Trump Explicitly Defines 'Fake' -- And 'Corrupt'
Credit: Lazaro Gamio / Axios
May 9, 2018

I've said for a while, on Twitter though perhaps not here, that the conservative/Trumper definition of "fake news" is "news we don't like." Today, the president made that official during executive time:

He was spending his morning watching “Fox and Friends,” as he is wont to do, and up flashed a report from the Media Research Center stating that 91 percent of network news coverage of Trump from January through April was negative. The Media Research Center, we’ll note, is part of the conglomerate of conservative enterprises funded by Robert Mercer and his family, the folks that also funded Cambridge Analytica, Breitbart and former White House adviser Stephen K. Bannon.

But they know their audience, and their audience was watching.

Aaron Rupar of Think Progress writes:

Perhaps more explicitly than he ever has before, by writing “negative (Fake),” the president made explicit ... that he considers all negative coverage of him to be fake.

In addition, as he threatened news organizations with losing White House press credentials, Trump redefined another word: "corrupt." And now that I see what Trump means when he uses the word "corrupt," I realize I've been slightly wrong about him and his supporters.

I've said that we should stop expecting Trump fans to get upset about corruption in the administration, even though they've cheered Trump since 2016 for promising to "drain the swamp" -- my argument has been that Trumpers don't think "the swamp" is corruption. They think "the swamp" is their political enemies -- Democrats, Republicans who aren't sufficiently loyal to Trump, as well as the mainstream media, academia, Hollywood, and everyone else who's not a Trump superfan.

But now I see that Trump does oppose corruption. However, he defines "corruption" as "doing stuff he doesn't like." Trump wrote:

Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt?

He's not expressly saying that the press is being paid off to write negative things about him, although he might believe that (everyone knows that George Soros has infinite amounts of money, amirite?). He's saying that writing stories he doesn't like is a corrupt act, by definition.

So I guess Trump and his cult really do believe that "the swamp" is corruption. However, "corruption" is, among other things, writing stories Trump and the gang don't like -- which are, by definition, "fake news."

Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.