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“Fake News” and the Irvington Crest

Editor’s Column

Recently the school’s spirit was set ablaze by some inflammatory “fake news” – that is, the new Irvington “crest”. A simple web redesign blew up into a town-wide controversy and showed us just how susceptible we all are to outrage even when facts are absent.

It all started a month ago when it was revealed that Irvington was considering an aesthetic change for the school district. The new Irvington crest was revealed to the public as an unfinalized version of what was meant to be a new logo for the school district’s online front. Images of the crest and along with that rumors of a detoothed bulldog spread like wildfire, and the hallways and Facebook alike were abuzz with cries of “Irvington has gone soft.”

Petitions were signed and polls were taken. The Paw Print happened to be guilty of that sin, we had an entire article lined up in protest of this change. Personally, I had never seen the staff so eager to get a story out. Not that I was above it all, of course. I definitely had my fair share of negative opinions on the topic.

But there was one issue here — the story wasn’t real. In fact, the crest was at most meant to be a sub-head for the bulldog, not a replacement, and the website was the only thing that was subject to change here, maybe the letterhead as well. The general reaction people have when they learn this: “Oh.”

This dispute is to me an all-too-real reminder of how the world at large operates. Call it a false equivalency, but I can see the same type of rhetoric used in this scenario as I do in our government. Controversy is to be expected in politics, but the issues we face have to be real issues before we start gathering the pitchforks. The same goes for our little rivertown.

While my opinion may not be worth a grain of salt to most of you out there, there are some pretty undeniable truisms that emerged here. Most notably, anger is a great unifier, and the mob mentality can stir up a lot of unnecessary garbage. Whether it be regarding our school letterhead or a military invasion halfway across the world, we should all take a little more time to check our facts before we act.

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