I was 13-years-old when it first happened to me. I was getting a haircut at my uncle's house and, as we usually did we talked politics and about how the pope would move into the White House if John F. Kennedy was elected.
This is all true. It was a time when there was serious suspicion between Protestants and Roman Catholics. Many Protestant parents would question the wisdom of their dating age kids getting involved with a Catholic. And for many of them the symbol of all this was the pope.
In many Lutheran circles, there were plenty of publications about room being made in the White House for the head of the Catholic church. It was assumed that this country would be run from the Vatican City.
This all happened before the web and it's hundreds of "news" sites. Back then, it was all newspapers and radio news and a little television news.
Now it's fake news sites pretending to be real news. Readers are taking them for truth. What about the recent disclosures that President-elect Trumps National Security Adviser found to be the purveyors of the falsehoods.
What have I learned to help?
One of my professors at the MSU School of Journalism, Bud Meyer, taught us: Never Assume Anything.
It was pounded into our heads. Citizens need need now more than ever. The future of our country depends having confidence in reading what is being thrown out as news.
The answer: "Never Assume Anything."
How? I think I'll have more to share about this.