories.
"I think the media have to be very clear, very transparent, and not fall into – no offence intended – the sickness of coprophilia, that is, always wanting to cover scandals, covering nasty things, even if they are true," he said.
Coincidentally, actor Denzel Washington shared the pope’s sentiments, using a red carpet event on Wednesday to criticize the media, claiming journalists were preferencing speed over accuracy.
"If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you do read it, you're misinformed," Washington told journalists gathered at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC for the premier of his new film ‘Fences’.
Washington said the effect of today’s mass news consumption is “too much information” which has led to the “need to be first, not even to be true anymore.”
"In our society, now it's just first — who cares, get it out there. We don't care who it hurts. We don't care who we destroy. We don't care if it's true," he told reporters, adding that "Just say it, sell it. Anything you practice you'll get good at — including BS."
In August, Washington was the victim of a fake news story that claimed he was switching his support from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. Published by ‘Anews24’ the headline read “Denzel Washington Switches to Trump Shocks Hollywood, Speaks Out Against Obama.”
"We need more and more jobs. Unemployment is way up here. He’s hired more employees, more people, than anyone I know in the world," Washington was alleged to have said, according to the article.
The quotation was instead from Charles Evers, the brother of civil rights activist Medgar Evers, who made the comment to the New York Post in March when discussing his support of Trump.
This week Trump fired a member of his transition team for spreading a fake news story about an alleged child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton from a Washington DC pizzeria.
On Sunday a man who believed the report was true started shooting inside the restaurant while investigating the fake child sex ring.