Trump official admits administration misuses the term "fake news" to discredit media criticism

The Trump administration is faking their cries of "fake news" to silence the media

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published February 7, 2017 10:17PM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

An aide to President Trump admitted on Tuesday that the administration is misusing the term "fake news" to silence their critics in the media.

"There is a monumental desire on behalf of the majority of the media, not just the pollsters, the majority of the media to attack a duly elected President in the second week of his term," Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to President Trump, said during an interview with right-wing radio host Michael Medved.

Gorka continued, "That's how unhealthy the situation is and until the media understands how wrong that attitude is, and how it hurts their credibility, we are going to continue to say, 'fake news.' I'm sorry, Michael. That's the reality."

The term "fake news" entered the political lexicon after it was revealed that the Russian government deliberately disseminated fabricated articles that hurt Hillary Clinton and helped Donald Trump with the aim of helping elect the Republican candidate during the 2016 election. It only refers to stories that are without any basis in fact and exist to serve a specific propagandist's goal — such as that of Putin in aiding pro-Russia political movements throughout the Western world — and not simply any critical story that one side or the other in a political debate happens to dislike.

This hasn't deterred Trump from referring to CNN as "fake news" for reporting on the existence of a dossier that included lurid allegations about the president or claiming negative polls are "fake news" because they contain unflattering statistics about public sentiment toward the president and his policies. If Gorka's comment is any indication, the fake use of the term "fake news" is going to continue for quite some time.


By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Donald Trump Fake News Sebastian Gorka