Just like anything else Trump touches, this is becoming ridiculous in a hurry. The term “fake news” did not start out as a joke, it was a serious problem in our most recent election. But it seems that it’s rapidly becoming an all purpose catch phrase for anything someone doesn’t like.
At it’s start, fake news was exactly what it sounds like, online websites that peddled lies, propaganda and conspiracy theories as actual news, by making them look as real as possible whenever they could. The danger of this type of nonsense became clear when some feather brain walked into a suburban DC pizzeria called Comet Ping Pong and loosed off 3 shots from an automatic rifle, claiming he was there to investigate the child sex trafficking charges he had read about online. Thankfully no one was hurt, but fake news was a real thing, with real consequences.
After the election, Mein Trumpf found that his Presidential honeymoon cruise was being held on a garbage scow. His inauguration crowd was sparse, which was gleefully reported on by the media. The Women’s March the next day put it to shame, which the press also reported. Trump’s polling numbers sank like they had cinder blocks tied around their ankles. The answer was as plain to Trump as the orange cotton candy on the top of his head. It was “Fake News”. Yeah, that was it, anything that reflected poorly on the Tiny Thumbs Diktator was media lies, nothing less.
So, now you have the legitimate media calling out and warning of the danger of fake news from online outlets pretending to be legitimate news organizations. And then you have a President calling any legitimate news coverage of him that he doesn’t like as fake news. Forget the fact that it’s honest reporting, it’s fake. But here is where it really gets ridiculous.
Ever since the fall, the Wall Street Journal has been coming under fire, both from the electronic media as well as editorials and stories in other newspapers for their coddling attitude towards Trump. Apparently it has had an effect on morale at the WSJ. But Politico is now REPORTING that the WSJ editor in chief, Gerry Baker has gone off of the rails. In a speech to his troops Baker said;
During a more than 30-minute opening address, according to people who were present, Baker said that anyone who claims the Journal has been soft on Trump is peddling "fake news," and that employees who are unhappy with the Journal's objective, as opposed to oppositional, approach to Trump should work somewhere else. He also read out a list of Trump headlines that he offered as evidence the Journal's coverage has been sufficiently strong and critical. (My bold)
O.K., so now in addition to the media calling fake news what it really is as a warning, you have a President that calls legitimate reporting fake news if he doesn’t like it. But to have an allegedly legitimate newspaper calling other legitimate newspapers and media outlets peddlers of fake news just because Baker doesn’t like the tone of the coverage his paper is receiving? Where does this shit stop? Because this is not a joke, and this circular firing squad about fake news has a very real and scary implication to it. And that implication is that if we keep sliding down this slope, the ultimate effect will be that it will numb the meaning of the phrase “fake news”, and people will begin to ignore both the phrase and the concept completely and stop even filtering their information for accuracy. Everything is bullshit.