Apparently Donald Trump never learned the lesson “Those who live in glass houses ought not throw stones”. Over and over again, he complains about other people doing things that he himself does. Trump just took to Twitter to complain about the light media coverage of “all the purposely false and defamatory stories put out this week by the Fake News Media.”
Very little discussion of all the purposely false and defamatory stories put out this week by the Fake News Media. They are out of control – correct reporting means nothing to them. Major lies written, then forced to be withdrawn after they are exposed…a stain on America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2017
Perhaps Trump expects us not to remember that he recently had his press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, tell us that truth in the media doesn’t matter – when asked about the unverified anti-Muslim videos retweeted, Sanders said it didn’t matter if they were real or not and that we were focusing on the wrong thing if we focused on that, because the threat is real and that’s what matters. According to CNN, Sanders said, “Whether it is a real video, the threat is real. That is what the President is talking about, that is what the President is focused on is dealing with those real threats, and those are real no matter how you look at it.”
Trump let a spokesperson for the administration say that the distinction between real and fake doesn’t matter, but now he suddenly cares about the truth? What he cares about is silencing opposition, silencing criticism.
As you might expect, people reacted rather strongly to what Trump said, saying, for instance that he is “the stain on America”.
YOU are the stain on America. 65% of Americans say so.
— Ironic Phase (@IronicPhase) December 10, 2017
Another person called Trump a liar and linked to the New York Times article that described Trump as watching four to eight hours of television every day and consuming a dozen diet Cokes every day.
Liar. Go back to watching TV and put your dentures in a glass.https://t.co/Nfdfu68uL5
— Sean-Dylan (@SeanDylan13) December 10, 2017
Another person called Trump the “Liar in Chief” and said Trump calls it fake news because they call Trump out on his lies or because they disagree with Trump:
This from the Liar in Chief. You've lied so much that everything you say needs to fact-checked. You call it fake news because they call you out on your lies and flip-flops or they disagree with you. Give me a break. Ugh.
— Lucienne J Daigle (@LucienneDaigle) December 10, 2017
This person said Trump had stained the office of the Presidency forever, and they showed in their image that they’d rather red state Texas have gone blue state (Democrat):
No, the office of the Presidency is forever stained, as is our standing and reputation around the world.
— BN (@NixBryan) December 10, 2017
This person commented that Trump doesn’t like the free press because they are a check on Trump’s power and Trump is trying to convince his supporters to believe only what he says:
You're trying to undermine the free press because they're a check on your power. Once you convince your supporters that they can't believe anything but your own words, you'll be able to take away their rights while they cheer you on.
— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 10, 2017
It is true that the media has faced increased scrutiny of late for errors they have made, but they have also been quick to correct those errors. According to The Hill:
Recent errors by CNN and ABC News offered a major blow to media outlets that have come under criticism for inaccurate reports about the president and his campaign. Trump and his allies were quick to seize on media errors this week, in particular an inaccurate CNN report that tied the Trump campaign to a WikiLeaks hack and an erroneous ABC report that said Trump directed collusion with Russia before he was elected.
One also wonders if the fast pace of the news cycle, where there is pressure to come out with a story almost as soon as something happens, has led to more errors. Before the advent of internet news and 24-hour news coverage on television, newspapers and television news programs had time to check and recheck their facts, but there is not time for that now.
Trump has seized on this opportunity to say that the presence of some errors means the news is wholly fake. That does not logically follow. Trump often leaps to claiming things about an entire group from a few incidences within that group – it’s how he gets from a few instances of felonious crime by undocumented immigrants to claiming that undocumented immigrants as a group are dangerous criminals. It’s how Trump gets from a few errors in the news media to the news media is “Fake News”, except Fox News, which the President stands by, but the nation thinks is the fakest news of all, according to a recent Rasmussen poll and reported in The Hill.
President Trump tells lies when it suits him – about attendance at his inauguration, about his accomplishments, about his approval ratings, for example. He is happy with a lie as long as it is on his side.
Trump also doesn’t see the distinction between a lie (intentional) and an error (unintentional) – the mainstream media does make mistakes, which they must correct, but a mistake is not the same thing as a lie.