Here's a video report from the BBC's US-based technology correspondent Dave Lee to mark the launch of the BBC's Beyond Fake News season:
Special thanks to @cward1e and @Sulliview for speaking to us for this piece. That said, the real hero is Joni at BBC Washington for sifting through Trump clips for the most soundbitey declarations of “fake news”. Phew. https://t.co/Oi3jf7G5rx— Dave Lee (@DaveLeeBBC) 12 November 2018
You'll note that the expert 'talking heads' in the piece are Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post and Claire Wardle of First Draft. (Have a guess who part-funds First Draft!). The Washington Post and First Draft played major roles in launching the phrase 'fake news' during the 2016 presidential election, so it's perhaps no wonder that they're now so peeved about Donald Trump turning it back on them.
Here's a transcript of the report:
Donald Trump: I've just received a call from Secretary Clinton...
Dave Lee: When Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016 there was a brief moment when the phrase 'fake news' meant exactly that. News that wasn't true. But then, before he'd even be inaugurated, this happened:
Donald Trump: I am not going to give you a question. You are fake news...fake, phony, fake...It's all fake news...It's called 'fake news...Fake, fake, disgusting news.
Seemingly overnight, President Trump took the phrase 'fake news' and co-opted it to mean news he simply didn't like or news that he didn't want his supporters to hear. It proved to be incredibly effective.
Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: It's a question of propaganda. You repeat things and you repeat things and you say them different ways and you say them over time and eventually it starts to sink in, an it's the way propaganda works, and I think that's what we're seeing here.After seeing how discrediting the media got Donald Trump into the White House other politicians around the world saw an opportunity of their own.
Claire Wardle, First Draft: We were just following the Brazil election...Bolsonaro...it was a common refrain. We see Duterte in the Philippines. We see politicians in the UK and Australia. All sorts of politicians, as a short hand, say "don't believe that, trust me".Studies suggest that among Trump supporters trust in the media is at rock bottom. And, towards the end of 2018, the attacks on the press took on an even more aggressive turn:
Donald Trump: Fake news is in fact, and I hate to say this, in fact, the enemy of the people.
Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: Those words, 'enemy of the people', have really taken it to a new level. and...
Dave Lee (to Margaret Sullivan): (interrupting) To a dangerous level?
Margaret Sullivan: To a dangerous level, yes, because I think it turns people against journalism as one of the pillars of our democracy.Two years since being elected negative stories that might sink any other politician have simply bounced off President Trump. Yet as November's midterm elections drew near some wondered if crying 'fake news' would still have the desired effect. But with the votes in and Trump declaring a success it was very soon business as usual:
Donald Trump: When you report fake news, which CNN does a lot, you are the enemy of the people. Go ahead! That's enough...
As President Trump roars into the second half of his first term there's no sign he plans to change his winning, and highly divisive, strategy.
Donald Trump: You are a rude, terrible person. You shouldn't be working for CNN.