Commentary

Trump Wants To Investigate Journalism -- Bring It On

I’m waiting to be called by the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify about supposed fake news. It might be a long wait.

Why? Well, I’ve written about President Trump -- as have hundreds of other journalists in the U.S.  

Trump tweeted on Thursday: “Why Isn't the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!”  He didn’t elaborate on any specifics -- TV networks, print, online or actual news stories.

However, it seems he is focusing on TV networks -- and major media organizations. But I’m not taking any chances. One should anticipate that any U.S. journalist could be called -- especially if they have mentioned Trump in any news stories as President or presidential candidate.

For its part, the Radio Television Digital News Association’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force has called on the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee to ignore a tweet from President Trump seeking an investigation.

But you have to figure it doesn’t end there. Maybe another tweet is coming. All U.S. media is on notice.

Wait. You think Trump is just talking political smack? That I shouldn’t take him literally? It's just “locker-room” talk?

To be taken at his “words,” Trump should offer his own deep journalistic research -- just as he did with the "birther" claim about President Obama. Oh, wait -- he still hasn’t done that yet. (I’m sure it’s coming.)

Closer to home, maybe he is worried about media business stories concerning CNN, Fox News or MSNBC.

Possibly, there are questions about Nielsen’s methodology in regards to TV news ratings, which have been soaring before and after Trump became president. Such evidence contradicts Trump's claim that many TV news networks are doing badly. (After he slammed The New York Times and Vanity Fair, subscriptions soared.)

He may be concerned about higher TV advertising support for many cable networks. Or, he may have questions about TV advertising stories around non-news TV shows, such as “The Apprentice.”

The Trump Administration should enhance reporting on all these issues. Remember, journalists love details, no matter how boring. And throw in some fake stuff of your own -- just to keep us on our toes.

2 comments about "Trump Wants To Investigate Journalism -- Bring It On".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 9, 2017 at 11:06 a.m.

    The problem is not that journalists run fake stories but that they choose a news frame or template for a story and seek sources that confirm that template. That's how Fox and CNN can faithfully report official sources backing up diametrically opposed outcomes. The news is real but the process is fake.

  2. Mike Marn from SIU replied, October 14, 2017 at 9:31 a.m.

    Framing is necessary to provide a context to any story. As long as the sources are credible and credible opposing points of view are presented WHEN THEY EXIST, there should be no problem. "Fake news" is a fake story.

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