Posted by David Oates 4 months ago

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More to the point, it’s propaganda.

I get it that Trump, and apparently about a third of U.S. voters, believe he’s gotten a raw deal. Even if that were remotely true, the idea of launching his own “news” channel in response would do little to stem this tide.

I use the term in quotes because Trump’s family does not appear to be employing any journalistic standards in this new venture. Instead, the live streaming channel will be all Donald, all the time. If the first episode is any indication, many of the successes Lara Trump, a former TV producer at “Inside Edition” and daughter-in-law to the President, attributes to the Commander-in-Chief, are factors well beyond his control. In fact, the jobs report undermines Trump’s claim that immigrants are taking positions away from Americans. I am going to go out on a limb and say we won’t see that factoid displayed on his station.

Herein lies the rub. While some instances of poor reporting most certainly exist, the Trump Administration butchers the term “fake news” by attempting to label stories that put the President in a bad light as such. They just don’t like it. So in response, they’ll launch a broadcast network, take selected facts out of context, and package it in a program that touts itself as real news.

Bullshit.

What the President is now doing, through his family and advisors, is creating a vehicle by which he can validate propaganda. While this strategy has origins in legitimate marketing tactics, such as when companies “super size” their blog, YouTube channel, social media and email properties, Trump crosses the line when he espouses his media as credible, fact-based news. At best, many of the stories are half-truths and ones that lack integrity. This channel should be considered a disinformation engine that, if left unchecked, could fuel the second coming of Joseph Goebbels

If we are to remain the world’s shining example of the ability of a nation to self-govern, we must support a free and independent press. While the delivery of news may differ from generations past, its role in society should not wane. That means businesses, government agencies and other entities must work with these outlets, not against them. What’s more, they should not discount bad press as fake news if the report is accurate. Instead of disputing it, organizations should be more introspective and solve the problems the stories present. 

Trump, his family and his administration have shown that they are not willing to do so in the most visible way, and I’m embarrassed for the stain that now appears in the White House as a result.

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