By Adam Zaki
Published: February 22nd, 2017
In President Trump’s recent claim that the news media is the “enemy of the people,” he once again shows his weaknesses in intelligence and awareness. His claims that sources such as the New York Times, CNN, NBC News, and “many more” are not the enemies of the president himself, but the enemies of Americans who consume this media, are absolutely absurd.
There is an extremely large portion of Americans that live very different lives than those that live in coastal cities such as New York. I’ve never been to the South, but from what I’ve learned about it, it seems like a different country. Members of government who follow and look to implement religious influence in government mimic a similar preach to the absolute like Joel Osteen. This religious ideology has no place in American government, but has slowly crept its way in along with the Trump administration.
Those like Vice President Mike Pence who come from this ultra right-wing perspective may be having a bigger influence in government than we think, as the personality of President Trump known by the American people prior to being president has completely changed since his campaign, and furthermore after his inauguration. Since his joining of the Republican party, Trump has flopped on many views that he once previously held, such as his stance on abortion; a move that brought him lots of ultra conservatives’ votes in his campaign.
President Trump has not been the only president to publicly bicker with the media. After Carl Bernstein went on CNN on Sunday saying that Trump’s attacks on the press are “more treacherous than Richard Nixon’s attacks on the press,” those who consume media must understand that everything they read must be fact checked. As one of the reporters whose reporting contributed to Watergate, Bernstein’s take is just as valuable as it is awakening.
With the FBI’s investigation into the Trump Campaign’s relationship with Russia, to the appointees in his administration that have risen so much controversy throughout the country, Trump’s consistency in the media is here to stay for the long term. As reporters continue to be disrespected by Trump, outlets will continue to publish stories about the lack of transparency in the organization, making speculations and defining narratives that aren’t based off of truth.
This conception of using facts to define truth is fading away into the interpretation of subjective news being interpreted as objective news. By allowing top access to outlets like Breitbart News to Trump and his administration, Trump is delegitimizing the function of journalism. His branding of legitimate news sources as fake news is subsequently promoting fake news like Breitbart at a viral level.
The Trump administration’s attempt for absolute control of the nation’s narrative of the press is a direct representation of the lack of respect the administration has for the intelligence of the American people. As many Americans are continuing to either completely buy or deny anything that President Trump has to say, we all need to make a change in the way we consume news at an individual level.
The access to all of this incredible technology comes with the responsibility of verifying sources of news. With the access to news wherever, whenever, and however the user wants it, the digital age demands responsibility of the consumer to make sure what they are reading is true before defining it as truth. If we can all make the decision to filter our news with multiple sources and not confirmation bias, we can eliminate the three-headed monster that fake news has become.