In one disturbing tweet this Thursday, President Trump signaled that he’s more than willing to utilize the power of government to clamp down on media outlets’ adversarial reporting on him.
“Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up – FAKE!” Trump tweeted.
Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 5, 2017
As he’s done many times before with zero evidence, Trump accuses the American free press of outright publishing false information — and it’s a tactic that is working.
All across Trumplandia, and even in a large segment of the anti-Trump crowd, there’s an overwhelming distrust of legacy news publications. Ironically, this distrust leads people to garner their worldview from the very thing they claim to hate: fake news. And why shouldn’t they? The president whom they’ve developed a cult-like reverence for surged to prominence as a political figure focusing on one topic, namely Barack Obama’s birth certificate.
According to CNN’s Chris Cillizza writes, it’s Trump who’s the source of fake news, not the widely-revered news outlets he slanders.
The truth — as hundreds of fact checks have shown — is that the biggest purveyor of fake news in the country right now is Trump. According to The Washington Post’s Fact Checker blog, Trump has made 1,145 false or misleading claims in his first 232 days in office. That’s 4.9 false or misleading statements per day.
As Cillizza points out, compounding Trump’s “fake news” narrative is bolstered by the fact that media outlets, which are run by humans, sometimes things wrong. “But, in virtually every case, those mistakes are honest ones — slip-ups made in an honest pursuit of the truth,” Cillizza writes. “And, when an error is found, steps are made to publicly remedy the mistake to keep misinformation from seeping into the public’s consciousness.”
But in Trumplandia, the occasional retraction from a major news outlet is proof of an ever-present fake news industry, And as this inevitability further entrenches Trumplandia, fake news links and debunked conspiracy theories shamelessly emanate from their social media profiles.
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