A CLOSER LOOK AT “FAKE NEWS”
In campaign speeches, tweets, and press conferences, Trump counters with, “Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. Just remember, what you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
President Trump calls “fake news,” a label he pins on nearly all media outlets except Fox News, “the enemy of the American people.”
According to the three Washington Post journalists assigned to update a fact-checker database that analyzes, categorizes and tracks every suspect statement made by Trump, as of August 1, 2018, Trump made 4,229 false/misleading claims in the 558 days since being sworn in as president, with nearly 150 untrue claims being repeated at least three times.
One-third of the President’s false claims relate to economic issues: getting the size of trade deficits wrong and presenting numbers in a misleading fashion, displaying a basic misunderstanding of economics; taking credit for jobs created before he became president and business decisions with which he had no role; boasting about jobs numbers, even though annual job growth under his presidency is slower than Obama’s last five years of leadership.
Washington Post analysis of one Montana campaign speech Trump made in July found 76 percent of the assertions made were false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.
Peter Wehner of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, who served under Presidents Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush, opines that Trump is a pathological liar who lies on personal, political, domestic and international matters, often lying needlessly, such as insisting that the crowd size for his inauguration was larger than that of Obama. He persisted with his lie even when the truth was clearly demonstrable.
Trump wants to blur the lines between truth and his alternative reality in an attempt to discredit his critics. He attacks the media because it is the institution that demands accountability when it comes to truth-telling, and Trump knows he has to delegitimize the media so he can get away with what for anyone else would be unacceptable behavior.
Our country can’t function if we don’t agree on common sets of facts. The high volume of lies coming out of the White House creates chaos. Citizens and journalists become exhausted trying to parse out what is true and what is not, instead of concentrating on the important business of governance and policymaking.
It is unacceptable that Fox News enables Trump by letting false claims go unchecked, leading many people to believe Trump’s lies. Contact Fox News, 1-888-369-4762 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to insist they hold Trump and his administration accountable for inaccurate statements.
“What’s Happened to the Truth Under President Trump?” 7-25-2018 PBS NewsHour
“President Trump has made 4,229 false or misleading claims in 558 days,” Washingtonpost.com, 8-1-2018