The epidemic of “fake news” is apparently so contagious it has spread to India. Ravi Prasad, the country’s Electronics and Information Technology Minister, claimed India is “helpless” in combating “objectionable content.” The Indian government has even threatened to jail people responsible for spreading that content.
Of course, the United States is not so overzealous, but it seems we are moving in that unfortunate direction. Ever since President Trump rightly weaponized that epithet against the mainstream media — as he did at a recent rally in Ohio — the establishment media and entrenched politicos have used “fake news” to delegitimize political speech with which they disagree.
Dave Schnittger, a longtime top aide to House Republican leaders, argues conservative news outlets undermine the congressional governing process. Another aide laments how such news pushes the Republican Party to the “anti-government, anti-compromise ideological right.” Others complain the conservative media are forcing members of Congress to embrace “extremist positions” for ratings and clicks.
And who can forget Joe Scarborough? The MSNBC host vocally defends CNN from the president, claiming the network — which has repeatedly bungled news stories about the White House and continues to propagate unfounded Russia allegations — “has more integrity on its worst day than Donald Trump has on his best.” (Like anti-Trump Democrats before him, Scarborough made sure to include the #RealNews hashtag.) He went on to praise CNN journalists, saying they should “take great pride in their work.”
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