Rarely is there a day when Donald Trump doesn’t take to Twitter to disparage the media.
And Wednesday was certainly no exception. In a tweet linking to an article by The Federalist, an anti-LGTBQA+, right-wing “news” outlet, Trump identifies 16 “fake” stories that have been published since his election victory.
’16 Fake News Stories Reporters Have Run Since Trump Won’ https://t.co/0dHld5kiVc
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
The Federalist is the epitome of the type of opinionated or advocacy journalism that Trump loathes when they are left-leaning. They’re a blog, for one, with about 58,000 regular viewers and are highly biased towards the right, or “conservative causes.” Taking a look at some of their most recent articles, that isn’t a hard conclusion to come to, with headlines like: “A Parent’s Guide To Not Transing The Kids” and “Would Beyoncé’s Babies Still Be Babies If She Chose Abortion?”
The first thing to discuss in relation to “fake” news is that there is a significant difference between unverified, or inadequately verified, and “fake” or untrue. The very first story that The Federalist claims is “fake” falls under that category, and it also isn’t really a story. They reference a particular tweet by an editor for The Guardian which was later deleted and acknowledged as not having been properly verified. All that this editor claimed was that in the wake of Trump’s election victory, a single support group told him that eight trans youth had committed suicide. This individual merely reported from an original source which is identified and presumably reliable.
Other media outlets elaborated on these reports by reaching out to the directors and other high-ups within LGBTQA+ suicide hotline services etc., who confirmed calls were received specifically relating Trump to their suicidal thoughts. The Federalist calls out the Mic for one example of a site that worked off of The Guardian editor’s tweet, but the tweet was removed November 10 and only the statement they were provided regarding hotline call rates remained.
The other “fake” stories can be and have been, in many cases, debated in a similar fashion. Some of these alleged fake stories include reports of “Resignations at the State Department” to “[Trump Moving] MLK’s Bust” to the “Climate Change Website Purge.” The latter of these, The Federalist identifies as fake because of the decision to call it a “purge” and not some other word.
With this tweet, Trump proves yet again he is happy to live outside of reality. He is happy to perpetuate fake news and “alternative facts” so long as all biases work in his favor, which is quite a frightening thing to be consistent with. He also furthers the claims that he is utterly obsessed with what the media is saying about him and his staff, rather than focusing on the important things: like making policies that make sense.
Feature Image via Getty Images/David Becker.