Fake News Is A Problem Of The Right, Not The Left

Fake News Is A Problem Of The Right, Not The Left

The President and his administration have called the media “the enemy of the American people"

Ever since the rise, and eventual election, of Donald Trump to the Presidency, “Fake News” has been burned into the everyday American’s lexicon. The President and his administration have called the media “the enemy of the American people.” Most recently, the President tweeted out a gif of a WWE fight wherein the head of someone being tackled was replaced with the CNN logo.

If you were to ask President Trump or, I would imagine, many everyday Americans about problems in the media they might be keen to suggest Fake News as the answer. Though false stories are certainly an issue in American politics, they much more frequently take hold and impact opinions on the Right, not the Left.

There are certainly times when the Left-wing media has made mistakes, such as recently with CNN. There have been blatantly false stories passed around Left social media circles, as well, such as the fake Trump quote from an interview with People magazine. However, the stories that are most widely circulated and cause the most harm typically come from the Right Wing of American politics.

Take, for instance, the racist conspiracy theory pedaled by our current President that President Obama was born in Kenya. Despite releasing his birth certificate, Obama had to deal with this for the entirety of his eight years in office and the controversy was “debated” (in so much as something objective can be debated) all across cable news, especially on Fox.

The myth still persists to this day with more Republicans believing Obama was not born in the USA than believing he was. This dangerous, racially-charged, objectively false story has permeated for far longer, with far more people believing it, than anything on the Left.

Take also, for instance, the Pizzagate controversy. This was a story concocted by far right media personnel alleging that Hillary Clinton was running a secret child sex slavery ring in the basement of a pizza shop in Washington DC. This was pushed by many deranged individuals on the Right, including the son of a member of the Trump administration, and even led to an armed man showing up and threatening the owners of the innocent business.

Finally, sites like Breitbart and Infowars have not only managed to gain hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of readers, but they have also gained both positions in and the attention of the Trump administration. Despite headlines like “Would You Rather Your Child Have Feminism or Cancer” and “Bill Kristol: Republican Spoiler, Renegade Jew” on far-right Breitbart, its former founder Steve Bannon has found a spot in the Trump White house as Donald Trump’s top adviser and was initially named to the National Security Council. Meanwhile, Alex Jones of the “the Sandy Hook Shooting didn’t actually happen” fame has allegedly been called by President Trump for advice.

Fake News is, no matter the source, dangerous and potentially detrimental to any democracy. This is why Democrats need to stop ceding this word to our Commander-in-Chief, who has no idea what Fake News actually is or where it is coming from. Democrats must fight as hard against actual Fake News as Donald Trump fights against any media outlet willing to criticize him.

Cover Image Credit: News Hub Nation

Popular Right Now

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Ilhan Omar Is at Best Foolhardy and at Worst, Yes, Anti-Semitic

Her latest statements seem to lack substance, motivation, or direction.


I find the case of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be a curious one.

Specifically, I am referring to the recent controversy over select comments of hers that have generated accusations of anti-Semitism. In all honesty, prior to doing research for this article, I was prepared to come to her defense.

When her comments consisted primarily of "Israeli hypnosis" and monied interest, I thought her wording poor, though not too egregiously deviated from that of most politicians in the current climate of bad behavior. After all, Israeli PACs surely do have a monied interest in the orientation of United States policy in the Middle East. Besides, if President Trump can hypothesize about killing someone in broad daylight and receive no official sanction, I don't see the need for the House of Representatives to hand down reprimand to Rep. Omar for simply saying that Israel may have dealt wrongly, regardless of the veracity of that position.

And yet, seemingly discontent that she had not drawn enough ire, Omar continued firing. She questioned the purported dual loyalty of those Americans who support the state of Israel, while also making claim that the beloved former President Obama is actually not all that different from the reviled current President Trump.

In short, the initial (mostly) innocuous statements about the United States' relation with Israel have been supplanted by increasingly bizarre (and unnecessary) postulations.

