Did rock music bring down the Berlin Wall?
I am old enough to have lived through President Reagan's Berlin demand – "Tear down this wall!" – and the subsequent reunification of Germany. But oddly enough, the words "Ronald Reagan," "United States," and "Tear down this wall!" appear nowhere in a lengthy article from the BBC, titled "Rocking the Stasi," about how listening to rock music was deemed subversive by the East German authorities, and therefore, somehow or other, rock music was responsible in some ways for the fall of the wall.
The closest that the Beeb comes to acknowledging that factors other than rock music had some influence are these words near the end:
There are many reasons, political and economic, why the Cold War came to an end. But that spirit of freedom that brought thousands on the streets in 1989 to challenge communist regimes was also vital.
And that spirit had been sustained – for many – by music.
Strictly speaking, all of this is true. It is not exactly "fake news," but it hardly conveys an accurate impression of what really weakened the East German regime and ended the Cold War. There is a category of lies called "lying by omission." After all, President Regan remains loathsome in the eyes of the global left because he accomplished so much, and it embarrasses the left. Pretending that rock music, which is produced by celebrities (who generally are of the left), was really important in ending a horrific police state, while ignoring the actual events and the principal actor who made it happen, may not be worth Four Pinocchios, but surely it merits at least one or two.