Teen Vogue writer Emily Bloch has a plan to stop President Donald Trump from using one of his favorite terms: “Fake news.”
Bloch announced in an article published Tuesday that the Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, of which Bloch is the president, had applied to trademark the term. (RELATED: Four Fake News Stories And Two Indictments Perfectly Sum Up The Media’s 2019 So Far)
From Bloch’s article:
Along with several of my colleagues, we’re trying to stop Trump from calling everything he doesn’t like “fake news” in a way that even a businessman as self-obsessed as Trump can understand: trademark law. The Florida Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists— one of America’s oldest and largest journalism advocacy groups — applied to trademark the term “fake news” with the intended goal of curbing Trump’s frequent use of it to discredit stories he doesn’t like.
Bloch conceded that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office might not grant the now-pending request, but said that the group planned to capitalize on the pending trademark to flood the White House with “cease and desist letters” if he continued to use the term.
A sample letter included in the article read, “Referring to factual stories that are critical of your administration as FAKE NEWS (TM pending) is indeed trademark infringement. You may not be aware, but your misuse of the term FAKE NEWS (TM pending) has greatly confused the American people and shaken their trust in the journalism that’s so vital to our democracy.”
Bloch concluded the article by making it clear that the group did not expect to succeed in trademarking “fake news.” “What we do hope is that this idea is outrageous enough to get people to stop and think about what fake news is, and what it means to them,” she said.