President Trump’s most memorable attacks against the media and his famous “fake news” adage started in December 2016, and neither have yet to let up. But why? It is reasonable to assume that Trump simply can not take the criticisms of his policies and administration with a grain of salt. Yet, his lash-outs towards the media makes the over-70-year-old president seem juvenile and insecure.
Nevertheless, the truth is out, and it comes as no surprise that his media bullying is all part of his master plan — his grand scheme. Follow along to learn true reason why President Trump attacks the media (page 6), plus some his most memorable and outrageous attacks.
1. Trump and the “fake news” of The Russia Dossier
The alleged conspiracy of misconduct between the Trump campaign and the Russian government in 2016 — better known as the Russia Dossier — sent the media and the brand new U.S. president into a tailspin. When it came to the light that wrongdoing may have occurred, Trump immediately took to his beloved Twitter account, claiming that the allegations were “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”
Next: Everthing is a sham.
2. “The Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost or nytimes”
By mid-2017, Trump had so loosely tossed around his “fake news” accusations that seemingly every media outlet (except for FOX) was in question, at least according to the Commander in Chief. In February, he tweeted that “FAKE NEWS media knowingly doesn’t tell the truth. A great danger to our country.” But it was in June when he threw some of the nation’s most reputable news sources under the bus by tweeting that “CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost, or nytimes” were all fake news outlets.
Next: The renowned news source find themselves on the Trump chopping block.
3. Trump’s claim that the New York Times is “A Fake News Joke”
The New York Times has existed as the leading and most reliable source of pertinent and current world news since 1851. That being said, mistakes are made and retractions and edits are republished. Yet, for Trump, the Times is just a big joke. In the wee hours of a June morning, the president took to Twitter once again in hopes of disparaging the diligent work of The Times. He wrote, “The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don’t even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!”
Next: Is the media the enemy?
4. Trump calls the media “the enemy of the people”
Sure, the media has a particular way of creating unrest in the nation, but so does the president. However, Trump took the name-calling to a new level when he took to Twitter in February 2017 claiming that the media is “the enemy of the American people.” His discomfort with the role of the free press struck an alarming closeness to that of Nixon’s 1972 statement that “the press is the enemy.”
Next: Landing an interview with the president-elect
5. CBS 60-Minutes reporter Lesley Stahl gets the scoop
When longtime CBS 60-Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl locked down the first interview since Trump’s 2016 election, she knew it would be big. She just didn’t realize how big. You see, before the actual interview, Stahl, alongside her boss, visited the president-elect at his Trump Tower office. What unfolded next may surprise you.
Next: The real reason he keeps attacking the press
6. Trump tells all (off camera)
Once Stahl and her boss were in Trump’s office, he quickly started disparaging the press. Stahl didn’t hold back in probing his motives, asking him, “You know, that is getting tired. Why are you doing this?” His response, unfortunately off camera, could not have been more clear. According to Stahl, he replied, “You know why I do it? I do it to discredit you all and demean you all so when you write negative stories about me, no one will believe you.”
Next: The greater implications of his accusations.
7. The bigger picture of the “fake news” accusations
News outlets in the United States intend to share the facts, no matter which direction the outlet leans. Since Trump has been portrayed in a less than favorable light by many news outlets, he uses his platform to denounce any unflattering claims, labeling the outlet as “fake.” While this tactic is clearly caddy, the trickle-down impact raises cause for concern.
Uri Friedman of The Atlantic explains that “By persistently hurling the fake-news put-down at nearly all the country’s leading news organizations, he is refashioning a vital democratic institution—the independent press—as an enemy.”