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.

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Democracy

Hey! Remember Sean Spicer? He just wrote a book.

Spicer was President Donald Trump's first press secretary before resigning just 182 days into the administration. He became a bit notorious for his poor word choices (he accidentally called concentration camps "Holocaust centers") and easily debunked lies (such as his claim that the crowd at Trump's inauguration was the "largest audience to witness an inauguration, period" or the time he defended Trump's voter fraud claims by citing a study's non-existent conclusion).

Since his time in the White House, news networks dashed Spicer's hopes of landing a high-paying contributor role, he completed a Harvard Fellowship that led one student to publicly call for the end of the program in its current form, he showed up at the Emmys for a tongue-in-cheek joke about his crowd size lie, and has started developing his own TV talk show to pitch to networks.

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Most Shared

Beck Dorey-Stein found her job as the White House stenographer on Craigslist. Now that job is at the front line in the fight for truth and democracy.

Recording and transcribing the president's conversations with the press wasn't supposed to be a glamorous job. But when Dorey-Stein wasn't allowed to do it properly, the impact was profound.

She said she quit her job after White House officials made it difficult to record President Donald Trump's conversations with the press, which therefore led to inaccurate or incomplete transcripts.

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More

Numbers don't lie, but graphs can.

You're reading an article, perusing an ad, or watching the news when you spot a kickass chart or infographic. Finally, a way to share information that's impermeable to opinions and falsehoods, right? Well, not exactly.

That's why, in the era of bogus news sites, information dissection is more important than ever.

Graphs and data visualizations are easier to make than ever before, so there's nothing stopping anyone from using accurate facts and figures in an irresponsible or dishonest way.

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Family