Is Trump Succeeding At Discrediting The Media?

Is Trump Succeeding At Discrediting The Media?

A string of mistakes have given him legitimacy.

In the last couple of weeks, a succession of reporting errors by networks and organizations such as ABC, CNN, and The Washington Post have both fueled and given undue legitimacy to President Donald Trump’s claims that any news network that criticizes him is “Fake News.”

This came to fuller light after Monday's press brief at the White House when Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that "bias in news reports has gotten 'out of control' and 'should be taken seriously,' dismissing journalists who attributed recent errors to honest mistakes that were corrected." Huckabee added that these were not honest claims but rather that the news networks were purposely putting out false and inaccurate reports and statements with malicious intent.

This followed a string of errors, and retractions, such as Brian Ross at ABC News misreported that in his candidacy Trump told Michael Flynn to contact Russian officials, when in reality he did so after his election; a CNN report stating that the Trump campaign received an email from WikiLeaks before the DNC was hacked; and a tweet by Washington Post Journalist Dave Weigel that depicted a misleading photo of the crowd size at Trump’s recent Florida rally. While all three networks apologized and retracted their statements/misleading photos, of course, this was not going to be enough for Trump, who used this to fuel the narrative of fake news and call for the firing of the Washington Post reporter. During the rally in Florida, Trump said, “Did you see all the corrections the media has been making?” He added, “They’ve been apologizing left and right.”

The real concern is that this string of mistakes by these prominent news networks might be feeding and even providing some form of legitimacy to Trump’s claim of fake news. According to The New York Times, “The barrage has deepened concern, among media executives about what they see as a concerted campaign to discredit independent journalism.” Statistically speaking, whether or not this campaign to discredit the media is actually working is a point without contradictory answers.

“A Politico/Morning Consult poll found that 46 percent of Americans believe the news media makes up stories about the president. A separate study by the Poynter Institute, on the other hand, found that overall trust and confidence in the news media, while low, has actually increased somewhat under Mr. Trump. The partisan divide, however, has become pronounced among Democrats, nearly 75 percent expressed confidence in the news media compared with only 19 percent of Republicans.”

The different sets of data make it difficult to determine whether or not Trump has been successful, but it cannot be denied that he has gotten quite lucky lately with these mistakes and retractions. Not to mention the irony of an individual that regularly both posts and says wildly inaccurate and outright false things to be pointing fingers at others. Just last month, "Mr. Trump shared with nearly 44 million Twitter followers anti-Muslim videos without verifying them; one purported to show a Dutch boy being beaten by a 'Muslim migrant' who in fact was not a Muslim migrant. Mr. Trump issued no correction, and Ms. Sanders at the time said it did not matter if the video was real because 'the threat is real.'" However, it has become abundantly clear by now that the President cannot be held to standards, and definitely should not be used as a standard for others.

Cover Image Credit: G. Crescoli / Unsplash

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Scriptures: 

James 1:2-4

John 14:27

Romans 16:20

Luke 21:19

Psalm 118:5-6

Psalm 94:19

Romans 8:28

Psalm 55:22

Isaiah 40:31

Psalm 16:8

Joshua 1:9

Proverbs 3:5-6

1 Peter 5:7

Prayer:

Dear Lord, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart. My soul is like the wild sea. I can't seem to find my balance so I stumble and stress constantly. Give me the strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you've laid out for me. I trust your love, God, and know that you will take this stress. Just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night, please bring me clarity with the light of God.

-Amen

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Winfrey's Words On Sexual Assault Touch The Hearts Of Men And Women

The speech that has the nation talking.

For those of you who missed the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 7, Oprah Winfrey, the first black female recipient of the Cecil B. deMille Award delivered a rather ground-breaking speech on behalf of African Americans and women at large leaving many speculating her potential candidacy in the election of 2020.

In 1952, the annual tradition of presenting the Cecil B. deMille Award began when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association resolved to institute an honor that would recognize an individual's "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment."

It may have come as a surprise that Winfrey's acceptance speech did not touch on any of her previous achievements as many recipients of the award have in the past. Rather, she took this opportunity to share a movingly vivid recollection of a historical event involving the rape of a young African American woman by the name of Recy Taylor.

As Winfrey shared, one evening in 1944, Taylor was returning home from church when she was seized and blindfolded by six white men who raped and left her on the side of the road. She lived to be 97 years old and drew her last breath in her sleep at a nursing home located in Abbeville, Alabama on December 28, 2017.

Winfrey's speech reflected heavily on sexual harassment and the Me Too Movement. Me Too, or #MeToo, sparked recently in October among several other social media hashtags designed to encourage women to speak out and share their stories of sexual violence.

However, what remains undoubtedly most commendable about Winfrey's speech is the fact that while she clearly stands for women, their rights, and the stand against abuse, she continues to remain an equalist. This is seen through her careful and brilliant use of language. While she spoke of our ever-growing strong feminine power, she did not use concrete words. Words that would suggest men as the inferior. In fact at the end of her speech, she did just the opposite. She brought the viewer's attention to men as well resulting in the crowd—comprised of thousands of women and men—rising to their feet for a standing ovation.

Cover Image Credit: abc NEWS

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