Donald Trump’s War of the Words, targeting his largely imaginary foes in the press is nothing new. Starting in 2015 and throughout the campaign he began denying press credentials to various media outlets, including Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Daily Beast, Politico and last but not least, the Washington Post. Even Fox News did not escape 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 good or professional,” claimed that “other networks seem to treat me so much better” and briefly refused to appear on Fox News because it “has been treating me very unfairly.”
Since the election Trump has coined the term “fake news” which is defined simply as any coverage of Trump which is negative. Any coverage which is positive is deemed “real news.” Now, it goes without saying that a great many people, hearing all the time about fake news believe that it exists. Politico recently did a poll which concluded that 46% of people surveyed believe in fake news. That got Trump excited:
It is finally sinking through. 46% OF PEOPLE BELIEVE MAJOR NATIONAL NEWS ORGS FABRICATE STORIES ABOUT ME. FAKE NEWS, even worse! Lost cred.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 22, 2017
Now here’s where it gets comical. Trump is all for the statistic, because it serves his purpose. Damnably, the outlet that generated this statistic is none other than one of the outlets on Trump’s blacklist, namely Politico. Here’s what he thinks of them:
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,” “serious haters” and “some very untalented reporters.”
Trump’s position is clear: Don’t believe Politico.
Except this time! Believe Politico when it says that 46 percent of Americans think that major news outlets (like, say, Politico) make things up.
Actually, this is not the only exception.
“Great article,” Trump tweeted when Politico ran a story under a headline that said he “has a point” about political correctness. He has tweeted links to Politico reports on such subjects as praise he received from Sarah Palin, his vision of peace in the Middle East and Sean Hannity’s strong ratings.
So Trump’s message is you can’t believe the media, unless they
are telling you something good about me, then you can believe them,
but only until they start to say something bad about me, and that’s
fake — so the only thing that you can trust the media to tell you
is this one poll where it shows that you can’t trust the media to
tell you anything. Or something like that.