June 13, 2017

CNN’s Cillizza Demands Examples of Fake News; Tidal Wave Ensues

There are people who appear to live in hermetically sealed bubbles, and then there’s Chris Cillizza, formerly of the Washington Post but now at CNN. On the apparently safe assumption that he really thought President Donald Trump and the public would have a hard time coming up with answers, Cillizza challenged the Commander in Chief and, and in effect the Twitterverse, to “name a (news) story that is ‘fake’ or ‘incorrect.’” A tidal wave of specific responses arrived in short order.

Cillizza’s Tuesday morning tweet was a response to Donald Trump’s claim that fake news has hit an “all time high,” and which wondered why there has been no apology to him for the large share of the fake-news universe which has been devoted him:

CilizzaChallengesTrumpOnFakeNews061317

Cillizza’s arrogance is insufferable.

Trump is the President of the United States. There’s no law which prevents him, or for that matter anyone else who isn’t President, from making a “blanket assertion” any darned time they want. Who the heck is Chris Cillizza to say he “can’t”?

As to blanket (but false) assertions by top White House officials, I remember in the not very distant past:

  • A President who made a blanket assertion — no, actually made a guarantee — that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan” three dozen times to dishonestly facilitate the passage of Obamacare. In the run-up to the Affordable Care Act’s enactment, almost no one in the press criticized Barack Obama for making that guarantee, and no establishment press journalist ever told him, “You can’t say that!” as if he wasn’t allowed to — even though anyone with a brain knew that it would be proven spectacularly wrong during Obamacare implementation.
  • President Obama’s attorney general making a blanket assertion about the U.S., characterizing the country as “a nation of cowards” on race, and not backing away an inch five years later after he was succeeded by apparent chief Hillary Clinton email investigation obstructor Loretta Lynch. Did anyone in the establishment press tell Holder, “You can’t say that!” Very few even said he shouldn’t say that — and I would add that the real cowards on race were Obama and 2016 presidential candidate Clinton, who indulged and embraced, respectively, the violent Black Lives Matter movement, giving it a perceived legitimacy it has never, ever deserved.

As of late Tuesday evening, President Trump hadn’t responded (though, for better or worse, one can never rule it out).

But he hasn’t had to. Despite accusations of “micromanagement” which may or may not be true, Trump has thus far delegated detailed responses to Twitter users with great effect.

It took first responder “Eddie” all of 37 minutes to come up with 16 examples, indicating that he should change his handle to “Fast Eddie”:

CillizzaFirstResponsesToFakeNewsChallenge061317

Readers may quibble with a few of Eddie’s examples, but given that Cillizza only asked for one (“a story”), he clearly came through — and quickly.

As of late Tuesday evening, Cillizza’s tweet had over 2,400 replies, with more additional examples of fake news than I could ever hope to compile. A search at NewsBusters itself on ”Fake News” returns roughly 200 items in just the past four months.

Cillizza himself instantly demonstrated on Tuesday that he’s giving Brian Stelter, CNN’s reigning champ in the clueless department, serious competition.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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1 Comment

  1. Trump doesn’t respond to replies to his comments on Twitter. Anyway, news flash for Cillizza, Trump cites specific instances of fake news on Twitter all the time.

    Comment by fz — June 14, 2017 @ 12:24 pm

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