Fool Me Once, Shame On You

Ramon Arias | February 27, 2017

Are you familiar with the saying, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”?  How consequential is this and how do we move from a mere saying to understanding its meaning, and above all the consequences of misunderstanding it?

How many times have we heard, “learn from your mistakes”? It is good advice if we take it to heart and become wiser to stop others from continually taking advantage of us through deception. 

The battle with the dishonest news media is front and center with a President and his administration that, so far, will not submit to the power that shapes people’s mind of those subject to the media’s ideological agendas.

Here is the fact:  Mika Brzezinski is a MSNBC co-host of “Morning, Joe.” Most of us know that MSNBC is hardly objective in their analysis of the news. They openly misinform their audience, and they are not objective in their analysis of current events, and they are constantly blasting President Trump for fulfilling his campaign promises. In a morning segment, recently, Mika said the following:

“Well, I think that the dangerous, you know, edges here are that he [President Trump] is trying to undermine the media and trying to make up his own facts. And it could be that while unemployment and the economy worsens, he could have undermined the messaging so much that he can actually control exactly what people think. And that, that is our job.”

Mika Brzezinski stated this twice so it was not a slip of the tongue but the truth; she was affirming what most of the media has been doing for two hundred years “controlling what people think.” Not one of the guest panelists questioned or corrected her, rather, Scarborough added something that Trump said:

 “– The media is the ‘enemy of the people’, where he sounds like Mussolini or Lenin which obviously causes concern that phrase right there makes him sound more like a dictator in training…”  

Trump said in a White House Press conference, “Fake news are the enemy of the people.” Since then, he has repeated this several times much in the same way clarifying it is the “fake news” that is the problem.  The left media took the word “fake” out and ran with only a partial phrase saying, “…media is the enemy of the people.” 

Mika Brzezinski affirms that it is the media’s job to control what people should think, and Scarborough corroborated this by lying when he removed the word “fake” from what Trump said.  I agree with President Trump, “Fake news media, you are the enemy of the people”, checkmate!

Should we care about the difference between truth and falsehood?  How important is it to be vigilant about this? Remember the saying previously mentioned: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”? The final responsibility lies with the people because we live in precarious times.  Now more than ever, President Ronald Reagan’s advice applies when he said, “Trust but verify.” In our times, it is very befitting to say that we should: verify before we can trust, and that is work worth doing, especially in an era where disinformation is dangerously being used as the means to control people.  We have to be very alert. This principle is not just to be applied to news media but to all communication, regardless of the source, which by the way includes what is being taught in Christian institutions and organizations. The pulpits of America carry the most responsibility.

Of all people, Christians should be the most qualified to understand ideas and their source. The war for the control of the mind is an old battle that continues in our time and will go on into the future. Jesus warned the Jews of His time; a warning that is for all of His disciples throughout history:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.” Matthew 7:15-20 (ESV)

Every idea, word, and action has a source of inspiration found in either good or evil; this is manifested throughout the social and cultural landscape of a nation, and those are also the facts of history. John, the apostle, wrote:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1 (ESV)

Being fooled only once is appalling enough, but if you fool me twice, I bear the full responsibility and consequences. With this sobering reality, let’s accept the present and future monumental tasks that will make the difference in this inescapable battle for the soul, not only of this nation, but also, the nations of the world.

May we never see and hear anything in a day in the same way. Let us pay attention to everything, even the smallest detail, not with paranoia but with the challenge and excitement to shed light with the truth wherever darkness controls.