I try to keep politics out of my books and this blog, but when it comes to the Trump administration’s false claims of “fake news,” politics cannot be avoided. President Trump and members of his party and administration continue to insist that reporting they don’t like is “fake.” And I continue to insist that just because you don’t like something doesn’t make it untrue. Reality is sometimes painful, but it’s always real. The Mueller Report, released this week, does a great job in confirming this.
So this week in fake news it’s all about the Mueller Report. Here are some of the highlights (or are they lowlights?):
- For the past several years, Donald Trump has painted various tell-all insider books about the inner workings of his White House, such as Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, as “fake books.” Well, the details provided in the Mueller Report support all the previous reports of infighting, backbiting, and palace intrigue. It’s not fake news if it’s real, as reported by Politico.
- President Trump has also and repeatedly called various reporting about his administration’s ties to Russia “fake news.” According to the evidence contained in the Mueller Report, all that reporting was accurate; it was Trump’s claims of “fake news” that were fake. More on this from CNN.
- Poynter has more on this issue, pointing out that the Mueller Report showed that the so-called “fake news” reporting over the past two years was actually true.
- What does appear to be totally fake is Attorney General William Barr’s summary of what was in the Mueller Report. Barr even gave a press conference immediately prior to the release of the Report where he spun the results like a top, acting more like the President’s personal publicist than an honest arbiter of truth and justice. You need to read the actual Mueller Report, not Barr’s heavily biased and political accounting of it. The Washington Post has a great article that points out the differences between what Barr said and what was in the actual Mueller Report.