On Saturday, a Washington Post reporter named Dave Weigel mistakenly posted a photo from a Trump rally that insinuated Trump’s crowd was smaller than he was suggesting.
It turns out the photo Weigel posted was from before the president walked in, and people were still making their way to their seats. The president called Weigel and The Washington Post out, and as Maggie Haberman, Glenn Thrush and Peter Baker brilliantly explained in their most recent New York Times piece, Trump’s Twitter account served as his Excalibur in a furious battle to uphold what credibility he believes he has.
Weigel apologized for his error, while the president called for him to be fired.
Let that sink in for just a moment. The President of the United States called for a reporter to be fired.
This is not an irregular occurrence for President Trump. Too often, he calls for reporters to lose their jobs, while he enables those who purposefully misguide the public. Whether it’s Sean Hannity, Kellyanne Conway, Breitbart, Sean Spicer or the artist formerly known as The Mooch, the list is long, and the lies are plenty. The man who essentially started the birther movement doesn’t care about truth, and as a result, he consistently undermines the members of the press who actually do care about the truth.
Weigel made a mistake, and he owned up to it. Trump and his associates perpetuate lies on a daily basis, but they maintain their absolute truth and anything else that is slightly critical is fake news.
The First Amendment is under constant fire in this political climate. It is now more important than ever to be able to wade through the actual fake news. Outlets such as Breitbart, Fox and Russian Facebook links you probably should have known were bogus anyway, have made it so that we no longer agree on what is fact anymore. One side acknowledges them, and the other blatantly disregards them as fake news. Find the sources that hire fair and quality reporters that are the proprietors of the truth that Trump hates so much.
Other than just reading quality journalism, we can pay for a subscription to a national newspaper, support smaller journalistic ventures or read local papers for starters. The impact that can be made in one’s own community is the greatest untapped means of change we have in this country.
The national scene unites us because it affects all of us, but in addition to making a small difference on a large scale, you can make a large difference on a small scale in your community. Combat the same type of attitude toward journalists that will inevitably trickle down in smaller towns that support Trump and his crusade against the media. Read your local paper, write letters to the editor when you don’t necessarily agree with something and, if you so choose, write about things that are important to you.
In short, simply use the information at your disposal to your advantage, and you’ll likely find that there is a clear line between Trump, those who support him and those who seek the truth.