President Trump’s Press Secretary Sean Spicer attacked and lectured White House correspondents for the way they covered the Inauguration, which turned Spencer into an internet trend “#SpicerFacts.” Spicer held a brief press conference on January 21, attacking “false” media reporting and disputed the turnout numbers of the Inauguration event.
The press conference featured images of the event, and Spicer read numbers off that he said were the “correct numbers” of Americans who attended the inauguration. Major news outlets have proven the numbers provided by the Press Secretary to be false, and Spicer today said that he “never had the intent to give false information.” At the end of the “press conference,” Spicer quickly departed the room and refused to take any questions from the press.
This behavior is simply just a continuance of President Trump’s attacks on the media and how him and his supporters feel as if the media is against their movement. Does it really matter how many Americans attended the ceremony? No. Does it really matter if the media is reporting estimates of how many Americans attended the ceremony? Well, to the President it does.
It is extremely ironic that our president disses the media on a regular basis saying that it was rigged against him throughout the election, meanwhile President Trump got significantly more coverage than any other candidate. Besides from getting the most attention, President Trump also received more positive press than former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
Before President Trump was sworn in, he held a press conference where he called CNN “fake news” and refused to take any of their questions. While many would argue CNN is a left-leaning news source, the President should not be discrediting any news network simply because he feels as if they are out to get him.
Some are comparing President Trump to dictatorships that criticize media networks and purposely discredit them in order to gain power. While President Trump may be a democratically elected leader, it is still extremely dangerous for an acting President to discredit news sources. Approval ratings for media networks is at an all time low, and millions of Americans simply do not trust news sources. This trend of disliking the media is why we now are living in a post-truth era.
People do not trust major news outlets, therefore they listen to sources that agree with their personal ideology and never those in opposition. This also contributes to the increase of fake news throughout most social media platforms, as more and more Americans will share “news” that supports their views. Many of President Trump’s most loyal followers do not even believe in fact checking, as they believe this is also the mainstream media trying to discredit the President.
Facts do not matter to many Americans anymore. Kellyanne Conway, an advisor to the President believes there is a such thing as “alternative facts” to facts. Do you know what an “alternative fact” is? I do, and it’s defined as something that is NOT factual.
President Trump and Sean Spicer do not seem like they will stop lecturing the media, and their followers do not seem to be giving in either. It is unclear what news outlets need to do in order to regain their credibility, but something must be done. If nothing is on, the post-truth era will just never end.