NEW YORK, January 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump let CNN have it Wednesday, telling its correspondent in a heated exchange at his first press conference as President-elect, “You are fake news.”
The criticism came in response to the cable outlet’s handling of an unsubstantiated report apparently commissioned last year by political opponents to smear Trump.
Trump and CNN's Jim Acosta scrapped as Acosta attempted to ask a question after the President-elect said it was disgraceful for intelligence agencies to have allowed the release of information that turned out to be false and fake, comparing it to actions of Nazi Germany while also criticizing both CNN and BuzzFeed for their parts in it.
The story has dominated the news cycle for several reasons. Not only has the reporting of the two outlets been called into question, there's the dubious “Trump’s Russia ties” storyline and the public quarrel between intelligence officials and the incoming president.
At the same time, even with the story still having many moving parts, the “fake news” issue is back on the front burner.
Fabricated news by fabricated outlets and others unleashed countless Internet hoaxes and fake stories last year in the months leading up to the election. The pranks and frauds came from forces seeking Internet clicks for either revenue or fun.
The result was egg on the faces of many in the media, social and otherwise, for being taken along with media consumers.
Another outcome was the creation of an excuse for the left to explain Trump’s surprise election victory over Hillary Clinton – that stupid Americans believed negative fake news on Clinton, driving them to vote for Trump instead.
The logic, likelihood and insult to millions of Americans included in that theory notwithstanding, the other result was media outlets trying to save face and moving to crack down on “fake news.”
And now there are liberal and left-leaning characters taking steps that quite obviously threaten conservative, pro-life, and other traditional values reporting.
The “fake news” label is often bandied about as derogatory toward anyone the user might view negatively. The fear is that censorship is on the horizon, in particular for media outlets and their users who desire deliverance from the bias of the mainstream media.
All things considered and even as specifics continue to unfold, Trump seems to have some justification in his use of the fake news term on Wednesday.
CNN has defended its decision to partially report on the dossier, later published in full by BuzzFeed, and called on Trump transition officials to identify any inaccuracies.
But the war between Trump and CNN didn’t start Wednesday.
The President-elect called the media out for bias regularly during his campaign. In particular, he pointed to CNN for downplaying the level of his support and for highlighting fake news intended to smear him, such as violence at his rallies, revealed to be created and funded by Democrat operatives.
Indeed, the media, along with the left overall, went into meltdown after Trump won the election, betraying their bias through horror at the election outcome and embarrassment over having been so wrong about the presumptive Clinton win.
And we must not forget sympathetic portrayal of the spate of anti-Trump violence from Clinton supporters in the days after the election.
So Trump might be given a pass when looking at the equation from its beginning.
“Mr. President-elect, that’s not appropriate,” Acosta had defiantly told Trump yesterday for saying what he did about CNN and not allowing him a question.
While some level of press access to the presidency is protocol and there are those that have lamented an anticipated closed door for media with the Trump administration, Wednesday’s press castigation by Trump might just be the latest lesson for the liberal media elite.
Trump won’t be standing still for the media’s established liberal narrative in covering him, and he might just be the biggest thing right now standing between the American people and a mistrusted media.
There is debate over how it was handled on both sides.
Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer apparently told Acosta that Acosta was the one who was not appropriate in the exchange. Meanwhile, countless reporters have publicly supported Acosta for what he did.
But it is worth noting there was twice applause in the room after Trump said what he said about CNN and BuzzFeed, which he called a failing pile of garbage, and the need to apologize for falsely implicating one of his employees.
Acosta repeatedly and forcefully pursued the question with Trump, who told him no, and the tussle ensued, with Acosta persisting and Trump telling him to be quiet while he gave the floor to another outlet’s correspondent.
“Go ahead,” Trump told another reporter, continuing, “No. No,” as Acosta adamantly interposed, and, “Go ahead. Go ahead,” to the other reporter.
“No, not you,” Trump told Acosta. “Your organization is terrible. Your organization is terrible.”
“Don’t be rude. Don’t. Be. Rude,” he said. “No, I’m not, I’m not going to give you a question. You are fake news.”
Gary Bauer in his Campaign for Working Families End of Day report posed an interesting question about Trump’s exchange with Acosta.
“Can you imagine any reporter behaving this badly with Barack Obama?” Bauer asked. “By the way,” he continued, “Obama prosecuted more journalists and whistleblowers than all previous presidents combined. You would think journalists would be outraged with Obama. Instead, they swoon over him. So you know it's all about ideology.”
The former presidential contender and conservative advocate also stated, “In all my years in Washington, I have never seen the political and media establishment so committed to destroying an incoming president.”
We don’t yet know everything about the unsubstantiated report, which had been circulating among the media for about a year but went unreported until now.
But we do know that Trump will continue to push back when he perceives an attack, he won’t play by the assumed rules, and he is loyal to his people. He said the two outlets owed one of his staff lawyers, Michael Cohen, an apology for implicating him by name with the unconfirmed dossier.
We also know the establishment media is probably in for a rough ride with Trump, one that’s not necessarily undeserved.
And we know the bane of fake news remains a problem for everyone.