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Trump Revels in Fake News and Phony Claims
Trump Revels in Fake News and Phony Claims
By Jennifer Rubin
December 12, 2016
A shorter URL for the above link:
President-elect Donald Trumps apologists, sensitive to the charge that their candidate wallows in conspiracy theories, misinformation and out-and-out lies, like to play the moral equivalency game. (Yes, conservatives used to abhor moral equivalence games, but too many prefer Trumps postmodernist perspective.) Other presidents lie. The mainstream media says things that are not true. Hillary Clinton lied.
It would be hard to find a politician who didnt lie, but presidents, governors and members of Congress generally try to stay in the ballpark of the truth. They will parse and distract, but they feel queasy about a direct lie. Sometimes they engage in wishful thinking or false choices. But here is what is different about Trump: He doesnt try to get it right. He doesnt assume that people care about the truth or that the truth is important. He will repeat blatant untruths (e.g. Arab Americans celebrated after 9/11, President Obama wasnt born in the United States, he won by a landslide, we dont know whether Russia hacked us), and then try to bully those who dispute him. Rather than engage on the facts, Trump insults, demeans and bullies the messenger. Critical voices even Saturday Night Live are, in his view, losing business (even when they are not), because for Trump, financial success makes one good and truthful while financial distress means one is bad and a liar.
A good deal of the right-wing media and virtually all of the Fox Non-News and right-wing talk radio hosts specialize in such phony positions and make-believe concerns, to the point where even informed conservatives think trade costs us millions of jobs, climate change is a hoax and immigration is bad for the economy. Trump has now taken the made-up issues, the fake facts and the grand conspiracies all the way to the White House. No president has ever come close to doing this.
The reality-based media (which includes legacy media, responsible conservative media, nonprofit media, scholarly work, etc.) surely makes errors and displays bias. The difference, however, is that it tries to get the facts right. It requires actual sources, real documentary evidence and accurate quotes. It doesnt doctor photos or put fake captions on photos. The accuracy rate is high, the error rate low; the reverse is true in the Trumpian phony-news world. How members of the White House press office will interact with hordes of reporters who will routinely call them out for intentional falsehoods remains to be seen. Lets be clear, however: Trump disdains the mainstream media because it contradicts him and accurately records what he says. It takes him literally.
The complete article may be read at the URL above.
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