Reprinted with permission from Media Matters for America.
President Donald Trump’s administration is gaslighting America. He lies, reporters fact-check him, then he and his team spin the lies to blame the “biased” and “dishonest” media. Trump’s team wants to create a world where no one knows what to believe, where facts and reality are irrelevant, and all that matters is what Trump says matters. Gaslighting reporters is one part of the administration’s war with the press — just another way for his team to try to make the media’s role as truth-tellers obsolete.
And here’s the kicker: It’s not just the Trump administration. It’s also propaganda outlets tied to Trump. They rush to reinforce Trump’s false narratives with his base, which only puts mainstream outlets in a tougher position.
Some journalists, like Teen Vogue‘s Lauren Duca, have already made it clear they won’t fall for Trump’s ploy. It’s important that the rest of the media learn that same lesson. The future of American democracy depends on journalists, reporters, and everyday Americans rising above Trump’s gaslighting and calling the president out on his lies. It’s not the Trump administration’s place to decide what is true or false or set the frame of reference. In America, that role belongs to the free and fair press.
IMAGE: U.S. President Donald Trump reacts during the swearing in ceremony for new U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, accompanied by his wife Renda St. Clair and Vice President Mike Pence at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC. REUTERS/Carlos Barria