December 8, 2017
Apparently Trump’s efforts to call out reporters for their biased, misleading, inaccurate and/or often just outright false reporting (A.K.A. “Fake News”) is now tantamount to endorsing human rights abuses by dictators the world over…at least according to Politico. Per an article published earlier this morning, Politico argues that “by aligning themselves with Trump’s words, despots have been able to use the U.S. president as a shield for their attacks on press freedom and human rights.”
Authoritarian rulers across the globe are adopting President Donald Trump’s favorite phrase to limit free speech, with prominent leaders or state media in at least 15 countries using his “fake news” line to denounce their critics, according to a POLITICO review.
By aligning themselves with Trump’s words, despots have been able to use the U.S. president as a shield for their attacks on press freedom and human rights, said Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
“I’m seeing it more and more,” he said. Trump, he added, “is providing a context and framework for all sorts of authoritarian leaders—or democratic leaders and others who are dissatisfied or upset by critical media coverage—to undermine and discredit reporting.”
In February, for example, Syrian President Bashar Assad brushed off an Amnesty International report that some 13,000 people had been killed at one of his military prisons by saying, “You can forge anything these days, we are living in a fake news era.”
In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has complained of being “demonized” by “fake news.” Last month, with Trump laughing by his side, he called reporters “spies.”
Of course, this push back on the “fake news” moniker is rich in light of the “Epic Mistake” that ABC was forced to correct just last week regarding…