Trump wants you to believe the term ‘fake news’ is a product of his singular genius

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

The president wants you to believe he came up with the term, “fake news.” But, of course, that’s fake news, too. 

Wednesday night, Donald Trump sat down with Fox News’s lump-filled suit of a human, Lou Dobbs, to sundown on broadcast television, as he’s wont to do. This time, it was largely on the matter of the very bad and fake news, a term for which he might as well have a patent, he explained.

“I have come up with some pretty good names for people,” Trump said, referencing his penchant for ascribing ridiculous (though often catchy!) nicknames to rivals along the campaign trail. “There’s — I think one of the best names is — you know, I’ve really started this whole ‘fake news’ thing.”

The term “fake news” dates back to at least 1890, according to Merriam-Webster. That year, a headline in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune read, “Secretary Brunnell declares fake news about his people is being telegraphed over the country.”

If Trump’s actually done anything for the term, it’s simply use the words “fake news,” as a way to bash stories he doesn’t like without offering proof those stories aren’t valid. While creating fake news, himself.

“What could be more fake than CBS, and NBC, and ABC, and CNN when you look at some of these stories?” Trump asked Dobbs. Then, skipping a few sentences to find something coherent, Trump explained: “If you look at it from the day I started running to now, I’m so proud that I have been able to convince people how fake it is.”

Whether Trump has convinced people of that or not, a striking number of voters actually do believe media outlets make up stories about the president and his team, according to a recent poll released by Politico and Morning Consult. According to Politico, 46 percent of poll respondents said they believe journalists make up stories about Trump, while just 37 percent said they didn’t believe it. As for whether or not this story about Trump claiming to make up the term “fake news” as fake news itself, that hinges on whether or not you think a dictionary is complicit in the media’s lies. And if you do, then guess you wouldn’t get anything out of looking up “Stockholm syndrome” either. 

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