Published in the Center City Concerned Citizens Review, Philadelphia, PA October 2017
By Joseph Batory
The current president likes to tell the American people to beware of “fake news” and regularly bashes the legitimate news media. This despotic technique is not new. It has had many parallels in history. Hitler regularly utilized the term Lügenpresse (translation-“the lying press”) to demean journalists and destroy the free press in Germany. Likewise, the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin discredited the free press by calling them “enemies of the people.”
So what is “fake news” and where is it coming from here in 2017? Well, look no further than the White House.
The Washington Post has recorded that, at the six-month mark, Trump’s “public statements” have included 836 false or misleading claims.
The New York Times has further documented hundreds of “public misstatements and falsehoods” by Trump. (Even Trump’s political rise was built on an unsubstantiated allegation about Barack Obama’s birthplace).
The New York Times offered this summary about Trump’s record of public misstatements: “There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. But no other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.”
Here are just a few examples of fake news from the president:
“The coverage about me in The New York Times … has been so false and angry that the Times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.” This apology never happened.
In his exaggeration of the crowds at his inauguration ceremonies/parade, Trump bragged: “Now, that audience was the biggest ever…” Simply not true!
Another Trump fantasy: “Obama had my wires tapped in Trump Tower during the election process…McCarthyism…Sick!” No evidence exists.
Trump has said that “the USA is the highest-taxed nation in the world.” We’re not!!!!
“Nobody cares about my tax returns except for the reporters.” Trump announced. But poll after poll shows that most Americans want to view Trump’s tax returns!!!
In his venomous rhetoric about the Affordable Health Care Act, Trump alleged that “Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them.” Actually, the Affordable Health Care Act has increased coverage by about 20 million people in the USA.
Trump has bragged many times about “creating business investments and job increases” but many of these deals had been previously negotiated/created before he assumed power. An example is that Trump made numerous claims that he reduced the cost of Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. But that price cutback was well in the works before Trump was elected.
Trump has proclaimed “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years…” Not true…the USA murder rate was higher in both the 1980’s and the 1990’s
In bragging about his presidency to date, Trump noted that: “We’ve signed more bills — and I’m talking about through the legislature — than any president, ever.” Another fabrication by Trump…Clinton, Carter, Truman and Roosevelt had signed more bills at the same point in their presidencies.
So Fake News is a reality. But the primary source is coming from the White House on a daily basis.
Incredibly, Republican Senator Bob Corker has said of Trump he is guilty of “constant non-truth telling.”
Small wonder that a recent Quinnipiac Poll has revealed that 60% of Americans now say the president is dishonest!