Has anyone else noticed that Donald Trump is deliberately trying to convince people that the so-called mainstream media is lying about him, and that they shouldn’t listen to it? I’m quite sure others have noted it. Trumps trying to foster the myth that all the news outlets in America are biassed against him, and he’s actually doing a fantastic job. I watched a couple of Young Turks videos recently; one was about a defence report Trump apparently hadn’t read according to the Turks. But it seems to me they missed the point: in his tweets, trump was saying not that he hadn’t read it, but that the report actually praised him and said what a marvellous job he was doing contrary to what the mainstream media was saying. He wanted people to believe the opposite of what the news outlets were telling them, assuming they hadn’t read the report itself.
The other video was about the arrest of Roger Stone in connection to the Russia election rigging affair. According to the Turks, the republicans were up in arms about the way the FBI had treated stone: how dare they treat this slimey little p’tahk like the criminal he obviously is, they said. But again the turks failed to pick up on a crucial point: they mentioned that, according to stone, after the cameras stopped rolling, the cops had treated him gently and cordially. That is, all the drama of the arrest was just a show put on for the media. He was trying to plant the idea in people’s minds that they were being actively deceived by the news channels, and his arrest wasn’t as harsh as they made it seem. If the FBI in fact treated him civilly, he couldn’t be such a criminal, could he?
In both cases, we see quite an insidious narrative being put forward: Trump and his friends want people to believe that the media is manipulating them, they can’t trust it so they should listen only to them. That strikes me as very dangerous indeed. Of course, one should never trust the media completely, and you should take your information from as many varied sources as you can; but Trump and co. seem to want people to only listen to them – everything else is ‘fake news’. In fact, the way in which Trump demands to be seen as the only reliable source of information, inflating himself above all others, a great man done down by a biassed, hostile media, seems to me quite fascist. At the very least it smacks of the conspiracy theory bullshit increasingly being spewed by the far right both here and in the states.