Aside from his unsupported belief that Hillary Clinton was the most corrupt candidate ever, there was one guiding theme to Trump’s presidential campaign. That theme was that he was at war with a corrupt and dishonest media. Such ideas have persisted even after Trump taking the White House. He has frequently bashed various outlets as “fake news.” The president has even gone so far as to start posting news videos on his Facebook page. These segments, overseen by his daughter-in-law Lara Trump, seek to give the impression that they alone offer the unvarnished truth.
Of course, the idea of the president having his own media outlet is more than a bit unnerving. After all, state controlled media outlets are a common theme in authoritarian states. Trump’s media ventures have been attacked as nothing more than propaganda. After all, given that they are posted on his Facebook page and anchored by his daughter-in-law, it is understandable that the coverage would be positive of Trump and his administration. There’s a reason there are various ethical rules and guidelines regarding how members of various professions should interact with their families. Even if this coverage were unbiased, it still gives off the appearance of bias.
Lara Trump, on the other hand, does not see anything wrong with what she’s doing. In an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, Trump argued that if the media had treated her father-in-law fairly then they wouldn’t have to resort to putting out their own new stories. Of course, one of the problems here is that it can be difficult to discern when you, personally, are being treated fairly. It is all too easy for people to take any critique of their actions as some sort of personal attack. Reporting news that Trump doesn’t like doesn’t make the media biased. In fact, reporting news that politicians doesn’t like is one of the main reasons we have an independent press in the first place.
In regards to the charges of propaganda, Lara Trump replied that it is only propaganda if it is false. Though, even that isn’t entirely accurate. Propaganda doesn’t have to include lies. It merely has to be curated and delivered in such a way as to influence the opinion of viewers towards the aims of those in power.
For more information, you can check out the full interview below.
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