U.S. President Donald Trump has begun to apply the term “fake news” to a lot of different things lately, from respected media outlets like the New York Times to polls that paint him in a less than favorable light.
However, a new poll suggests that the term has virtually no meaning at all.
Last fall, when the term “fake news” first entered into the political discourse, it generally referred to websites that looked like reliable news outlets, but actually existed simply to spread untrue stories. Since that point, the term has been applied to a myriad of things of which it’s generally not applicable. The term has shifted to being used as a way to attack any news source or article that is seen as being at all inconvenient.
It’s no secret that the President has waged a war on the media. Trump has both online and in press conferences referred to media outlets like CNN, CBS, ABC, and more as “fake” or “fake news” simply because they report on stories that are anything shy of praise for him. He has effectively demonized the press in one giant temper tantrum because he can’t handle criticism, especially for the many false statements — or as Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway likes to call them, “alternative facts.”
Many have attacked the President for reacting in this way. Simply because he does not like a headline or story does not mean that it becomes “fake news.”
To be clear, "fake news" does not equal stories that are unflattering.
— Arnie Seipel, NPR (@NPRnie) February 16, 2017
Certainly much to Trump’s dismay, a new poll shows that his now-signature term has lost all meaning.
The results of the poll show that:
“60% of Americans believe that Trump and his advisers say things that could be described as fake news at least sometimes, with 35% saying they say such things most of the time. Just 25 percent think the White House rarely or never traffics in fake news.
Mainstream news outlets fare only slightly better, with 62 percent saying the mainstream media report fake news at least sometimes, although just 24 percent think they do most of the time. Only 27 percent believe the mainstream media rarely or never reports fake news.”
At this point, the term “fake news” has been applied to so many things that it’s truly lost it’s meaning. If, as the numbers show, so many Americans believe that certain outlets eschew “fake” news with some regularity, it goes to show that whatever the term was initially supposed to mean has completely been lost. However, the poll does show one very important thing: people are actually seeing Mr. Trump and his administration for what they truly are.
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Slant.