The War on Fake News
Media, and especially the internet, has long been stigmatized as inconsistently truthful. As students, we’re taught to not trust everything we see on the internet and be wary of biased news. President Trump has taken this concept to a whole new level by posing his “enemy” not as the democrats, but the media sources that report “untrue” information about him and his administration.
“A few days ago I called the fake news the enemy of the people, and they are — they are the enemy of the people,” Trump claimed at the Conservative Political Action Conference according to USA Today. He says that reporters make up sources when there are none, which provides a difficult situation for the people. Who do we believe? The President of the United States, Trump? Or the media? In an ordinary situation, it would seem correct to believe our President, but this isn’t an ordinary situation. We’re dealing with a man who imitated a disabled reporter and dehumanized woman by using the phrase “grab ’em by the pussy.” The most important thing that the public has to question is whether we find Trump more reliable than news sources such as CNN, the New York Times, and NBC News. Personally, I believe the correct attitude is to take everything with a grain of salt.
Trump dismissing liberal sources that reveal a different side of him could be seen as a weak thing to do. When someone is afraid of someone showing a different side to them, this could often indicate that they put on a mask and want to hide certain things. This isn’t a quality we should be encouraging in our president. Being the leader of the free world means that some sources will support you and some won’t, but that should not mean you discredit the sources that do not support you. All in all, it’s a sign of manipulation, inconsistency of character, and unwillingness to accept those who do not support you.
In the past, most Presidents have had adversarial relationships with the press. Reporters always want the inside information that the Presidents do not want to give. However, many articles, including “Steve Bannon’s not-so-subtle threat to the media,” from Washington Post, are calling this relationship more than adversarial. Trump and his administration, including Steve Bannon, make it clear that they want to break the media down. Thus begins the war against media, Trump v. Fake News… and only time will tell how it pans out.