What is fake news? Is it just our own tendency to listen only to what we already believe? Is it only what we take as true without evidence? Or, more likely, untrue.
These were thoughts which came to me as I listened to Indivisible, an NPR program tracking Trump’s first 100 days (no, they’re not already past). In addition, it occurred to me that I may also suffer from almost exclusively trusting in NPR to present the truth. “Also” in the sense that we all do that. With our own preferences, of course.
I don’t know when I gave NPR my trust, but I did. And, having done so, what now? Do I trust my own reading of Trump? NPR certainly has a lot to do with that. I think virtually nothing he says can be viewed as true. Maybe that’s unfair. Maybe NPR is as biased as Trump says they all are. Still much of it was in his own words. I also think he is just odious.
Maybe it’s all fake news.
What do I hold onto?
I have long thought Trump uses his disregard for the press as a tool. Now that he is president, he seems to have added the bully-pulpit to his repertoire. By continuing to call the press liars, and by using the bully-pulpit that came with being elected as a megaphone, he has corrupted the entire concept of the truth.
In addition, from his stance as president, he has dislodged my faith in the judgement of so many of my peers. So many of them just seem to believe him just because he is the president. And the more often he says it, the more likely people begin to believe it. Of course, there’s also the “I agree with him” factor.
Things have never been so weird.