I don’t think that a lot of you would be incredibly shocked to find out that Donald Trump and journalistic integrity go together like one-third of the medieval European population and a couple of rats with fleas.
Fake news is a phrase that’s become synonymous with him. Out of sheer curiosity and because I wanted to have a good laugh, I looked up “How many times has Donald Trump said ‘fake news’” and discovered that from Jan. 10, 2017 to Oct. 17, he’s furiously sent out tweets containing the phrase “fake news” 132 times, according to the Trump Twitter Archive.
What I’m trying to get at here is that Trump is in the midst of a full-out war with any news outlet that dares to accuse him of doing anything wrong, because apparently we’re now living in a totalitarian dictatorship.
During a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Trump said that it’s “disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write,” and later went on to tweet, “With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License? Bad for country!”
A station can have its license taken away if they’re deemed to be reporting fake news, according to Time, but it becomes tricky when it’s time to decide what’s actual fake news and what’s just a matter of opinion.
Going by President Trump’s Tweets, his line of thought seems to be that any station who criticizes him should have their licenses revoked. On Oct. 17, he typed, “So much Fake News being put in dying magazines and newspapers. Only place worse may be @NBCNews, @CBSNews, @ABC and @CNN. Fiction writers!”
I think it’s just a hard concept for me to grasp—the President, who swore to protect the First Amendment, doing the exact opposite.
In his ideal fantasy world, we would never hear about all the awful things he’s done and continues to do because he thinks that being able to carry a gun into a McDonald’s is more important than one’s freedom of press and free speech.
If you go on The Equinox website, one of the first things you see is the mission statement: “The Equinox exists to promote the free flow of information, to protect the First Amendment, to stimulate high standards in the practice of journalism and to foster excellence among student journalists.” I’m reading four separate articles on this issue at the moment because I wouldn’t be here reporting this if it wasn’t true.
Last time I checked, we don’t live under a dictatorship where being censored by the government is okay, and it’s totally unacceptable for the leader of any country to make people fear journalists and the media because what they say might not be flattering.
Trump is a grown man who should be able to accept that even if he was the best president we’ve ever had, someone out there would still find something to complain about. It’s just human nature.
Curiosity got the best of me again, so I went back to my old friend Trump Twitter Archive and did a little bit of snooping. Searching ‘Obama’ shows 2,561 Tweets, and searching ‘Hillary’ shows 761.
As you can probably imagine, none of them seem very flattering, like saying that “Crooked Hillary Clinton blames everybody (and every thing [sic]) but herself for her election loss,” on Sept. 17, or “We have made more progress in the last nine months against ISIS than the Obama Administration has made in 8 years.”
What I’m trying to get at here is that Trump can dish it out but he can’t take it.
I honestly hold very little sympathy for President Trump. All he’s doing (and by extension, those who still follow him) is picking and choosing what to believe right now.
He had no problem saying that the first thing he would do as president would be throwing Hillary Clinton in jail because she’s a crooked thief, but the second CNN gathers around and says something mildly criticizing and all of a sudden they’re liable to have their licenses taken away.
It’s this sort of childlike mentality he holds that makes it hard to believe he’s actually in charge of running the country right now and makes for an interesting next four years.
Izzy Manzo can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org