+
upworthy
Democracy

Trump blames 'The Media' for mass violence. That's not just utter bullsh*t—it's dangerous.

Trump blames 'The Media' for mass violence. That's not just utter bullsh*t—it's dangerous.

In the wake of three U.S. mass shootings in one week, President Trump is trying to place blame on "The Media."

Let's see. Where to start?

First, the media is not responsible for life and safety in our country. The government and law enforcement are. The press has a responsibility to report on what the government is doing, and to be as accurate as possible in its reporting. "The Media" that the president is referring to—generally reputable news outlets—do that. They are not responsible for people getting angry over what they're reporting, and they're definitely not responsible for anyone's violent actions.

Second, let's remember what "fake news" actually is. During the 2016 election, around 140 websites were discovered as being completely fake sites purporting to be U.S. political news outlets. They published false and misleading stories, fabricated off of headlines coming from the U.S. Some of them were run by teenagers in Macedonia. Many of them manufactured fear-mongering stories about Muslims and immigrants. They also made the website owners rich, because millions of people—the vast majority of them Trump supporters—bought it.


Those sites actually published "fake news." But the president quickly began applying the term "fake news" to real news outlets, and has succeeded in convincing his base to repeat that garbage for two-plus years.

When the president attacks "The Media" or refers to the "Fake News Media," he's made it clear he's not referring to actual-fake-news sites. He's also not talking about extremist, unreliable media outlets that in a reasonable era would be considered fringe, like InfoWars or Breitbart. No, he's referring to the most reputable, Pulitzer-winning journalistic outlets. He calls the New York Times fake news. He calls the Washington Post fake news. He even calls the right-leaning Wall Street Journal fake news.

Related: Obama's latest tweets consoled a grieving nation in a way that Trump never could

Any media outlet that does not fawn over him and praise his every move is deemed "fake news."

In an unprecedentedly childish waste of time, the President of the United States—the supposed leader of the free world—even pulled together a "Fake News Awards" in 2018. His team actually took the time to find the small fraction of errors in mainstream media reporting—most of which were quickly corrected and acknowledged as corrected, as is the journalistic standard—and ranked them for these bogus "awards."

In any reasonable era, all of this would rightly be considered loony tunes.

Errors in news reporting is and has always been a thing. Newsrooms are made up of humans and humans make mistakes sometimes. Reputable sources issue corrections when that happens. That's what has always happened. That's what still happens with the major news outlets.

Meanwhile, the president himself shares and praises questionable and unreliable sources all the time. He shares extreme right-wing media outlets with questionable credentials like Judicial Watch. He tweets fake, racist (yes, objectively racist—take a look) statistics from fake sources without ever correcting them. He tells more falsehoods than any other political figure in the history of fact-checking—and that's not even an exaggeration.

He knows, because his intelligence agencies have told him so, that white supremacists have become more active in the past few years. He knows that white supremacists make up the majority of the domestic terrorism arrests (again, his own intelligence agencies). He knows that he shut down federal programs designed to counter extremist violence and removed funding from programs that help people leave racist hate groups. He knows that the shooter in El Paso drove nine hours to kill immigrants because the guy wrote a manifesto about white replacement. He knows that while he's tried to ban Muslims from entering the country, American-born white supremacists have walked into churches and synagogues and killed fellow Americans while they worship.

And today, he dares to blame the media for mass violence? No, sir. You don't get to do that.

Freedom of the press is enshrined in the first amendment of our Constitution, and yet the U.S. ranks 48th in the world in the World Press Freedom rankings. We've now dipped into the "problematic" range for press freedom, which is ridiculous. We are supposed to be "the land of the free" and yet journalists face daily attacks from the man who took an oath to uphold their constitutionally guaranteed right to report on what he does and says.

Related: I wrote a news headline that didn't even link to a story. Over 2,000 people commented on it anyway.

These attacks on the media matter. They not only sow distrust in journalism, but calling them "the enemy of the people" invokes in gullible people a patriotic duty to protect Americans from journalists. American journalists have been killed on our soil for doing their jobs, and according to Reporters Without Borders, the danger is growing: "Never before have U.S. journalists been subjected to so many death threats or turned so often to private security firms for protection."

The dangers that journalists face is unacceptable, but what frightens me more is the methodical drip, drip, drip of the president's words creating more and more distrust in legitimate reporting. Conspiracy theories about mainstream media have not only taken hold, but are being actively pushed by the President of the United States. Fear-mongering, calling the press "the enemy of the people," and sowing distrust for reputable sources of information is exactly how despots seize power. It's how atrocities are not only allowed, but encouraged. It's how great nations fall.

It's also classic gas lighting, and we cannot let it slide. The message is this: If you report on what I do and people don't like me because of it, you are 'fake news' and telling lies. If you report my exact words and people think I'm horrible, it's your fault that people think my words are horrible and therefore you're attacking me. If you aren't praising me for the things I'm claiming to have done, you are against me, which makes you against America, which makes you an enemy of the people.

It's like we're in a psychologically abusive relationship with our own president.

I can see that people are growing weary of fighting this battle all the time. I know I'm tired of it. If we were to call out the president every time he makes a false claim and attacks the wrong people, we'd burn out. The relentlessness is by design, to either make us give up or look like we're constantly overreacting. That's how gas lighting works. We can't give up.

The mainstream media is not the enemy. And history will not look kindly upon a president who uses the power of his platform to constantly attack the free press.

