Peter Funt Peter Funt, 7/24/2017 [Archive]

Trump's Real Media Angle

Trump's Real Media Angle

By Peter Funt


Unless you're receiving the daily emails sent by Donald Trump and his team to supporters, you're not getting the full dose of venom that is being directed at the nation's news media.

A recent email from Trump himself begins, "Friend, I've said it before and I will say it again: the Fake News Media is the real opposition." He goes on to write that media are working "hand-in-hand" with "the Left," resulting in "an unbelievable lack of journalistic integrity."

The point of the email was to sell supporters "Fight the Fake News" bumper stickers. Trump claims to be victimized by "a 24/7 barrage of hit jobs [and] fake stories."

"The future of our great country," Trump writes in closing, can be protected if enough of these bumper stickers are purchased and displayed.

A few days later an email from Team Trump carried the subject line, "Official Poll." It declared: "Regardless of what we accomplish, the Mainstream Media peddles Fake News in order to mislead the American people."

The poll question was: "Do you think the Mainstream Media's coverage of President Trump is too negative?"

Note what's happening here. In the opening sentence supporters are instructed that media "peddles fake news" to mislead them. In the next sentence they are asked whether this is "too negative." The choices are "yes" or "no."

The email closes: "The President has asked us to reach out directly to our supporters to let us know what you really think."

Trump and his cohorts are seeking to brand news organizations as "fake," just as they branded Ted Cruz as "lyin'" and Hillary Clinton as "crooked." Say it enough, and impressionable supporters take it as gospel.

All this lays the groundwork for the really bad news almost certain to come from investigators looking into election tampering by Russia and the Putin regime's cozy relationship with Trump and his people. It's all fake!

In a chilling statement on CNN last month that went largely unnoticed, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Trump, spoke of discrediting journalists while taking presidential propaganda directly to the public through social media.

Trump's goal, she explained, is the "democratization of information."

Teams of social scientists and journalism professors might require months to fully unpack that remark.

Give Conway this much: she has a way of crystallizing Trump's disdain for journalism with Orwellian precision. It was she, you'll recall, who said the president was entitled to use "alternative facts." That, along with the administration's relentless campaign to brand negative reporting as "fake," seems to be what democratization of information is all about.

Consider the underlying message. If bypassing news media by Trump is, in fact, democratic, then reporters' efforts to gather, fact-check and contextualize news must somehow be viewed as un-democratic.

And there is Trump's real angle. Journalists covering this president are worse than fake. They are undemocratic, which is to say un-American. Coming soon to a bumper near you.

Building more walkable cities would be a step in the right direction.

---------

Peter Funt can be reached at www.CandidCamera.com

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, "Cautiously Optimistic," is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com. © 2017 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.

Download Peter Funt's color photo - Download Peter Funt's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Peter Funt's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

It's a Scorcher Out Theres a Scorcher Out There
By: Jeff Koterba

July 20, 2017

Wall to Wall Trump
By: Nate Beeler

May 22, 2017

Wall to Wall Trump
By: Nate Beeler

May 22, 2017

Tweety Birds
By: Nate Beeler

June 13, 2017

Tweety Birds
By: Nate Beeler

June 13, 2017

Trump and twitter
By: Tom Janssen

July 3, 2017
    

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]