Trump Goes on Offensive Against Fake News

News: US News
by Stefan Farrar  •  •  January 25, 2017   

CNN latest target of president's criticism

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WASHINGTON ( - President Donald Trump is going on the offensive against the mainstream media. The 45th president is blasting CNN through his Twitter account, tweeting on January 24, "Congratulations to @FoxNews for being number one in inauguration ratings. They were many times higher than FAKE NEWS @CNN - public is smart!"

Throughout the campaign, the press and Trump had a contentious and bitter relationship.

After his ascendancy to the presidency, Trump has continued to call out the media for their bias. On January 11 at his first press conference after winning the election, Trump got into a heated exchange with CNN reporter Jim Acosta.

Acosta had shouted out, "Since you are attacking us, can you give us a question?"

Trump responded, "Not you. Your organization is terrible!"

Trump responded, "Not you. Your organization is terrible!"

Acosta pressed further, "You are attacking our news organization, can you give us a chance to ask a question, sir?"

Trump ended the exchange by saying, " Don't be rude. I'm not going to give you a question. I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news!"

Trump's anger was sparked by a "dossier" released by Buzzfeed and reported by CNN, claiming that Russian intelligence officials had compromising information concerning Trump. The report has since been debunked, and Buzzfeed published it even though it was unverified. Trump blasted the claims on Twitter, referring to the dossier as "fake news."

On January 11 Trump tweeted, "Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is 'A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.' Very unfair!"

He also tweeted later that day, "Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA - NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!"

Throughout the campaign, Trump repeatedly called out CNN and other media outlets for their liberal bias, and continues to do so as president. In the wake of his election, the New York Times (NYT) has even half-admitted that they were biased in their coverage of him.

In a public letter published after Trump's win on November 13, the NYT's publisher and executive editor wrote:

After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions: Did Donald Trump's sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters? What forces and strains in America drove this divisive election and outcome? Most important, how will a president who remains a largely enigmatic figure actually govern when he takes office?

The use of Twitter by Trump continues to be a way he bypasses the media and combats bias.

Alex Conant, a Republican strategist, remarked, "He's continued to do what has worked for him so well during the campaign in going around the media to get his message out. He also provokes fights with the media that are advantageous to him."

Micheline Maynard, a reporter for Forbes, commented, "Mr. Obama tweets a little bit, but it's fairly structured. This is not structured at all. You almost have to take the information as the starting point, because you can't simply repeat what he's tweeted. You have to give it a little bit of context."

In a Wall Street Journal article, Gerald F. Seib examined the mindset behind Trump's use of Twitter, claiming that he's using the social media platform to position himself for deals with other countries, to control the agenda and to create rabbits for others to chase.

"Early-morning tweets have a way of establishing what everyone else will be compelled to talk about that day," Seib commented.


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