True

Making new friends as an adult is challenging. While people crave meaningful IRL connections, it can be hard to know where to find them. But thanks to one Facebook Group, meeting your new best friends is easier than ever.

Founded in 2018, NYC Brunch Squad brings together hundreds of people who come as strangers and leave as friends through its in-person events.

“Witnessing the transformative impact our community has on the lives of our members is truly remarkable. We provide the essential support and connections needed to thrive amid the city's chaos,” shares Liza Rubin, the group’s founder.

Despite its name, the group doesn’t just do brunch. They also have book clubs, seasonal parties, and picnics, among other activities.

NYC Brunch Squad curates up to 10 monthly events tailored to the specific interests of its members. Liza handles all the details, taking into account different budgets and event sizes – all people have to do is show up.

“We have members who met at our events and became friends and went on to embark on international journeys to celebrate birthdays together. We have had members get married with bridesmaids by their sides who were women they first connected with at our events. We’ve had members decide to live together and become roommates,” Liza says.

Members also bond over their passion for giving back to their community. The group has hosted many impact-driven events, including a “Picnic with Purpose” to create self-care packages for homeless shelters and recently participated in the #SquadSpreadsJoy challenge. Each day, the 100 members participating receive random acts of kindness to complete. They can also share their stories on the group page to earn extra points. The member with the most points at the end wins a free seat at the group's Friendsgiving event.

Keep ReadingShow less
Democracy

This Map Reveals The True Value Of $100 In Each State

Your purchasing power can swing by 30% from state to state.

Image by Tax Foundation.

Map represents the value of 100 dollars.

As the cost of living in large cities continues to rise, more and more people are realizing that the value of a dollar in the United States is a very relative concept. For decades, cost of living indices have sought to address and benchmark the inconsistencies in what money will buy, but they are often so specific as to prevent a holistic picture or the ability to "browse" the data based on geographic location.

The Tax Foundation addressed many of these shortcomings using the most recent (2015) Bureau of Economic Analysis data to provide a familiar map of the United States overlaid with the relative value of what $100 is "worth" in each state. Granted, going state-by-state still introduces a fair amount of "smoothing" into the process — $100 will go farther in Los Angeles than in Fresno, for instance — but it does provide insight into where the value lies.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Woman bakes cheeky curse word pies for her grandma and it becomes a quirky holiday tradition

2023's pie is an homage to her favorite word to use while stuck in traffic.

Canva

You never know where a holiday tradition will come from.

Tried-and-true holiday traditions certainly have their merit, but there’s something quite special, magical even, about discovering personal rituals that commemorate one’s unique life. In my household, for instance, nothing quite rings in the Christmas spirit like sipping my partner’s delicious coquito and putting up a cardboard gingerbread house for my cats.

The beauty of creating customized holiday traditions is that they can be as festive, sentimental, or as silly as you want them to be. And you never know how one small moment can become the catalyst for a tradition that sparks joy year after year.

For Jess Lydon, that tradition is baking expletive-laden pies for Thanksgiving. (This is your profanity warning—the images below contain swear words.)

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

3,700-year-old Babylonian stone tablet gets translated, changes history

They were doing trigonometry 1500 years before the Greeks.

via UNSW

Dr. Daniel Mansfield and his team at the University of New South Wales in Australia have just made an incredible discovery. While studying a 3,700-year-old tablet from the ancient civilization of Babylon, they found evidence that the Babylonians were doing something astounding: trigonometry!

Most historians have credited the Greeks with creating the study of triangles' sides and angles, but this tablet presents indisputable evidence that the Babylonians were using the technique 1,500 years before the Greeks ever were.

Keep ReadingShow less

Peter Bence's piano cover of "Africa" by Toto

Peter Bence’s performance of “Africa” by Toto has over 17 million views on YouTube because of his creative reimagining of the song and, well, just about everyone loves “Africa.”

Bence is a Hungarian composer and producer who has become a viral sensation for his Michael Jackson, Queen, Sia, and Beatles covers. He has over 1.1 million followers on YouTube and has toured the globe, playing in more than 40 countries across four continents.

His performance of “Africa'' is unique because it opens with him creating a rhythm track and looping it by strategically tapping the piano and rubbing its strings to create the sound of shakers and congo drums.

Keep ReadingShow less
Joy

Family posts a very chill note to neighbors explaining why their dog is on the roof

“We appreciate your concern but please do not knock on our door.."

via Reddit

Meet Huckleberry the dog.

If you were taking a stroll through a quiet neighborhood and happened to catch a glance of this majestic sight, you might bat an eye. You might do a double take. If you were (somewhat understandably) concerned about this surprising roof-dog's welfare, you might even approach the homeowners to tell them, "Uh, I'm not sure if you know...but there's a...dog...on your ROOF."

Well, the family inside is aware that there's often a dog on their roof. It's their pet Golden, Huckleberry, and he just sorta likes it up there.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

12 hilariously relatable comics about life as a new mom.

Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

All illustrations by Ingebritt ter Veld. Reprinted here with permission.

Some good not so good moments with babies.



Embarrassing stains on your T-shirt, sniffing someone's bum to check if they have pooped, the first time having sex post-giving birth — as a new mom, your life turns upside-down.

Illustrator Ingebritt ter Veld and Corinne de Vries, who works for Hippe-Birth Cards, a webshop for birth announcements, had babies shortly after one another.

Keep ReadingShow less