Tag Archives: fake news

Ah, yes, more ‘fake news’ from POTUS

Mr. President, you have put forth yet another lie.

Doggone it, sir! I cannot let this one go.

You keep attaching the pejorative term “fake news” to the media and your political foes, but you have turned fake news into an art form.

The terror attack in Spain prompted another careless, reckless response from you, sir. Let me remind you of what you tweeted: Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!

Did you say at that hideous press event the other day that you like to “get the facts straight” before you make a statement? Yeah, you did.

The tweet about Gen. Pershing, Mr. President, is a lie. You defamed the memory of one of our great national heroes all in the name of making some sort of stupid and ridiculous point about the nature of the terror attack that killed at least 13 people in Spain.

That fake story you told during the campaign about Gen. Pershing dipping bullets in pig’s blood and then shooting Islamic prisoners to death is a lie. It didn’t happen. So, you told the lie once again today. You put out fake news. You are a habitual, pathological liar. You, Mr. President, disgrace the office to which you were elected.

You not only defamed Gen. Pershing with that hideous story, you accused him of committing a horrific war crime.

I’ll attach how the National Review reported what you said, in case you haven’t seen it. It’s not often that I agree with the National Review, but we’re on the same page on this one, Mr. President. They can’t stomach you as president; neither can I. Nor can the hefty plurality of Americans who voted for Hillary in the 2016 election.

You keep demonstrating time and time again your total unfitness for high political office.

Fake news? You keep blathering that line at any opportunity.

Well, I got my fill of your so-called “fake news” long ago. The Barack Obama birth issue; the Muslims supposedly cheering the fall of the Twin Towers on 9/11; the “millions” of illegal immigrants voting for Hillary; your insistence on voter fraud throughout the nation.

They’re all lies. They’re all “fake news.”

You should be ashamed of yourself. Except that shame requires a conscience. You are sorely lacking in both.

Once more in high praise of the media

The president of the United States has grown annoyingly fond of calling the media that publish and broadcast negative stories about him “fake news.”

The description he uses — and the context in which he utters it — demonstrate that Donald John Trump doesn’t understand what “fake news” really is. “Fake news” are the made up accounts, lies, fabrications … the kind of thing that Trump has done for many years. I’ll get back to that in a moment.

I want to offer another word of high praise for the media for the job they have done in covering the 45th president of the United States.

The world has witnessed a rebirth of sorts of traditional, gumshoe reporting by great print media. The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal — three powerhouse print outlets — all have demonstrated the value of hard-nosed reporting. Were it not for their dogged pursuit of tips the nation wouldn’t know about:

* Russian hacking into our 2016 election process.

* Donald Trump’s presidential campaign’s potential role in that meddling.

* The issues related to the president’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.

* The possible conflicts of interests related to the emoluments clause in the U.S. Constitution.

That’s just four issues. The media have done their job. They have done what the media always do and what presidents — until the current one — have accepted as part of journalists’ calling.

Donald Trump instead has promoted actual “fake news” all along the way. He has promoted the scurrilous assertion that Barack Obama wasn’t constitutionally qualified to serve as president; he lied about “thousands of Muslims” cheering the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11; he has lied about “millions of illegal immigrants” voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016; he lies about the size of his electoral victory; his press office has lied about the size of Trump’s inaugural crowd.

And this man, then, has the audacity to accuse media outlets of promoting “fake news” that in actuality is merely news that doesn’t slather him in glowing praise.

Mr. President, that’s the way it goes. Every single one of your predecessors has gotten beaten up by the media. Have they blackballed news outlets? Have they called the media “the enemy of the people”? Have they called individual reporters “terrible, dishonest human beings”? No. They understand the value of a free press and have welcomed the media’s efforts to hold all public officials accountable for the words and actions.

They have reacted far more professionally and “presidential” than the thin-skinned weakling who occupies the Big Chair in the Oval Office.

As someone who toiled for nearly four decades as a print journalist, I am damn proud of the job my former colleagues are doing.

