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Real Fake News

Posted by Gail Barth on


I did something today that I try to never do: I shared fake news—REAL fake news, not Trumpian fake news—on social media. The article in question dealt with Trump’s upcoming trip to England. I try to be very careful before passing items along; I go to Snopes or Truth or Fiction.com, or at least look for multiple confirmations on Google. But not today. Not this time. And I’m aware of the possible ramifications of my actions since it’s this sort of behavior that resulted in an eminently qualified candidate being torpedoed in 2016 in favor of a maniac with no job skills and fewer morals. So I make no excuses for what I did today. I make no excuses—but I do claim a certain justification based on over a year’s worth of life under Trump.

What we’ve lived with since Trump’s inauguration has run the gamut from the absurd to the outrageously absurd. For example, let’s just sample some of the delightful and very real headlines from just one month:

  • Trump again at war with ‘deep state’ justice department
  • Trump unloads on former top aide Bannon: ‘He lost his mind’
  • Trump taunts North Korea: My nuclear button is ‘much bigger,’ ‘more powerful’
  • Yale psychiatrist briefed members of Congress on Trump’s mental fitness
  • Trump threatens to sue Bannon over Trump book
  • Trump: I’m a ‘very stable genius’
  • Robert DeNiro releases profanity-laced rant against Trump
  • Trump uses ‘no collusion’ 7 times in a single Russia answer
  • Trump decries ‘people from shithole countries’ coming to US, report says
  • Trump: ‘I am not a racist’
  • Flake: GOP should stand up to Trump’s Stalin-like attacks on media
  • Pelosi: GOP bill like a ‘bowl of doggie doo’
  • WSJ: Cohen paid porn star through private LLC just weeks before election
  • WaPo: Mueller seeks to question Trump
  • Guggenheim museum reportedly offered the White House a golden toilet

So, in one month, January of this year to be exact, these words appeared in headlines Trump-related: deep state, nuclear button, shithole countries, racist, Stalin-like attacks, doggie do, porn star, and golden toilet. Now once again, there is no excuse for my carelessly passing along a phony news item, but seriously, you can see how almost any story about our ass of a commander-in-cheese, no matter how outrageous, could sound feasible. Why, given the history, even the following headlines could be true:

  • Trump shoots Mexican immigrant on Fifth Avenue, Evangelicals pledge continued support
  • Anatomically correct Trump doll hits toy stores, Trump threatens lawsuit over tiny hands
  • Yet another Trump love-child comes forward, Evangelicals pledge continued support
  • Trump supporters launch GoFundMe, slave auctions and church bake sales for border wall
  • Supreme Court limits abortions to people of color and GOP mistresses
  • Trump declares pedophile legislators ‘good people,’ puts them in charge of ‘tender age’ immigrant shelters, Evangelicals pledge continued support
  • Trump demands Statue of Liberty be replaced with statue of himself holding obscenely large tiki torch
  • Former Trump family nanny reveals she witnessed ‘that very special kind of love’ between Trump and daughter Ivanka, Evangelicals pledge continued support
  • Trump announces new austerity plan involving conversion of Wall Street from dollars to rubles, boosting index from 24k to 1.5m
  • President insists all official government communication be restricted to Twitter
  • Trump supporters commit mass suicide after tragic and uncharacteristic self-reflection, Evangelicals pledge continued support
  • Trump demands all references to Barack Obama be removed from future history textbooks
  • Weekly World News credits Trump with spike in sales due to his admission that Rudy Giuliani bears uncanny resemblance to ‘Bat Boy’
  • Tabloids engage in proactive and frantic bidding war over Melania’s story

These stories haven’t happened—yet. But the point is that they could, and to the surprise of very few. And that makes it even more important to follow up with a bit of research before passing on anything we hear. Because what we hear may or may not be true. And while Trump deserves exactly zero respect, I’d like to think my credibility is worth much more. And that’s God’s honest truth.

Other commentaries by Gail Barth: 

Donald Trump: Clueless Idiot or Amoral Serial Killer?
Daughters in the Time of Trump
Gross Stupidity
Evil Presidents
Snowflake Nation
Gospel of Trump
Missouri Waltz
Dear Donald Trump and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens
Sing-Along with Donald Trump

 

 

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