Donald Trump’s War of the Words, targeting his largely imaginaryfoes in the press is nothing new. Starting in 2015 and throughoutthe campaign he began denying press credentials to various mediaoutlets, including Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Politicoand last but not least, the Washington Post. Even Fox News did notescape Trump’s wrath. Washington Post:
Recall that during the Republican primaries, he said the network should be “ashamed,” characterized its debate moderators as “not very goodor professional,” claimedthat “other networks seem to treat me so much better” and brieflyrefused to appear on Fox News because it “has beentreating me very unfairly.”
Since the election Trump has coined the term “fake news” whichis defined simply as any coverage of Trump which is negative. Anycoverage which is positive is deemed “real news.” Now, it goeswithout saying that a great many people, hearing all the time aboutfake news believe that it exists. Politico recently did a poll whichconcluded that 46% of people surveyed believe in fake news. Thatgot Trump excited:
It is finally sinking through. 46% OF PEOPLEBELIEVE MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS ORGS FABRICATE STORIES ABOUT ME. FAKENEWS, even worse! Lost cred.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2017
Now here’s where it gets comical. Trump is all for thestatistic, because it serves his purpose. Damnably, the outlet thatgenerated this statistic is none other than one of the outlets onTrump’s blacklist, namely Politico. Here’s what he thinks ofthem:
The president’s exact language about Politico is “the dumbest and most slanted of the political sites” —a “phony,” “third-rate,” “dishonest” “scam”published by “losers,” “clowns,” “serioushaters” and “some very untalented reporters.”
Trump’s position is clear: Don’t believe Politico.
Except this time! Believe Politico when it says that 46 percentof Americans think that major news outlets (like, say, Politico)make things up.
Actually, this is not the only exception.
“Greatarticle,” Trump tweeted when Politico ran a story under aheadline that said he “has a point” about political correctness. Hehas tweeted links to Politico reports on such subjects as praisehe received from Sarah Palin, his vision of peace in the Middle East and Sean Hannity’sstrongratings.
So Trump’s message is you can’t believe the media, unless theyare telling you something good about me, then you can believe them,but only until they start to say something bad about me, and that’sfake — so the only thing that you can trust the media to tell youis this one poll where it shows that you can’t trust the media totell you anything. Or something like that.