Reality Check w/ John Tracy: When does fake news stop being fake news?
It’s long past time to drop the term fake news when it comes to covering the White House.
Without the mainstream media, we would not have learned President Trump was thinking of the FBI investigation into his campaign’s connections to Russia when he decided to fire FBI director James Comey.
And we would not have learned, in a meeting the next day, of the president’s decision to share classified information with Russian diplomats.
A meeting that only Russian media was allowed to document.
The pattern of how the White House handles such news has now become all too familiar.
First, Trump’s surrogates deny the story as fake news. Then, after the president confirms the story through an interview or tweet storm, they are forced back to the podium to “clarify” their previous statements.
Now we have learned, through the media, the existence of a memo from Comey in which he claims the president asked him to drop the FBI probe of former national security advisor Michael Flynn.
The immediate reaction from the White House was a muted denial.
A week ago, they would have immediately declared the report fake news. But after the week they’ve had, the claim no longer has any credibility coming from the White House.
Because the Justice Department doesn’t name a special prosecutor to the investigation based on fake news.
The press stumbled badly during the election, but has regained it’s footing and discovered a backbone.
And by the press, I mean real news organizations, not the PR firms of Fox News, MSNBC and Breitbart.
The stories coming out of Washington in the past week have real consequences.
From the ability of our allies to trust our Commander in Chief with classified information, to the serious question of whether he attempted to obstruct justice in his termination of James Comey.
The irony of the president’s relationship with the press is that the disdain they share for each other is equaled only by the need for attention they crave from each other.
There’s no telling if special counsel Robert Mueller will find anything incriminating as he picks up the investigation from James Comey.
But the story the White House has continually called fake news… is suddenly, very real.
John’s opinions are his own, and not necessarily those of Denali Media or its employees.
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