Tuesday August 25, 2020
The 'Hoax' Hoax
From the column “Trump's Favorite Four-Letter Word” by Brian Stelter in The New York Times.
Donald Trump has shouted “hoax” hundreds of times, about everything from climate change to Supreme Court rulings to impeachment. At this point, his copious claims about hoaxes add up to a hoax. And through the history of his use of this single word, we can see how he has fooled his biggest fans but failed to persuade almost everyone else.
During his 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump didn't rely on the word “hoax.” He didn't even say “fake news.” He called the news media “sick” and biased, but he didn't seriously start to deny its legitimacy until January 2017, when he was confronted by evidence that the Russian government aided his election. That's when he truly needed the news to be fake.
Looking back, Mr. Trump's exploitation of the term “fake news” to smear journalists was the single most consequential thing he did during the transition period. He built the scaffolding for his supporters to reject any and all information that wasn't Trump-approved. ...
In the first year of his presidency, Mr. Trump cried “Hoax!” 18 times; in 2018, 63 times; and in 2019, a whopping 345 times...
The scaffolding line is killer. I assume the article is an excerpt from Stelter's book, “Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth,” which I might have to read even though I'm sick of anything Trumpian. But the book also condemns Fox, which will be around, fucking things up, after Trump is gone. With no Fox, no Trump. It's all about Fox. We're the henhouse.
Read to the end of Stelter's column.