POTUS remains an angry man

Donald John Trump is an angry old man. The 71-year-old president of the United States marked his 200th day in office with a series of tweets.

He blasted Democrats, the “fake” media, turncoat Republicans, Congress in general. The only folks who escaped his Twitter tirade it seems are his kin and Vladimir Putin.

What gives with this guy? The honeymoon period presidents traditionally get never materialized with this buffoon. Perhaps it was the tone of his inaugural speech, the one that talked about vowing to end the “American carnage” and painted a dark portrait of the world’s greatest, most powerful nation. There was no high-minded prose coming from the president. There was plenty of anger.

It’s gone downhill … from there!

He hasn’t filled a huge number of key staff posts. Judgeships remain vacant. Federal prosecutors need to be named. He’s changed his White House chief of staff, booted out his press secretary, fired the FBI director and the acting attorney general, tossed his national security adviser, kicked out his communications director. Am I missing anyone? Whatever.

My point is that the president is an unhappy man who this morning decided to torch a Democratic senator over an issue for which the senator has apologized. Take a bow, Richard Blumenthal.

Nothing of consequence has been accomplished — legislatively. Yes, he issued those executive orders removing the United States from the Transpacific Partnership and from the Paris climate accords. He tweeted something about banning transgendered Americans from serving in the military, only to get push back from the Pentagon brass at the highest levels of all the military branches.

Trump keeps getting caught in lies and duplicitous comments, thanks to the “leakers” inside the White House who are exposing his countless shortcomings as the head of state and government.

Those “easy” tasks, such as repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act? Not done! The leader of the party that controls the Congress and the White House couldn’t get that one pushed across the finish line. So … he blames Congress for his own failures.

Getting Mexico to build a wall along our nations’ shared border? Forget about it. Tossing out the North American Free Trade Agreement? Pfftt!

Here’s the best part of all of this: We’re at Day 200 of the Trump administration. That means we’ve only got 1,261 more days of this ahead.

Maybe.

When did ‘fake news’ become what it’s become?

Once upon a lifetime or two ago, back before the Internet or even before the rise of some of current contemporary politicians, I used to think of “fake news” as something that bears little resemblance to what it means today.

That was before we even coined the term “fake news” as it has come to be known these days.

If someone were to present an item as “news,” but it turns out to be false, you’d just call it what it was: a fabrication, a prevarication, a lie. Thanks, though, to an adroit politician — who hates to be called one, even though that is what he is — many of us toss the term “fake news” around recklessly. If it’s negative, it’s “fake.” Even if it tells the truth, it’s “fake” in the eyes of those aligned with the target of such truth-telling.

Donald John Trump, the nation’s 45th president, has now turned the term into something of a rallying cry for the shrinking — but still substantial — base of Americans who still believe what he says.

The president’s standing among Americans is around 38 percent — give or take a point or two — who think he’s doing a good job. The rest of us, um, think a lot less of him. The Trumpkins of this nation glom onto the “fake news” mantra to discredit any news report seen as critical of their guy.

They don’t get the irony, though, of what they say about the media. If you want any clearer example of what I used to think of as “fake news,” you need look no further than the man who’s made it the rallying cry it has become.

Donald Trump is the king of fake news. Call him King Donald the Faker. To wit:

He perpetrated the lie that Barack Obama was constitutionally unqualified to hold the office of president; he cited a phony instance of “thousands of Muslims cheering” the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11; he said President Obama bugged his campaign office after the election; he said “millions of illegal immigrants” voted for Hillary Clinton and gave her the 3 million popular vote plurality she scored over Trump, despite losing the Electoral College vote; he implied there might be White House recordings of conversations he had with fired FBI Director James Comey.

What, I ask, do all these instances have in common? They’re all demonstrably false. They’re lies. They are made up events.

They are “fake news”!

Still, the president gets away with it in the minds of those who stand by their man.

I get that Donald Trump changed the rules of politics when he ran for and won the presidency in 2016. Brother, do I ever get it.

What continues to boggle my mind, though, is the very idea that this guy gets away with hanging the “fake news” label on media and news reports while being cheered on by those who ignore his own tawdry record of dishing out lies.

