Fake News? Fake President! | Guest Opinion

  • Monday, January 30, 2017 9:30am
  • Opinion

By Mel Gurtov

The Donald Trump “way” is to shout foul any time he is criticized, for as we have discovered, this man is innately incapable of acknowledging error, much less apologizing.

The media are an easy target because Trump, like all presidents before him, knows that the power imbalance in his favor makes it very costly for the media to fight back when the president punches.

Whereas Trump has no problem crossing the line in saying that the media “are among the most dishonest human beings on Earth,” the media — at least the mainstream media — respects the line. Can you imagine the Washington Post calling Trump the most dishonest person on the planet — even though he certainly is? (OK, he’s merely one of the most.)

Except that now many in the media are fighting back, actually calling a lie a lie.

And it’s obvious from Trump’s and his team’s responses that they have been hurt. Note not only Trump’s silly, childlike charge of “fake news,” the now-familiar “you’re failing” (shades of Meryl Streep), and the lie about an apology. Also note the time of his tweets — 5 o’clock in the morning, for goodness sake. The Times and the Post are keeping him up at night! Even after his alter ego, Steve Bannon, said the media should “keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile.”

“The failing @nytimes has been wrong about me from the very beginning. Said I would lose the primaries, then the general election. FAKE NEWS!” (5:04 AM – 28 Jan 2017)

“The coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost has been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers. They got me wrong right from the beginning and still have not changed course, and never will. DISHONEST.” (5:16 AM, 28 Jan 2017)

We should encourage a sharp response to a disrespectful president and dictatorial administration.

In fact, I’d like to see the media issue a collective message to Trump that upholds freedom of the press, recites the intrinsic importance of speaking truth to power in a democracy, and in the strongest possible language vows to resist any attempt to muzzle the media or any government agency.

Mel Gurtov, syndicated by PeaceVoice, is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University and blogs at In the Human Interest.

More in Opinion

Today’s cartoon for Friday, Feb. 21

Today’s cartoon is by Dave Granlund, PoliticalCartoons.com.… Continue reading

The Paradox of Climate Security | Robert C. Koehler

If there’s anything that’s going to shatter national borders and force humanity… Continue reading

Donald Trump’s Plan for America: Make It Ignorant | Wim Laven

On February 10th, the White House released its budget for the fiscal… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Thursday, Feb. 20

Today’s cartoon is by Stephane Peray, Thailand.… Continue reading

Without Civility, Our System Doesn’t Work | Lee H. Hamilton

When he was just a young teenage schoolboy, George Washington sat down… Continue reading

The Wall: Separating Democracy From Voters | Robert C. Koehler

The mainstream media imposes some serious certainties on the 2020 Presidential Election… Continue reading

Today’s cartoon for Wednesday, Feb. 19

Today’s cartoon is by Peter Kuper, PoliticalCartoons.com.… Continue reading

Poor Bill Barr | Mel Gurtov

Attorney General William Barr’s interview the other day in which he said… Continue reading

Sooner or Later, Klobuchar Will Take the Prize | Peter Funt

Amy Klobuchar’s results in Nevada, Feb. 22, and South Carolina, Feb. 29,… Continue reading

Most Read