The “Fake News” Frenzy

Fake News: it's bad... until Trump says it isn't.

Let’s Get Real

Between 3:32am and 3:49am Wednesday night, President Trump retweeted videos from Jayda Fransen’s Twitter all of which claimed to display Muslims committing various atrocities. However, he failed to include one crucial detail: all of the videos were fake.

We don’t mean fake as in the events didn’t happen, but rather fake in the context of what was happening. In fact, the tweets were so horribly mislabeled that Prime Minister Theresa May went on public record condemning President Trump for the actions. Given how much time he spends on Twitter (often at odd hours of the night), you’d think he would be able to give a speedy rebuttal to the reaction his tweet received. Instead, after waiting the whole day to respond, President Trump finally replied back to Theresa May only for Twitter to quickly discover that he had tagged the wrong account. Looks like the President isn’t as well versed in Twitter as you’d assume; perhaps he should take to it more often?

Putting it in Context

Without proper context, these videos are capable of causing massive anti-Muslim sentiment. For example, the first video was titled “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on Crutches!” While this portrayed this Muslims as committing a horrific crime, according to Netherlands Embassy and the Dutch Public Prosecution Service, the person who committed the crime was not a migrant but rather born and raised in the Netherlands. Without this background information, a viewer could easily have a distorted opinion on immigrants, fueling a negative narrative already ongoing in the world.

To make matters worse, the videos were so horrific that Paul Watson, editor at InfoWars, condemned the tweets by claiming they were bad optics. When questioned about this action, White House Spokeswoman Sanders defended Trump by stating that he was merely “bringing up important issues” and that “their veracity is not a high priority.”

Why Does It Matter?

For many, the tweets released by President Trump are taken at face value, with no further investigation. Therefore, these anti-Muslim tweets fuel hatred among Trump’s followers, as many assume that the President of the United States is a fairly reliable source of information. Claiming to despise fake news and then propagating it is obviously hypocritical; however, there are also more long term ramifications. In the era of rapidly spreading news, it is incredibly dangerous to have a figure with such a significant following spreading misinformation as it alters the perspectives of a widespread group of people.

In Other News…

Another Bump in the Road for the Republican Tax Bill

Republicans are fighting hard to pass their new tax bill, which would give them a much needed victory after consistently failing to repeal Obamacare despite having a majority in both houses of Congress. However, they have run into yet another speed bump: the Joint Committee on Taxation published a report which showed that the tax bill would add over $1 trillion dollars to the national debt. This prompted Republican Senators Bob Corker and Jeff Flake to demand assurances that the bill should be changed in order to prevent this. This would ordinarily prompt the Republican Party to put their foot down; however, they might find difficulty in that given that neither Corker or Flake are up for reelection, giving the party little leverage. I’m personally trying to figure out how adding over a trillion dollars to the debt will create a balanced budget, but maybe the Republicans are better at math than I am.

North Korea Strikes Again

North Korea tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile on November 29th, which reached an altitude of 4,500 kilometers while under the strain of an abnormal trajectory. This means that the missile is probably capable of traveling over 13 thousand kilometers in a normal trajectory, which puts most of the continental United States in range. In an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting, the U.S. Ambassador stated that North Korea would be destroyed if they attempted to attack the United States. The President then took to Twitter (shocker) to announce that “major sanctions” would be levied.

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