Combating fake news does not mean the phrase should be the newest political bludgeon to be wielded against the press. It doesn’t mean we should each pick our favorite spokesperson, take what they call fake as law, and then shun those sources. It means encountering the world and the media with an open mind and a critical eye.
In their response to today’s events, CNN argued in a statement that all of its reporting is carefully sourced, and challenged: “Given that members of the Trump transition team have so vocally criticized our reporting, we encourage them to identify, specifically, what they believe to be inaccurate.” But if Trump and his team are refusing to acknowledge CNN as a legitimate inquirer, this is a question Americans deserve to have answered and which other organizations should be posing. The president cannot be allowed to discredit coverage they dislike, and it’s up to the press to hold them to that standard.
Perhaps it’s too much to ask that we trust our media, but we should at least believe it when we have reason to.
Background: at Trump’s first press conference in 6 months, he refused to take questions from a CNN reporter during an argument in which he told the reporter “Quiet”, “Your organization is terrible,” and “You are fake news.” The report that garnered his ire is here.
I don’t watch or follow CNN and have no particular fondness for it, but it is the most-watched television news network in the country. I continue to be worried by the way that Trump and his allies characterize all media that criticizes or portrays them negatively as “biased” (in Pence’s words) or “a failing pile of garbage” (in Trump’s). Perhaps in an attempt to address those concerns, Trump complimented other media at his press conference, and claimed he has “great respect for freedom of the press and all of that.”
As he continues his history of blacklisting organizations whose coverage he finds distasteful, the praise sounds more like a reward for playing nice than any genuine commitment to the principles of independent press. Say what Trump likes to hear, get a cookie: “I’ve just gone up a notch as to what I think of you. OK? All right.”
As I’m writing this, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith has defended CNN’s reporting, saying “It is our observation that [CNN] correspondents followed journalistic standards.” CNN did not publish the unsubstantiated reports (describing potential blackmail material that Russia may have against Trump) that could reasonably be described as fake news. (Buzzfeed published those reports, while noting that they were unconfirmed. I’m not defending Buzzfeed here; whether Americans had a right to see that material is a valid and interesting but separate question.)
CNN’s coverage focused on the fact that American intelligence agencies appear to consider the allegations in the reports - whose contents it did not disclose - a legitimate security threat, presenting “classified documents” about them to both Obama and Trump. The seriousness with which US intelligence chiefs consider the reports is very real news. And the possibility that Trump’s followers will take him at his word in undermining that vital reporting scares me.
We need objective reporting. But on the issue of whether the media will be able to criticize the incoming administration from up close, the press cannot remain neutral.
For the hundredth fucking time, not reporting on something isn’t fake news. The Trump Administration needs to shut up about fake news when they have the motherfucking crypt keeper over there spewing lies like Regan MacNeil’s split pea soup.
It was weird, CNN was intentionally trying not to talk about Trump’s little crowd size stunt because they viewed it as an intentional attempt to sway media coverage away from the protests. That only lasted like an hour though because talking about Trump is way better ratings.
So now we get talk about how silly Trump is breaking Democratic norms that his supporters will blow off as “CNN lul fake news” and further dive into their holes.
Instead of talking about the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS OF PEOPLE WHO OPPOSE DONALD TRUMP AND EVERYTHING HE STANDS FOR.
CNN is literally a joke. They insult journalism, and everything journalists stand for. How can you claim that calling a news organization as ‘fake news’ is just as bad as calling an African American the 'N’ word? They’re going on the defensive because Trump has labeled them as fake news, and rightfully so. If you read Tucker Carlson’s book 'Politicians, Partisans, and Parasites’ he goes through what it was like to work for CNN. They favored the more liberal guests than they did their own conservative host. If he made a remark about a democrat, he was told on an earpiece whilst on air, to tell the audience he was joking. And when he didn’t do as he was told, they showed it on the TelePrompTer. CNN is a partisan news organization that spreads fake news, there’s nothing bipartisan about the.