On Saturday, President Trump had a campaign rally where he — among other things — falsely claimed that the night before, there was a immigration-related security incident in Sweden. On Sunday, after being called out for his lie, he blamed Fox News for it.
Most people and commentators have focused on the fact that the President, once again, tried to spread a complete and utter fallacy — and it was not his only one of the event. And there is absolutely no question that this President’s penchant for stating patent, demonstrable lies is beyond jaw-dropping.
However, it is also important to start pointing out another completely baffling fact: this president’s complete comfort with citing various news sources — some credible and some completely not — as justification for his claims, particularly as they relate to international terrorism.
It is just not acceptable for the President of the United States to source his statements regarding international terrorist events to news organizations.
When it comes to terrorist attacks, the President is the source for news organizations, not vice versa. Even if the president learns of something by watching a TV show, it is his duty to then go to his national security team, to the nation’s intelligence agencies and intelligence chiefs, and find out the veracity of the story and then, what they are doing about it.
The American people should be outraged that their president is no more informed about the non-event in Sweden than what a Fox News personality said on his show. They should be alarmed that his entire depth of knowledge on the non-event is what was aired in snippets. And it should terrify them that their president is prepared to act on the words of people he sees on TV, some of whom are known to spread complete falsehoods.
Fox News is certainly respected by millions as a news organization, but even Fox viewers would agree that it is not a substitute for the nation’s intelligence agencies or its military.
The press and the nation not only must call out this president on his lies and hold him accountable, but also call him out on his completely unacceptable sources.