The US president has threatened the press to take away their credentials if they don’t talk positively of him.
“The Fake News is working overtime. [It’s just been] reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake).
“Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?” wrote the ex-reality star in a Wednesday morning tweet.
The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
Trump is probably referring to a 2017 study by the Conservative Media Research Center which claimed,
“The broadcast network evening newscasts remain as hostile as ever towards President Trump and his agenda, although the networks appear to be easing up on their obsessive wall-to-wall coverage of the administration.”
The study concludes that 91% of the nightly news coverage on the president is negative, which in Trump’s world, equates to “fake”.
The claim is nothing short of colourful if we take into account the 45th president of the United States has a very close relationship with falsehood.
Several recordings have surfaced from his businessman years, in which he is heard posing as his own PR representative, calling journalists to feed them with “positive” news about himself.
Washington Post reporter Jonathan Greenberg recently unearthed a conversation from May 1984, where Trump, posing as a supposed aide identified as “John Barron” exaggerated his own wealth to trick the reporter into including him in the Fortune 400 list.
In another, even cringier recording from 1991, we can hear Trump taking the alias of “John Miller”, calling reporter Sue Carswell at People magazine to brag about how successful he was with women.
Some of the wild praises he said about himself include: “He’s got a whole open field really”, “He’s somebody that has a lot of options” and “He gets called by everybody in the book, in terms of women”.
Almost every US president has been caught redhanded in a lie. Nixon did it to save his presidency, and Clinton to save his reputation.
But the shocking frequency and brazenness of Trump’s lies have no precedent in the White House and maybe in all of modern world politics.
The Washington Post recently did the experiment of fact checking all claims the president has made in his first 406 days in office, and the results are nothing less than disturbing.
According to the Post’s study, Trump made 2,436 false or misleading claims in that time, averaging an average of six falsehoods a day.
Donald Trump has cemented his presidency by spouting whatever falsehood he can muster in order to argue his policies, always backed by a loyal right-wing media army that’s willing to walk long strides to knock down anything that opposes his vision, even if they have to go against facts.
Now, to have the US president actively, and publicly threatening the press into talking positively about him does not only look like a chapter straight out of 1984, but is one of the most dangerous things brewing in the world arena right now.
If this blatant juggling with the truth worries you as much as it worries us, we recommend checking out “Bad News”, an online game developed by researchers from Cambridge University to help people understand how fake news operates to confuse public opinion and spread deception for political and economical gain.