Donald Trump and "fake news": is he actually a fake president?
By Daniel J. McLaughlin
Donald Trump has a different name for bad news: he likes to call it "fake news", and dismisses it along with the mainstream media (the fake news media, as he likes to call them).
In his parallel reality, bad means fake, and it is an easy enough shout for his movement to understand and obediently react with. When they cry foul, Sky News notes, he and his movement cry fake. However, stories such as the Russia investigation are determined by a matter of facts, and conclusions are formed from them. They may or may not implicate the Trump family, but it will be a test for the call and response movement of the President.
He also may not like the bad - er - fake news that he is struggling to crack above 40 per cent in the approval ratings, with a recent CNN poll showing that just 38 per cent of Americans approve of the President, compared to the 56 per cent who disapprove of Trump.
The President has, as expected, shrugged it off, accusing the polls of being "phony" and called them "Fake News Suppression".
This is the typical response to negative press from Trump who has transformed the White House into a "constant positive feedback loop, punctuated by acute instances of narcissistic injury", Vanity Fair argues. He surrounds himself with yes men, loyal insiders, confidants, and family members. For the President, they add, confirmation bias is not simply a bi-product or a feature of the media diet he has arranged in the West Wing; it is a way of life.
Fake news is not to blame for his coverage in the media, according to The Hill, the "fake president" is. He is "arguably the most disliked, disapproved of and disliked president in history", and that's after only 200 days in office. They argue only a fake president would spend so much time watching television, and spend so little time learning about policies, including health care. He has failed to pass even one major piece of legislation during the first seven months of his presidency, and that's with a Congress his party controls.
If you can't beat them; join them. If you don't like what they're saying; change the conversation. Donald Trump's team have launched their own news series to tackle the bad - er - fake news about the President. They have hired former CNN and pro-Trump journalist Kayleigh McEnany to deliver the good word about the former businessman. The news episodes, posted weekly on Facebook, feature McEnany sat in front of a blue Trump-Pence themed wall, promising viewers to give "the real news". So far the series has made no mention of the Russia investigation, despite promising "nothing but the facts".
What Donald Trump calls the fake news may actually be the inconvenient truth for the President. The truth hurts; but lies can be even more damaging.