The absurdity of the term hit me when I was watching this week's episode in the History of Comedy series (ironically, produced by CNN). In talking about some of the traditional family-comedy shows, Larry David used the term 'fake life'. I can only suspect that the guy complaining most about fake news probably knows quite a bit about it.
We've seen things go from bad to worse regarding Trump's non-relationship with the press, a group he's labelled an enemy of the people.
This week his 'shut up' statements to various reporters have been upped. In effect these now apply to several entire news organizations, notably CNN and the New York Times. If this were in a science fiction novel, it would be scary enough (maybe even enough to get the book banned). Only it isn't fiction; it's reality -- and a frightening one.
It's one thing to ban books -- a horror, to be sure. But it's quite another to disallow writers from gathering information and formulating the words. If I'm not mistaken, the Americans even have an amendment to their constitution which enshrines, among other essential rights, freedom of the press.
Dangerous signs in precarious times? You bet. Vigilance. Probably both meanings are in effect.