Fake news – censorship

Donald Trump’s crusade against what he describes as ‘fake news’ is a potential danger to us all.  His fake news is anything he doesn’t like.  Criticising news reports is one thing, but then excluding media organisations from press conferences or briefings because of their ‘fake news’ is tantamount to censorship.  It could lead to news reports moderated to appease Mr President – then we would have Fake News.

There is no doubt that reporting, especially political reporting, is often (perhaps always) tainted with prejudice – written in a way that presents the writers opinion.  Perhaps all of what we read is ‘fake’ to some extent.  We often believe we should ‘read between the lines’.  When something (with which we are familiar) is reported, errors are often apparent.  Unless this represents deliberate falsification, it is quite different from reporting (or not reporting) on the basis of what pleases a political leader.  This is what we accuse the North Koreans, Chinese and Communists of.

The media often appear to take a phrase or word used by a politician and turn it into something far more extreme than any of us would have considered it to be – in search of the headline, scandal, intrigue?  It often develops into that more extreme situation – is this as a result of the reporting or do reporters read between the lines to arrive at the truth?  Or is this fake news?

Did a man put himself forward to occupy what would appear to be the most powerful political office in the world, without understanding what politics was about?  Did he not understand that every move he makes, every word he says will be scrutinised, questioned, criticised – aggressively?  Did he think everyone would like him?  Does he think he should silence those who don’t?

It is very early days in this president’s term of office – there is time for sense and sensibility to prevail – or Congress may become a very Bleak House.