The Problem with Calling Bad Press Fake News

President Trump is content painting bad news about his administration as fake news.

The current state of politics has cast reporters and journalists as the bad guys and scapegoats, and it is extremely dangerous. President Trump and a Republican party that seems hell bent on skewing the facts have decided that journalists are to blame for simply doing their job — reporting and having educated opinions.

You can’t call bad press fake news. This is a tactic that is repeatedly used by President Trump. This tactic has also shown prevalence even here at North Dakota State. Comments of disdain and even comments directed directly at staff members are not rare. This shows that people are unable to accept other opinions, or even real-world events happening outside their doors.

Over the past few months, we have heard reputable news sources called fake news over and over again. This casual brushing off of an entire reporting staff is not to be taken lightly.

Journalists, student journalists included, are tasked with a major responsibility: being educated about what is happening and reporting it to the people the best they can. While editorials have a bias, it is hard to present facts as bias. Debating facts has become a normality in the age of ‘alternative facts.’

Global warming, a commonly attacked scientific fact, isn’t any more a leftist problem than for anyone else. It is real for everyone, even if you decide to ignore any news about it and claim scientific knowledge to the contrary. Sadly, the nation is run by a man who uses this tactic.

This is one of the hardest things to watch in the Trump era of politics. What is right for you isn’t right for me? That is something that we used in preschool; it is time to grow up and smell the truth, dammit.

Just last week Trump rolled out a tweet proclaiming that clean coal was the future for the United States.

“It is finally happening for our great clean coal miners!” @realDonaldTrump Nov. 2.

He then posted a video from Fox News talking about the increase in production of coal over the past year. This tweet displays that Trump has no idea what clean energy is because the words clean and coal shouldn’t be anywhere near each other in a sentence.

If you hate the fact that work equals force multiplied by distance, you can’t change it with a tweet, Mr. President. It is a simple fact.

Another one of Trump’s favorite stories to bash is his collusion case with Russia. This case has led to the arrest of a former campaign advisor. Granted, this is a breaking story and, while it may be easy to paint someone who has all their friends being investigated by the FBI as the bad guy, it isn’t my job to do that.

Nonetheless, Trump makes sure that the country sympathizes with him. Remember that time he told a group of graduates about being the worst treated president ever?

Last May during a graduation for Coast Guard cadets Trump stated, during his speech:

“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately, especially by the media. No politician in history — and I say this with great surety — has been treated worse or more unfairly.”

Imagine having your graduation hijacked by an emotionally torn businessman who wants to pout about how the news is beating him up with dreaded things like poll numbers, facts and the words he said. Also, does he know that some presidents have been assassinated? Wouldn’t you say they were treated worse? I mean, maybe not by the media, but come on.

That is what it was like at that graduation. If only we were all so lucky.

Likewise, do you remember Trump’s inauguration and that whole snafu with Sean Spicer? Yeah, that was not the largest crowd of all time like Trump promised. A picture is truly worth a thousand characters on Twitter, Mr. President.

The fact of the matter is virtually no journalists, from large media organizations and newspapers, seek to skew the truth, rather they are some of the most qualified to talk about current situations.

What is the point of having a free press when we decide to discredit anything that conflicts with our worldviews?

“Freedom is the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.” George Orwell had journalism all figured out. Perhaps he had a good idea on what the political culture would look like in 2017 because, at the moment, we have a president who refuses to hear negative critiques.

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