Fake News: A Review of Trump’s Attacks on Mainstream Media and How They Affect Society

Dean Sanchez

Donald Trump has been like a well-oiled machine, endlessly spewing fake news and proven falsehoods as President of the United States.

But even before he took office on January 20, 2017, Donald Trump and fake news have been hand-in-hand. Tweeting from his personal Twitter account, @realdonaldtrump, Trump has had unfettered access to share anything and everything.

The New York Times reported in December that Trump has told approximately 103 lies or falsehoods, compared to President Obama’s 18 over eight years. According to The Washington Post, “In 365 days, President Trump has made 2,140 false or misleading claims.”
Some might remember the bizarre controversy surrounding President Trump’s inauguration last year, with Trump’s former Press Secretary Sean Spicer telling reporters the crowd gathered “was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe,” which was patently false. President Trump’s inauguration was estimated to have about 600,000 in attendance, which pales in comparison to Obama’s 1.8 million in 2008.

He’s even held a “Fake News Awards” to celebrate his most despised news networks, such as CNN, MSNBC, and The Washington Post.

But, of course, he won’t slander Fox News, the least truthful of them all.  

In a 2012 study conducted by Fairleigh Dickinson University, the largest private university in New Jersey, “researchers asked 1,185 random nationwide respondents what news sources they had consumed in the past week and then asked them questions about events in the U.S. and abroad. On average, people correctly answered 1.6 of 5 questions about domestic affairs.” However, Fox News viewers answered 1.04 questions correctly. Participants who don’t watch news answered 1.22 questions correctly. Although it’s not a huge margin, it’s evident that viewers of Fox News, as of 2012, are less informed than people who don’t even watch the news.

Trump’s favorite news network is a bastion for false information and pandering to its conservative audience’s greatest fears.

Trump’s slander of “fake-news networks”  such as CNN has fostered a public opinion of distrust in certain circles in America. Earlier this month, a Michigan man, Brandon Griesemer, made threatening calls to the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. In the 22 messages, Griesemer also made disparaging statements about Jewish people and African-Americans.

Some of the excerpts from the calls are as follows:

“Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down,” said Griesemer.

“I am on my way right now to gun the f****** CNN cast down …. I am coming to kill you,” said Griesemer.

Griesemer was charged with transmitting interstate communications with the intent to extort and threat to injure. Having a President who time after time again disrespects and attacks the press is going to lead to others like Griesemer. Inscrutable people who are angry at the system and deem themselves to be judge, jury, and executioner.

And who can forget when Trump so boastfully declared that approximately 3 million undocumented immigrants illegally voted.

However, there were never any statistics to back up his claims. A full year after the election, there still hasn’t been any evidence to prove his point. Fact-checkers such as Snopes and Politifact simply believe “[the] figure may just as well have been plucked out of thin air.”

It’s been proven time after time that Donald Trump’s word of mouth can’t be trusted.

He’s lied his way to the top, and he’ll say anything he can to stay there.