Nathan Wellman | February 6, 2017
Apparently in this new era of alternative facts, the fact checkers have become America’s greatest enemy.
President Trump’s ongoing war against the media escalated today, when he suggested that the press was maliciously covering up terrorist attacks in foreign countries to make him look bad.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” Trump said to assembled military leaders at United States’ Central Command. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that. So today we deliver a message in one very unified voice to these forces of death and destruction: America and its allies will defeat you. We will defeat them. We will defeat radical Islamic terrorism and we’re not going to allow it to take root in our country.”
Of particular interest is the timing of Trump’s mentioning of the “very, very dishonest press,” which comes almost immediately before the statement of “We will defeat them.” While the Trump administration would likely officially state that this pronoun applied only to terrorists, the ambiguity of the language has only intensified fears that Trump is deliberately discrediting the media, who have often served as inconvenient fact-checkers to his relentless hyperbole.
Trump has made a point to label the media as “dishonest” at just about every major public appearance that he’s made since becoming president, harkening back to his largely successful “Crooked Hillary” branding strategy.