It’s impossible to ignore the media wars being fought every day — not only between networks as they fight for viewers but between the left and the right wings as well. But on the extreme left and right wings, there are little vortices that are spinning out fake news with the agenda of swaying the ideology of the viewer and pushing their own agendas.

Now, this is no secret. It’s been happening since the birth of media. It’s just more subtle than Kim Jong Un’s one-channel propaganda station in North Korea. Lately, that subtlety has decreased immensely, and that’s why it’s a lot easier to see hidden agendas. Some are even openly pushing for it, as I recently found in The Washington Journal. At the bottom of every published article is a call to action to impeach President Trump.

So what’s wrong with that, you may ask? Nothing, if it was at the end of an opinion article that actually called for the impeachment of President Trump. Instead, it’s at the bottom of every article. But it’s obvious that The Washington Journal is pushing its leftist agendas regardless of the topic or headline. What is really disturbing about this is that news should always steer clear of any opinion bias; media should simply report the facts to their readers and viewers. Opinions are for the viewers to create — based on the facts.

I have written a lot of news copy in my career that was only facts. There was no agenda in reporting the news back then. It was just reported, and people formed their own opinions. However, this shift to the extreme left and right in media is simply frightening, as it drives an even bigger wedge between the two sides and sways those in the middle, one way or another, leaving no middle ground. Bigger divides between groups mean bigger differences and beliefs. History has taught us that this usually leads to one thing only, and that’s civil war.

Other countries are not immune to this, either. On July 1, 2017, Canada celebrated its 150th birthday as a country. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau included all the names of provinces and territories in his speech — except for the glaring exclusion of Alberta. I’m pretty sure it was an error and not out of spite, but, the next day, I began to see fake news on Facebook about Trump tweeting what an idiot Trudeau was for not mentioning Alberta and not knowing the geography of his own country. Now we all know about Trump and his Twitter account, so Trump’s allegations were believable to anyone at first glance. Twenty seconds later, I had debunked this as a lie from the far right by simply checking Trump’s Twitter account myself.

The danger in having others do our thinking for us is very real and will eventually push us to actions where neither side will win, and the people will be the ones to lose. The only way for the people to fight these media agendas is be aware, do your own research, look at the domain names where the news is coming from to make sure they’re credible and trustworthy, and then make up your own mind and form our own opinion. If we don’t all collectively absorb and share the fake news, their viewership will drop, as will their income, which will eventually force them out. Do your duty: Research facts before sharing and forming your opinions, or this war will get much, much worse. It will no longer be about what’s right and what’s wrong. It will be about who controls the majority of media, the left or the right.