Keep yammering about ‘fake news,’ Mr. President

I used to have mixed feelings about Donald Trump’s use of what is becoming an-almost hackneyed term.

“Fake news.”

The president tosses it out there with utterly no self-awareness, that he is the King of Fake News.

Barack Obama was a foreigner; thousands of Muslims cheered the Twin Towers’ collapse; Obama wiretapped the Trump campaign office; millions of illegal immigrants voted for Hillary Clinton.

There’s more. It’s all fake news.

Yet the president persists in using that term to hang around media organizations that report actual news that he deems to be too negative.

Negativity equals “fake news.” You got that?

Thus, the president has established a mantra that plays well among the media-hating base of American voters who more than likely — as then-candidate Trump once famously said — would still vote for him even if he were to “shoot someone on Fifth Avenue.”

Do I want him to stop using the “fake news” dodge?

Not really. It just demonstrates that this president doesn’t know a single thing about the difference between what’s “fake” and what’s real.

‘Fake news,’ Mr. President?

Donald J. Trump keeps yammering about “fake news” media outlets.

OK, let’s try this one on for a moment.

The president has been displaying some fake Time magazine covers at his golf and country clubs. The covers tease those who see them about how his reality TV show is a rating smash.

Except that the magazine cover is fake. It’s phony. It’s made up, courtesy of Photoshop.

The White House doesn’t deny they’re fake. Time executives have asked that the covers be taken down. The Washington Post reports as well that Time didn’t even publish an issue on the date posted on those bogus covers.

Trump’s fake news mantra is getting tiresome in the extreme. It also long ago ceased being effective, given the president’s own record as a perpetrator of “fake news.” Indeed, the president is an expert at fake news, as he kept alive his own lie about President Barack Obama supposedly being ineligible to hold office because, according to Trump, he was born in Africa.

Fake news? There you have it. Now this bit about the phony Time magazine cover. More fake news? You bet.

And this president will keep yammering about the media and his political base will lap it up.

As CNN’s Chris Cillizza writes: “Truth, in Trump’s world, is what he believes. So, even if he wasn’t on the cover of that specific Time magazine, he should have been. What difference does it make then if he puts himself on there and passes it off as real?”

Cillizza clearly asks a rhetorical question. It makes a lot of difference to those who place value in truth. To those who are habitual liars — such as the president of the United States — well, not so much.

CNN does that rare deed: retracts a story

CNN officials don’t need me to take up the cudgel for them, but I’ll do so anyway.

The news outlet has just done something quite rare in journalism. It has retracted a story it broadcast. There was no mere “correction” or “clarification.” CNN took it all back. Moreover, the principals involved in the bogus story have resigned; they well likely would have been fired by the network.

I mention this because of the Twitter tirade that Donald John Trump has launched against the network. The president calls CNN “fake news”; he says the network’s ratings are plummeting; he is castigating CNN for the story that was broadcast.

Trump unloads on CNN

The president is an angry man! Then again, he’s always angry when the media are involved. Am I right?

The CNN story alleged that a close Trump ally was tied to a Russian investment fund that the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating. The story is false. CNN admitted its mistake, took it off its website, accepted the resignations of the reporter, editor and producer involved in the story.

My experience in journalism — which totaled nearly four decades — tells me that CNN acted responsibly in reaction to the mistake it made. Do I know whether the story was published with a willful intent to do harm to the president? No I don’t.

I do know, though, that for a media organization to retract a story means that it has acknowledged an egregious error. And, yes, by golly, journalists — those fallible human beings — do make mistakes.

That won’t stop conservatives, though, from unloading on the “mainstream media,” a term that has become a four-letter word among those who detest the media.

The simple truth, though, is that CNN acted responsibly and with integrity in taking back a report it learned to be untrue.

Trump vs. Media battle rages on … and on

Donald J. Trump in one important way is no different from the 44 men who preceded him as president of the United States of America.

They all disliked, distrusted and at times disrespected the media.

The difference between Trump and those other guys is the tone and tenor of the response he levels at the media for doing their job.

