A fascinating discussion of the topic, courtesy of The Economist I can think of no better example of the phenomenon of the duelling protest groups that showed up in Houston last year. In another age we could have relied on journalism, as a profession, to temper this sort of problem. Honest, unbiased, and professional newspaper, TV, and radio journalists would have helped people figure out what the truth was. That there really wasn't a "Heart of Texas" organization any more than there was a "Save Islamic Knowledge" movement. But in the age of Fox News, the notion of "alternate facts" means that people can believe whatever they want. When half the population actually believes that the "mainstream media" is actually a threat to American freedom, we can hardly be surprised when they fall victim to the lies put out by Vladimir Putin's spies and trolls.