“Fake News” A Testimony from a Enemy of the People

Riley Sims, Reporter

Ever since President Donald Trump was elected, he has consistently attacked the media for reporting what he calls “fake news.” He has discouraged people from reading articles and news sources that he has labeled as fake news, even when the articles report real information. He has insulted the profession of journalism and has, in some ways, challenged journalists’ first amendment right to free speech. He needs to show more respect to the media and not attack them for the facts they report.

The public have been reading President Trump’s tweets about news outlets reporting fake news. Journalists are paid to write and report what is going on in the country, even when certain people don’t like the facts. Sure, certain news outlets have been critical of Trump’s presidency so far, but they have a right to be critical about decisions and actions from the White House.

There are many types of articles a journalist can write; news, editorials and features are just a few. Readers who are unfamiliar with the different types of writing can misinterpret the meaning of an article as a result. Not all articles are unbiased. Some are meant to be opinionated and demonstrate the writer’s point of view.  The most vocal news outlets are usually the ones who get chastised by President Trump. They have a right by law to express their opinions and some even clarify that it is an opinion piece, yet still get labeled as “fake news.”

Back in February, Press Secretary Sean Spicer held private press conferences with only select media outlets, leaving others without access. Press conferences are a way to inform the public about what events are happening on behalf of the president. By only allowing certain media outlets to come, the public has limited and biased access to what is currently happening. Without a wide variety of news outlets, the public risk only having biased media report news. Thus, President Trump is creating his very own “fake news.” Everybody should be able to have access to all different types of media, and the president’s restrictions are unethical. If he wants real news then he should let everybody have access to this information and respond to it how they like.

Late night shows like Saturday Night Live have performed comedy skits about this issue. One such skit portrays Spicer insulting certain media outlets. Other parts of the skit included a CNN reporter in a cage and Spicer (played by Melissa McCarthy) making fun of a  New York Times reporter. When certain reporters asked questions, he would say, “It’s your words not mine.” Though it was a comedic skit, it portrayed the real life resentment some staff in Trump’s office have toward reporters.

The journalism community has been criticized when really, most journalists are reporting facts. There are some media outlets who report fake news, and the public knows they are unreal (also known as tabloids). Our own president has insulted, disrespected and belittled media outlets that have been around for decades and are highly regarded by the public. We live in a country where the media has the right to report whatever they want, in their own format, without governmental control. Other countries don’t have that right, and we sometimes take that for granted. It is about time our current White House leaders stop shooting the messenger.