“Fake News” Roots

During last weekend’s interview with 60 Minutes, Pres. Trump admitted to Leslie Stahl that he uses the phrase “fake news” to “demean” and “discredit” legitimate media when they ask questions that discomfort him because, essentially, he wants people to believe in him, not what other people say or think.

In essence, the President has admitted that he has tried to gaslight the American people for the last four years.

As a recovering journalist, I know all too well that each member of the media carries personal bias to each article written. So does every member of every other profession. But I also know that the best journalists (and their editors) try hard to distinguish fact from opinion. As Stahl herself mentioned in the interview, 60 Minutes will not report anything as fact that its editors know to be opinion.

Stahl referred specifically to a tabloid’s reportage of items allegedly found on a laptop owned by the son of Pres. Trump’s political opponent. Investigators from institutions ranging from snopes.com to Attorney General William Barr cannot substantiate claims made by that tabloid. Stahl demonstrated her integrity as a professional by not repeating rumor, and the President left the interview soon thereafter.

The episode reveals so much about the President’s mindset, starting with his conviction that he has a monopoly on not only “truths” but also “facts.” This is narcissism, not leadership. True leaders tolerate debate and dissent because doing so ensures fairer, better policies; true leaders want what is best for all Americans and will not bend the truth to suit fringe elements.

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1 Response to “Fake News” Roots

  1. Kelsei Harris says:

    I honestly think that President Trump is a narcissist and he expects others to believe him regardless of if it’s true or not. I didn’t know about the interview with 60 minutes until now, but I’m glad that he admitted why he uses the term “fake news”. I find it weird how people can support someone whose every word has to be fact-checked. Trump’s actions aren’t one of a leader, but one of a self absorbent narcissist. He dodges important questions and insults reporters when their questions make him feel uneasy. I still find it hard to believe that people find his actions appealing. I don’t think I could ever support someone who doesn’t answer important questions and insults everyone who makes him uncomfortable. He hardly ever tells the truth or speaks “facts”. Trump always belittles his opponents and news sources. I honestly don’t understand it. He insists that “fake news” has infiltrated America, but he spreads the fakest news there is. I’ve heard a lot of others say that there is fake news surrounding us and I think its complete bs to be frank.

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