If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State. [Falsely attributed to Joseph Goebbels]
Article on Fake News Uses Fake Quotation
Peacock Panache, an site on the political left, has a post titled “Fake News and the Big Lie” on 1 November 2017. It is less than enthused about Trump Administration statements and claims:
The study did find that Trump’s constant calling-out of specific media sources affected public perceptions of the accuracy of those sources. That shouldn’t surprise us. There is a famous Joseph Goebbels quote, describing the propaganda tactic known as “The Big Lie.”
It then cites the alleged quotation by Goebbels.
So we have an article assailing fake news that uses a fake quotation.
“Reliable” Sites and the Dubious Goebbels Quotation
I’m particularly annoyed by sites that look reliable, but spread the dubious Goebbels quotation that this blog is following. That is almost always a sign that a site should be avoided.One example is the Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team. On the surface (but only on the surface) it looks to be a scholarly site, although it provides very little information on who is behind it. However, its page on Joseph Goebbels is headed by the dubious quotation. I’ve twice e-mailed them, but they haven’t removed the material. On the same page, they reproduce a large section of one of my translations, with no credit.
In short, it’s not a site to be recommended.
Tracking Report #11
It’s been a while since we did a tracking report on the fabricated quotation by Joseph Goebbels.The last one, in fact, was on May 20, 2015. At that point there were 45,000 Google hits. On November 25, 2016 the total is 40,600. It would be encouraging to think citations were ebbing, but is a result of changes in Google’s algorithms rather than a decline in use. Microsoft’s Bing search engine provides 2,430,000 results.
Fortunately, our pages are at the top of most search engine results, so those who try to be accurate will find sufficient information as to discourage them from further spreading nonsense.