Trump has branded all media that report stories that aren’t totally favorable as “fake news.” Moreover, he is making admittedly superb use of social media to carry that message forward. Beyond that, his base is loving it! The folks who voted for him and who bought into his “tell it like it is” mantra continue to give him a baseline of support that barely creaks under the weight of the negativity that the president heaps onto himself.

Is this guy, though, any different from his predecessors in his dislike of the media? Nope. Not at all.

Trump assails media again

Every single predecessor — certainly those who served as president during the past 60 or 70 years — have griped openly about the coverage the media provided. Even when they complained, though, many of them did so with a smile/smirk on their face. I believe it was President Franklin Roosevelt who referred to the media’s coverage of his dog Fala, noting how reporters should lay off the presidential pooch.

On and one it has gone.

Do you think President Kennedy wanted the media to cover the Bay of Pigs fiasco in the manner that they did? Of course not. He took the criticism like a man.

President Johnson didn’t much care for the media’s coverage of the Vietnam War, either. He understood the role of a free press and accepted it as part of the job he inherited when his predecessor was gunned down.

I don’t recall hearing President Reagan bitching loudly about the coverage of the Iran-contra controversy.

President Clinton was bombarded with negativity during his eight years in the White House. His wife was a frequent target, too. And occasionally, the media actually poked maliciously at their daughter, for crying out loud.

Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama also took their share of hits over the course of their combined 16 years in office. And, by the way, President Obama was the victim of actual “fake news” promulgated by the likes of, oh, Donald J. Trump — the originator of the lie he kept telling that Obama was constitutionally ineligible to serve because he was born in a far-off land. Can there be a greater example of presidential hypocrisy than that?

The rules of president-media engagement have changed in the Age of Trump. The media are doing the job the U.S. Constitution allows them to do. The president doesn’t like what they report, so he — in effect — defames reporters and editors for serving the public interest.

Worst of all? The complainer in chief  is getting away with it!

‘Hoax’ becomes fodder for blame-shifting?

I need to follow this stuff more carefully, I reckon.

Donald John Trump had been telling us that the Russian-meddling story was a “hoax,” a product of “fake news,” a figment of progressives’ and Democrats’ overactive imagination.

The president has yet to condemn the Russians for doing what intelligence agencies have concluded, which is that they sought to influence the 2016 presidential election through use of cyber activity.

Oh, but then comes this. He now blames the Obama administration for failing to stop the Russians in their tracks when President Obama was in office.

Which is it, Mr. President? Is the Russia story a made-up tale of intrigue meant to discredit your election as commander in chief? Or is it the real thing, something that now enables you to shift responsibility for ending it to your immediate predecessor as president of the United States?

Good grief, Mr. President? Keep it straight for us.

This guy knows self-inflicted wounds

APPALACHIAN TRAIL, Va. — I sometimes amaze myself at how certain references relate immediately to other — seemingly unrelated — matters.

Our friends were driving us along a winding, rural road and one of them mentioned that we were tooling next to the Appalachian Trail.

“Oh, you mean the trail that Mark Sanford told his staff to lie about when questions arose about his whereabouts?” I said in response. “Yeah, that’s the one,” our friend answered.

We chuckled in the car as we recalled how the former South Carolina governor, and current member of Congress from that state, told his staff to put out the lie that he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail” while in fact he was in Argentina cavorting with a woman who wasn’t his wife.

That scandal didn’t harm Sanford too badly. He ended up in another public office, Congress, which contains its share of fellow rascals.

Then I mentioned that Sanford actually has spoken the truth about Donald J. Trump and the assorted difficulties in which he has become entangled. I noted that Sanford has spoken truthfully about how the president’s troubles are self-inflicted and that Trump should stop resorting to the “fake news” dodge to divert attention away from the kerfuffle that is threatening his presidency.

“Yeah,” our friend responded, “Sanford knows plenty about which he speaks.”

So he does. With that I’ll give Rep. Sanford plenty of props for saying out loud what all of his fellow Republicans ought to be declaring to the president.