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The accusation of being “fake news” has become the biggest weapon for the freshly-started Trump administration to fight off the media they believe to be unfair, untruthful, and/or unbeneficial. It would seem that the phrase is starting to ruffle some feathers from some left-leaning outlets, and CNN’s Chris Cuomo in particular.
Cuomo, appearing on air with SiriusXM POTUS‘s Michael Smerconish said that he sees the phrase “fake news” as the journalist equivalent to the “n-word.”
“The only thing that’s bothersome about it, is that I see being called ‘fake news’ as the equivalent of the n-word for journalists, the equivalent of calling an Italian any of the ugly words that people have for that ethnicity.That’s what fake news is to a journalist.”
“It is an ugly insult and you better be right if you’re going to charge a journalist with lying on purpose and the president was not right here and he has not been right in the past,” Cuomo added.
It makes sense that Cuomo would be so sensitive about the term and that he became potentially insensitive with his comparison, after he found himself in the crosshairs of President Donald Trump Thursday morning.
In a tweet, Trump blasted Cuomo over his interview with Sen. Richard Blumenthal. The President was apparently upset that Cuomo never asked Blumenthal about his Vietnam service, and thus came to the conclusion that his coverage was “fake news.”
Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave “service” in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 9, 2017
Cuomo responded to Trump’s tweet on air by playing a video clip which proved Trump’s contention with the interview wrong.
Not surprisingly, the Twitter war between the President and Cuomo lit up the internet, and Cuomo even admitted that there is a benefit to Trump’s usage of social media stating:
“It is naive for someone to not see the value in a clear picture of the good, bad and ugly that is going on in the mind of the most powerful man in the world,” Cuomo explained, referring Trump’s tweets. “This is a gift to journalists. It is a gift to any empowered citizen who wants to know what the motivations are for the workings of their government. We’ve never gotten this kind of unvarnished insight into a president’s motivations.”
Cuomo during his Sirius interview did clarify that he believes that “the president deserves respect.” He continued, “The office deserves respect. The office demands fairness. The office demands testing of what is said and what is done.”
“And when he says something that is false, or as you say ‘demonstrably false,’ that matters,” he added. “His words have implications, we’re seeing them, we’re hearing them echo around the international political sphere. It matters what he says.”
The show host also mentioned that while he expects a “learning curve” for incoming presidents, “journalists cannot be afraid to do their job. You’re in the wrong business if you want to be popular. What you go for is being right, and being relevant. Forget about being popular, if you want to do that, you know, be an actor.”
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This story follows reports from earlier this week where Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to the President, told conservative radio host Michael Medved that the administration would keep using the term “fake news” until the media stopped attacking the President:
“There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media, not just the pollsters, the majority of the media to attack a duly elected President in the second week of his term. That’s how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say, ‘fake news.’ I’m sorry, Michael. That’s the reality.”
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