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The White House Is Gaslighting The Media (And The Entire Country)

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The White House Is Gaslighting The Media (And The Entire Country)

Trump World Tower

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



  1. Mama Bear February 12, 2017

    Anyone who has experienced a malignant narcissist on a personal level knows all too well how this gaslighting process works. The vulnerable among us are so susceptible to it and so are those who just want to believe him. Stay strong and keep protesting. This man is not upholding the Constitution as he vowed to do.

    1. sigrid28 February 13, 2017

      Without a doubt, the visuals of people protesting play a very important role in undermining the credibility of the Trump administration, no matter what lies he and his cronies try to make the public believe.

  2. Aaron_of_Portsmouth February 12, 2017

    Either Trump has some sort of an exotic contagion that reaches out and affects anyone near him, or Spicer, Kellyanne, and FOX are all suffering from an acute form of paranoia. Trump’s malignancy apparently is shared by millions of others in the US, and apparently by some in Europe.
    The world to a large degree is more ill psychologically and spiritually than previously thought, and only time will tell, and the united efforts of the rest of humanity to counteract this madness, will determine the extent of the spread of this illness and the amount of further damage awaits.
    Donald and his staff are drifting further and further from normalcy—baseline normality seems to have been too high a bar to achieve long ago for these characters.

    1. Mama Bear February 12, 2017

      You are absolutly right, Aaron. This new world order has most certainly revealed to us how much mental instability is living side by side with us.

      1. kep February 13, 2017

        Those mentally unstable creatures are called liberal commies.

    2. dbtheonly February 13, 2017

      GM Aaron,

      I’ll disagree to say that Fox and others are making the considered and rational decision to put their economic and/or financial interests above any considerations of “truth, justice, and the American Way”.

      Our job is to scope out who is in it for the bucks and who really believes and try to heal the paranoia of those truly afflicted. Fox and Conway are beyond assistance. I see Spicer caught in an intolerable position. The others, well, let’s help whom we can.

  3. Thoughtopsy February 12, 2017

    Trump doesn’t realise he’s gaslighting.
    This is the actual inside of his mind.
    Nothing is clearly remembered, nothing is immutable, everything can be “negotiated”, anything can be true.
    The fatuous orange pinhead can’t even remember things he, himself, said only days, hours, or even sentences ago.
    Reality only exists to feed his need for “winning”. It gets reshaped on the fly to constantly serve that end.
    Observe Conway doing the same thing. Tapper pushes back on her lie… and she immediately agrees with him… (i.e. contradicting what she, herself, said literally seconds ago)… then “explains” it slightly differently so that her lie stands.
    Example: (abridged)
    Conway: “CNN isn’t reporting on these Terrorist attacks.”
    Tapper: ” That’s a lie. Here are all our reports. We are reporting on these terror attacks.”
    Conway: “Yes you are. But other media outlets are not.” – Agree/Disagree

    Attempted gaslighting. Constant renegotiation of “reality”. Give a little to seem credible but push back to keep the lie rolling.

    So keep pushing media.

    Miller said some completely ridiculous things today around how the Seattle judge is “making laws” due to “personal politics” and taking away the Constitutional rights of the president.
    I know he’s using the “pile of bullsh1t” strategy… (say too many lies in too short a time for anyone to catch them all) but all of these things need to be contested as abject lies.
    This is an intelligent guy. He KNOWS he’s spouting complete bullsh1t,
    Call him on EVERYTHING.

    1. Christinatandrews February 13, 2017

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    2. I of John February 13, 2017

      A tiring prospect but true. Everything must be questioned now. No false statements must be allowed to sail through unchallenged.

    3. sigrid28 February 13, 2017

      Keep pushing media and keep pushing SNL. One of the most effective moves by an outside “media” source is Saturday Night Live and its focus on showing not only Donald Trump’s weaknesses but the inherent weaknesses of his spokespersons. The credibility of Conway, Spicer, and Bannon have been undermined so effectively that this Sunday the Trump administration put out Steve Miller as their new spokesperson. And you’re right: Steve Miller’s performance, with its pile-on of lies and absurdities, is ripe for parody as well. Political satirists are performing a service to the nation in revealing the complete fallibility of Trump and his mouthpieces. News outlets have the further obligation to show just what the truth is as opposed to the lies Trump’s team is trying to make the public accept. I would only add that more polls are needed to enrage this posse of liars even further. Their own rage is likely to trip them up sooner rather than later, coupled with the kind of vanity that blinds them to the truth about themselves most of all.

  4. dtgraham February 12, 2017

    I hear Justin Trudeau is supposed to be in Washington tomorrow.


  5. Dominick Vila February 12, 2017

    One of the first steps used by every despot, and tyrannical regime in history has been to silence the press, get rid of freedom of speech either overtly or by using disinformation campaigns to ridicule dissent and deflect attention from policies and actions that violate the rights of the citizenry, suppress voting, incarcerations, political and religious persecution, and engage in human right violations to govern by instilling fear in the population. We are not there yet, but if Trump actions are not exposed and condemned by Congress and our Courts, we may end up living in an environment not too dissimilar to what prevailed during the Third Reich, the days of the Soviet Union, the Maoist revolution, and other examples of totalitarianism that most of us never thought would flourish in the United States of America.

    1. kep February 13, 2017

      What you describe has already happened over the LAST 8 years under your Emperor Obama. I’m surprised he actually stepped down, but not at all surprised at the reaction coming from you liberal communists.

      1. Thoughtopsy February 14, 2017

        You’re not a very good Astroturfer.
        Apply for more training.

    2. FireBaron February 13, 2017

      Either silence them outright, or control them by only allowing acceptable “news outlets” access for coverage.

  6. 2ThinkN_Do2 February 13, 2017

    And we are supposed to believe what the media or Democratic Party leaders tell us, right? The TRUTH has been spun to advocate lies for decades upon decade, going on for well over a century. Ask the Original Nation’s people about some of that . . . .

  7. I of John February 13, 2017

    It is true that news is becoming more rarified. Truth, reality and common wisdom are in constant question. But if Trump believes that he and only he can be trusted, then he’s the deluded one. The more he talks, the more he sounds like so much gibberish. Not only do I not trust anything he says, I am finding him less and less coherent. Perhaps he should start getting a full night of sleep?

  8. RED February 13, 2017

    I agree 100%!!! And once we have a free and fair press that isn’t wholly owned by the exact donors supporting Trump then we may be able to have a democracy one day. But if we’re gonna depend on media companies telling us the truth when General Electric, major defense contractor, spends millions upon millions advertising, it ain’t gonna happen. I’m still trying to get my head around how you can set up a system who’s entire goal and existence is based seeking profit and then somehow be surprised when that very system doesn’t do things for morality or good. It’s kinda like building myself a submarine and then being pissed off when it doesn’t fly. In other words, it’s the system that’s broken and the b.s political theater games around the edges won’t fix it.

  9. Dan S February 13, 2017

    I loathe liars ???? I will never believe a word that comes out of Trump. The biggest lie is he thinks he’s President and i say the Hell he’s President. The ones we Elect don’t blatantly come out and lie as openly as he has

  10. Seth Garza February 14, 2017

    I have earned 104,000 bucks last year by doing an online job a­­n­­d I did that by wo­rking part-time f­­o­­r 3 or sometimes more hours a day. I followed work model I found online and I am amazed that I was able to earn so much money on the side. It’s very beginner-friendly and I am just so grateful that i discovered this. Here’s what I do… http://statictab.com/x4biwaa

  11. pbr90 March 17, 2017

    Garbage in, garbage out, learned from two decades of computer coding, and data management. It is a perception problem unresolved!


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