As you may already have witnessed, one of the biggest users and creators of fake news is Donald Trump. Just recently, he claimed to have invented the term ‘fake news’, which is fake news in of itself. Or, after many different American agencies conducted investigations on whether there was Russian-American collusion during the elections, he repeatedly denied there was any. Later on however, it was revealed that Donald Trump’s son, Donald Jr. held a meeting with several Russian officials and representatives. The investigation lasted a long time, and with every new piece of information on the meeting, the name of another Russian official was uncovered by the media (Rubin, 2017). Trump and his son however are not the only ones in the administration to use fake news to their advantage.
After Trump’s inauguration, Sean Spicer, the press secretary claimed that the crowd at the event was the biggest presidential inauguration crowd ever. This was found to be far from the truth. When Donald Trump’s senior adviser Kellyanne Conway was pressed to say why Sean Spicer stated that falsehood in an interview with NBC’s host Chuck Todd, the answer was not satisfactory in the least: “You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving – Sean Spicer, our press secretary – gave alternative facts.” To this, the host responded “Alternative facts aren’t facts. They are falsehoods.” After Conway tried to move the discussion topic to policy, Todd insisted “What was the motive to have this ridiculous litigation of crowd size?” Conway did not answer this question but rather blurted out that calling out the president and his administration for their ridiculous claims was not Chuck Todd’s job. He followed up insisting she answer the question. To this she might have given one of the most absurd answers ever heard by a member of Trump’s administration: “Think about what you just said to your viewers. That’s why we feel compelled to go out and clear the air and put alternative facts out there.” Both Trump and Spicer later on complained about the comparison photographs of Obama’s inauguration and Trump’s, at the CIA headquarters and the White House briefing room, respectively. According to CNN, Trump was enraged at the photographs (Bradner, 2017).
It is good news that the Trump administration is not as skilled at skewing public opinion as the Putin administration. It is scary that they are continuing to attempt to lie to the public in order to follow the path of global warming denial and increasing inequalities in the world.
Bradner, E. (2017, January 23). Conway: Trump White House offered 'alternative facts' on crowd size. Retrieved November 16, 2017, from http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/22/politics/kellyanne-conway-alternative-facts/index.html
Rubin, J. (2017, November 14). Opinion | What more evidence of collusion do you need? Retrieved November 16, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2017/11/14/what-more-evidence-of-collusion-do-you-need/