Those latest two controversies I find most egregious. Questioning the loyalty of an American citizen for espousing support for a heavily persecuted world religion and in defense of a refuge for practitioners of that self-same religion that has existed as an independent state since 1948, seems, in really no uncertain terms, anti-Semitic.

After all, is it not her own party that so adamantly supports persecuted Palestinians in the very same region? Is it not she and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) (who is not without her own streak of anti-Semitic controversy) that have rejected challenges to their own loyalty in being ethnically Somali and Palestinian respectively? Is her claim not akin to the "racist" demands that Obama produce proof of his birth in the United States, and the more concrete racism that asserted he truly was not? And (if you care to reach back so far) can her statement not be equated to suggestions that President John F. Kennedy would be beholden to the Vatican as the first (and to date only) Catholic to hold the presidency?

From what I can discern amongst her commentary, in Omar's mind, the rules that apply to her framework on race, ethnicity, religion, and culture as sacred idols above reproach do not extend to her Jewish contemporaries.

Oh, and may I remind you that over 70% of Jewish Americans voted for Hilary Clinton in 2016.

And yet, beyond even this hypocrisy, is the strange disdain Omar suddenly seems to hold for Barack Obama. Even as a non-Democrat, while I can find reason for this, it is still largely perplexing.

To begin with, I recognize that Ilhan Omar is not your prototypical Democrat. She would scoff at being termed a moderate, and likely would do the same to being labeled a traditional liberal. While she doesn't identify as an outright democratic socialist, one would have to be totally clueless to avoid putting her in the company of those who do, such as Tlaib or Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

As such, she's bound to have some critical evaluations of President Obama, despite the lionizing that the Democratic establishment has and continues to engage in. Two points still stick out to me as obvious incongruities in her statement, however.

First, Obama and Trump are nothing alike. Again, this coming from someone who does not regularly support either, I can at least attempt to claim objectivity. While Obama might not have been faithful to all the demands of the far-left during his presidency, his position on the political spectrum was far from the extreme bent that Trump has ventured into.

Secondly, there is the style of the two men to consider. While Obama had his share of goofs and gaffes (I still think it somewhat juvenile that he often refused to say "radical Islamic terrorism" when referring to Islamist extremists) he pales in comparison to Trump. Every week Trump has his foot caught in a new bear trap. Obama is enormously tame in comparison.

And in addition to all of that, one must beg the question of Omar's timing. With Republicans emboldened by her controversies and House Democratic leadership attempting to soothe the masses, why would Omar strike out at what's largely a popular figure for those that support her most? There seemed no motivation for the commentary and no salient reasoning to back it up, save that Omar wanted to speak her mind.

Such tactlessness is something that'll get you politically killed.

I do not believe Barack Obama was a great president, but that's not entirely important. I don't live in Ilhan Omar's district; her constituents believe Obama was a great president, and that should at least factor into her considerations. Or maybe she did weigh the negative value of such backlash and decided it wouldn't matter? 2019 isn't an election year, after all. Yet, even if that's the case, what's to gain by pissing off your superiors when they're already pissed off at you?

You need to pick your battles wisely in order to win the war, and I'm highly doubtful Omar will win any wars by pitching scorched-earth tactics over such minute concerns.

Her attitude reminds me not only of that of some of her colleagues engaging obtusely and unwisely over subjects that could best be shrugged off (see the AOC media controversies), but also some of my own acquaintances. They believe not only in the myth of their own infallibility, but the opposition bogeyman conjured by their status in a minority or marginalized group. As the logic goes, "I'm a member of x group, and being so gives me the right to decimate anyone who has any inclination to stand against me in any capacity, tit for tat." So much for civility.

I initially came here to defend Rep. Ilhan Omar, and I still do hold to that in certain cases. The opposition to some of her positions is unwarranted. She is allotted the freedom of speech, as are all Americans.

And yet, in certain other cases she has conducted herself brashly, and, one could argue, anti-Semitically.

All I can say is that I am content living adjacent to Minneapolis, not in it. You'd be hard-pressed to find me advocating for leadership that makes manifest in such impolitic fashion.

Related Content

Facebook Comments