So last night Trump tweeted “The FAKE NEWS media … is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Sounds eerily similar to remarks by Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal. So at least Trump’s crusade against the media isn’t relatively new.
But what is new -and worrying- is how he’s trying to fighting them. By accusing them of being “fake news” because they contradict his “alternative facts.” Trump does not hide that he gets most of his information from Breitbart and Info Wars; your typical reliable new sources informing you everything you need to know about the Bowling Green Massacre and how the Sandy Hook shooting was staged. “Alternative news” you could called it.
So what constitutes as “fake news”? A normal person would tell you it’s a published article that’s factually incorrect. But Trump’s definition is different; fake news is anything that makes him look bad. He says so himself, in a tweet he said “any negative polls are fake news.”
Sure there was the Buzzfeed incident, but then again Buzzfeed isn’t (primarily) a news outlet. But networks like CNN, MSNBC, and others have, for the most have reported fairly accurate news. Obviously there is bias, but being bias is not the same being fake or false.Which is why it’s worrying that Trump uses “fake” to describe them, it puts the faith citizens have in our media in jeopardy.
The next four years will be crucial to determining the direction of our democracy. It’ll be a tug of war over our political efficacy between the media and the administration. My hopes is that the former wins because I believe in the market. I know that competition in the marketplace for news is the best mechanism to bring us “real news” and that the false propaganda of state media only serve to blind the masses.