US President Trump has taken to branding all news unfavourable to him and his administration as fake news. Since rarely are the news stories favourable for him, practically all of them have been labelled as fake. Most, or almost all of them have been supplanted with stories with concorted facts and figure, or what are referred to as “alternative facts.”
As everybody knows – or ought to know- “alternative facts” are not “facts”. As pointed out specifically by Chuck Todd of CNN, they are “falsehoods.” Despite widespread protestations and mounting derision, the Trump propaganda machinery persists. It continues to spin and grind out its unique versions of the news, as though no one will be the wiser.
Why? Why does it persist? Isn’t it afraid that what it is spreading is so bald-faced that it will be easily recognised for what it is – a bunch of lies and fantasies? Obviously not. Apparently there is a big swathe of people who will believe whatever they are told. These are the legions of Trump fans, the real Trump supporters. In fact, Trump has up the ante recently by returning to the rally format – speaking directly to his voters – which got him elected.
For some time, I had remained puzzled. Why persist in an antic of telling lies and cooking up stories which the average reasonably well-informed person knows not to believe? Then it dawned on me that the average well-informed person is not the targeted audience of this perverted version of the news. There are legions of Trump fans who will eagerly lap up whatever is being thrown to them. These are the real voters, the real audience, that Trump is speaking to,
The strategy was admitted to in one of the statements that Trump made in a press conference he held last week. He said something to the effect that the average public when watching the TV news or reading the papers doesn’t know what is the truth, “because they are not involved, but I know, because I am involved”, and so it is up to him to tell them what the truth is.
So see if you can wrap your head around this. The news as propounded by the Trump machinery is all Trumped-up. It is actually the real fake news. But it is not intended for you or me, but for the real Trump voter. I’m not sure if knowing this is supposed to make you or me feel any better.
Perhaps it will stop us from asking ourselves the question, “what kind of a fool does he take me for?” But it doesn’t help answer the question, what should I do about this whole Trump-speak, which smacks so much of the ‘Newspeak” which we have been so starkly forewarned about by George Orwell.
Me? I have taken time out from my convalescence from my recent open-heart by-pass surgery to pen this post. What will you do?