Recently the media has been the victim of attacks from people across the country. Many Americans believe that there isn’t any truth to any news sources anymore, and they especially believe there aren’t ones without bias.
In the recent presidential election many people became victims of believing new stories that were fake, and in turn based their votes on those stories.
Many researchers actually blame the election results on fake news. Many of them are saying that if people wouldn’t have originally read fake news then they wouldn’t have voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Since the presidential inauguration, the president has been in a war with the media. It’s something that we’ve never seen between a president and the media before.
In the past the media has been a tool used by a president to communicate with the American people and has been very engaging with it. It never mattered what party the president had come from. The relationship between the media and a president was never anywhere near the relationship we are seeing now between them and Donald Trump.
We’ve seen reporters thrown out of press conferences for asking questions, reporters being shut down for attempting to communicate with the president, and the president’s new favorite antic: calling news networks fake.
Lately we’ve seen the president deem any news networks that report him in anything other than positive, fake news, even if what they’re saying about him is completely true. He has attacked the biggest news sources for Americans, such as The New York Times, NBC News, ABC, CBS, and CNN, calling them fake, and has attempted to tarnish their credibility, even though they have proven themselves to be honest news sources for decades.
Donald Trump has even gone as far as to say these news networks, along with fake news, are “not my enemy, [they are] the enemy of the American People!” on his favorite media avenue – Twitter. This rhetoric can be very dangerous because many of his supporters believe anything and everything he says without fact-checking his words.
The weird thing about Trump and his “war” against fake news is that he and his administration have been some of the largest contributors to the spread of false information, ever since he announced his campaign to run for president back in 2015.
One of the biggest falsehoods as of late came from one of the official Counselors to the President – Kellyanne Conway. During an interview with MSNBC, in an attempt to attack President Barack Obama, Conway said that the “Bowling Green massacre” had led to President Obama suspending a U.S. Iraqi refugee program for six months. If you don’t know it by now, there was no such thing as a “Bowling Green Massacre”.
This hasn’t been the only time that the Trump administration has fed into creating fake news.
In a recent rally in Melbourne, Florida, Trump said “look what’s happened last night in Sweden” to reinforce his point about the issue of terrorism.
People immediately began trying to figure out what had happened the previous night in Sweden. Of course, absolutely nothing was found. There was no incident in Sweden. Donald Trump completely lied to the American people, again.
The Trump administration has even called their lies “alternative facts” to defend false statements used by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The fact that Trump and his administration have been lying to the American people and then gone on to attack fake news has made them all look like hypocrites.
Back in December, Sean Spicer said that media shouldn’t be banned from press briefings and spoke that it is “what makes a democracy a democracy versus a dictatorship.” Now Trump has banned the media and Sean Spicer is defending his actions.
These are the people at the top of the U.S. government. Hypocrites.
All this sends a very dangerous signal to the American people on both sides of the political spectrum. To Trump’s supporters, he is sending misinformation and lies knowing that they won’t think to fact check things he says and support him anyways. And to those against him, it shows them clearly that he and his administration are more than willing to lie to the American people.
The fact that this administration is willing to make up lies just to refute factual negative news about them is baffling. It has taken away the integrity of the American government and replaced it with something dark and deceitful.
The American people need to stand up and fight against the misuse of fake news, no matter where the stories are coming from. The only way to stop it is if we do not condone the use of it when it comes from someone we like, and reprimand it when it comes from a source we don’t like.
The use of fake news should be stopped period. Hopefully, the hypocritical administration currently running the White House will be the first to stop the spread of fake news, and consequently lead small news outlets that use fake news to do the same.
After all, honesty is the best policy.