The New York Times Editorial Board doesn’t approve when President Trump calls out “fake news.”
In an editorial entitled “The True Damage of Trump’s Fake News“, the Board makes the claim many people, including Republican lawmakers, dismiss Trump’s attacks on left-leaning outlets. They use “Republican lawmakers” as if that group stands on the side of the Times. I would bet those same lawmakers had a different take during the Obama administration.
The piece made reference that Malaysia passed laws imposing prison sentences for organizations publishing “fake news.” The Board criticizes that the term “fake news” is too vague and places too much power in the hands of government officials.
Yet, the Times supported President Obama’s efforts in using executive orders for immigration and gun control.
The article turns to Trump’s criticism of Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post. While they acknowledge Amazon effects on small businesses, they declare it’s about the Post holding Trump’s administration accountable.
Apparently, the board forgot the Podesta emails showing collusion between the Obama administration and Post reporters.
In typical board fashion, the editors rely on studies from left-leaning groups and individuals to characterize Trump’s efforts as damaging.
“Trump seems to be succeeding just through the force of his daily verbal assaults in shaking trust in the press and in other institutions that are crucial to our democracy,” says Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University.
This is the same Knight First Amendment Institute that is suing President Trump for blocking people on his personal Twitter account declaring this violates the First Amendment.
The piece never points out the damage caused by Trump. Instead, they refer to other countries where Trump has no influence since the media has said the world hates Trump.
The media have published much more negative articles than any preceding administration. CNN’s repeated false reporting is a favorite target of Trump and his supporters.
Since the election, social media giants spent time and money analyzing election influence from their platforms. The worry is that international groups may adversely influence voters.
After Facebook and Twitter learned of potential Russian involvement, they built detection algorithms to help find threats. Facebook even changed its procedures for publishers.
If Trump lost the election, would Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms spend capital fighting fake news? Would Cambridge Analytica become news? Would users still be in the dark about how the privacy of their personal data?
Funny that social media is addressing its image. The media, not so much.
The real damage is obvious from the sunlight President Trump brought on the institution. The proprietors do not wish to recognize their past sins. It isn’t Trump, nor Republican leaders and liberal lackeys they need to convince. It’s the citizens they swore to protect.
Save your posturing, Editorial Board. Fix your house first.