“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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7 Responses 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.

  2. Chloe Sharp says:

    Donald Trump is a huge narcissist, but that isn’t even the most dangerous thing about him. The most dangerous thing about him is that he has convinced a huge portion of the United States that whatever bull comes out of his mouth is the only acceptable truth, and anyone who doesn’t accept what he says is either: 1. fired or 2. a loser. Even when he admits that he is gaslighting the entire country, or he says something extremely racist, or he outright admits on tape that he knew about the deadly international pandemic back in December and decided not to do anything about it, he can say he was just kidding and he’s in the clear. A person who refuses to take responsibility for any of his actions, evades his taxes for years, endorses racist groups and conspiracy theories, attacks anyone who disagrees with him, and is cool with putting multiple lives at risk so nothing interferes with his reelection campaign should not be in the white house.

  3. Vineeth Vanga says:

    It’s very clear that Donald Trump is not the best person. A lot of what he has been saying throughout his presidency has consisted entirely of false equivalences that he has made. A lot of what he wants to make said during his term isn’t even built into the ground of argumentation but rather into his personal feelings. Our President needs to represent the wills of the people not his emotions. Trump has shown time and time again that he really does not care for the people and we’ve all seen it happen quantitatively with the spike in hate crimes. When black lives matter sprang to fruition he should’ve been someone that stood with those that have always been oppressed but instead he was focused on himself and chose to not only do nothing, but instead come for the people who were fighting for their basic rights.

  4. Zaria Cooper says:

    I did not watch the 60 Minutes interview with Pres. Trump, however, I completely agree with him being a narcissist. He does not represent the American people the way we should be and the amount of “Fake News” that he spread is ridiculous. I don’t get how someone with so much power as he, is able to force others to listen to him with his radical actions. Throughout his 4 years, Trump has shown nothing really except for the fact that he only cares about himself and his pocket. It is even sadder that these last couple of years have been the best time for him to prove himself a good president. Still, through everything America has been through he has only managed to make himself look worst.

  5. Vineel Vanga says:

    My knowledge on Trump’s policies is as the same as a rock’s. To be honest, I don’t know what Trump did in honest all that well, and the only information I hear is just from the democratic liberals because that is the side that I lean more on and listen to. Everyone in the comments are saying that Trump is a narcissist, but in my own personal sphere I really don’t know. I know that his act of shutting down the government to get funding for a stupid project was a narcissist like move on his part. And judging from the portion up top, then for him to supposedly play down true media as “fake news” just goes to show that he isn’t giving the American people the truth but rather lies. He is so fixated on his overall appearance and reputation that they may seem like his primary, but his primary should be helping the American people and not himself. Oh yeah, I just remembered that whole whistleblower incident that shot his butt onto being impeached. Like who does that. The reason as to why he was brought to court was because he wanted to care for himself if the cost were to demean others in the process. That is the opposite of what the President is supposed to do.

  6. Carolena Graham says:

    I haven’t watched Trump’s 60 Minutes interview, but I do agree that he is a narcissist. I’ve said it several times. He has had 4-years to show America that he is more than a selfish racist. Let’s reflect back to the first presidential debate. Trump constantly talked over Biden and the Moderator on national tv. That speaks a lot for his character. To speak on Trump saying “fake news” when he is asked something that discomforts him, I’m not surprised. He obviously believes he is superior to everybody, meaning his feelings matter the most no matter what lies he may be telling.

  7. Lauren Hood says:

    I have not watched this interview, but I do agree that Trump is not the best at dealing with media. While I do place some blame on him, I also place blame on the extremely biased sources that legitimately do not care that they have biases and often push false things. Some of these include CNN and Fox. Both are on opposite sides of the political spectrum and both use a lot of false or hyperbolized information to get their point across. I would also like to state that I do not appreciate Trump saying things like, “fake news.” It is used to avoid questions and I do not approve of that. He is our president and should be able to answer “uncomfortable” questions.

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