Saturday morning at CPAC, taking place in National Harbor, Maryland, Robert Davi, an actor and musician spoke on illegal immigration and his own family of legal immigrants from Sicily. However, about half way through, it flipped to something familiar to the media now, the condemnation of the media, dubbing it once again ‘fake news’, a term coined by President Trump and used rather often to describe liberal leaning mainstream media outlets, such as CNN and NBC. President Trump also used 20 minutes of his Friday morning speech to condemn the media once again, seemingly a popular theme at this year’s CPAC.
Journalistic integrity is important, a fact no one is denying. However, most of these sources aren’t lacking in ethics or morals, they just happen to lean to the left, yet still report as truthfully as possible. While mainstream media sources are condemned by the highest office, the President of the United States, for condemning actions and comments of Mr. Trump in their own media outlets, we slowly lose the freedom of the press as the opinions and thoughts of journalists are being discredited and invalidated, a phenomenon that is new to this administration. When you refer to a network such as CNN as ‘Clinton News Network’ repeatedly with the intention to discredit the outlet, an issue begins to arise.
The ‘fake news’ rhetoric is harmful not only to journalists, but to readers. To be told that an accurate, albeit left-leaning, news source is ‘fake’ limits where people are able to read and trust for general accuracy. By discrediting credible news sources, we reach an academic halt, not knowing who to read, what to trust, what is true, and what is actually fake. A slight partisan leaning does not affect the accuracy of reporting, although the idea of ‘fake news’ makes it seem as if stories are being pulled out of thin air and written up by a journalist.
We have not, and hopefully will not, reach the level that Vladimir Putin has, with journalists disappearing and being killed. However, certain media outlets had been blocked from entry to a White House press briefing, which is a terrifying reality on its own. This is suppression on the first amendment, the right to free speech and the press, something that the government, party aside has no right to infringe upon these natural rights. These are grants from God, not something the government has the ability to give or take away, and God help them if they try.