The White House’s big ‘fake news’ cop-out

Sun, 2017-02-26

by Aaron Blake | The Washington Post 

Few political terms have been weaponized as quickly and effectively as "fake news." It's now a mainstay of the Trump White House's rhetoric and a pithy talking point for conservatives. In just eight letters, it says pretty much everything they believe about the mainstream media.

It's also a cop-out.

The biggest problem with "fake news" is that it's a blanket dismissal that requires no elaboration or proof. And almost without fail, this White House doesn't provide any.

The Fix's Callum Borchers noted something unusual about the White House's press strategy this week: It has a tendency to not comment on negative stories until they have already published, and then it simply dismisses them out of hand and attacks the media. It happened with this week's AP story on a draft Department of Homeland Security memo that entertained the idea of dispatching 100,000 National Guard troops to deport illegal immigrants. And it happened with CNN's story about Kellyanne Conway being pulled off TV by the White House.