The “Fake News Awards” might sound like innocent fun to many Trump supporters, but don’t be misled. The concept is more closely aligned with a tactic Stalin, Castro and Hitler used.
At its root, an awards ceremony for fake news is pure propaganda designed to discredit the media and lower the public’s trust in journalism. Its sole intention is to discredit the media and, as an American, you should be concerned that our president is moving to discredit the fourth branch of government. Even if many Americans dismiss the Fake News Awards as quintessential Trump hype, the ceremony will inevitably ebb the public’s trust in the media, albeit subconsciously.
It’s similar to when President Donald Trump said Mitt Romney walked like a penguin. We might have laughed and dismissed the comment as fun fodder but it got into your mind as you watched Romney walk across the room. Regardless of which journalists or news outlets are “honored” with this award, a seed of doubt will be planted in the institution of journalism.
There is a reason why dictators go after the free press first. They know journalists are best positioned to hold them accountable — and have the power to expose their wrongs. Don’t forget: It wasn’t the judicial or legislative branches that brought down the Nixon administration and revealed that President Lyndon Johnson lied to Congress and the public about Vietnam.
It was investigative journalism.
A survey released Monday by Gallup and the Knight Foundation shows that the public is confused with “fake news” — so confused that many people don’t even know what is real and what is fake.
If you remove trust, what do you have?
Propaganda succeeded in suppressing the truth in many ways.
I have many friends who are Trump supporters. They question my time with NBC and CBS, saying the media has a liberal agenda. I tell my friends in cities across the country that these reporters are their neighbors and members of their community. They don’t have an agenda, other than exposing the truth, which is the main principle of journalism. They aren’t the liberal elite.
The media has tried to hold President Trump accountable for his statements, exaggerations and lies. His pattern is to revert to #fakenews.
Trump’s propaganda will enter a new phase with his awards for fake news. (Also, it’s an interesting question: Will Trump’s awards ceremony break any legal ethical violations if government employees worked on this research?)
The heat might delay the awards, but the propaganda train has already left the station, and it will be hard to slow it down as long as Trump is the conductor.
Mark Macias is a former executive producer with NBC and senior producer with CBS in New York. He’s also author of the book, Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media. Macias now runs his own PR firm, Macias PR.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.