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America's media cycle and collective psyche are unfortunately tethered to Donald Trump's daily Twitter rants.

His diatribes can be frightening, such as the time he threatened military action against North Korea. Nonsensical, like the time he tweeted "covfefe." And disturbingly racist, like when he threatened The Squad by telling them to "go back" to the countries from which they came.

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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
NDU Audio Visual / Flickr

Last May at a rally in Florida, President Trump asked the crowd how to deal with immigrants illegally crossing the U.S. border.

"How do you stop these people?" he asked.

"Shoot them!" one man shouted.

The crowd responded with a wicked laugh and Trump didn't even bother to denounce the man in the audience. Instead, he replied with humor. "That's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that stuff," he said. "Only in the Panhandle."

Trump has said that unauthorized migrants "pour into and infest" the United States. "You look at what is marching up, that is an invasion!" he declared at one rally. "That is an invasion!"

On Saturday morning, a 21-year-old man murdered 21 people in the border town of El Paso, Texas at a Walmart. Before the shooting rampage, he wrote a manifesto decrying an "invasion" of immigrants. He also stated that his anti-immigrant sentiments "predate Trump."

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Democracy
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I had a strange experience in the Vancouver, B.C. airport last week that I can't stop thinking about.

I was on my way to the Women Deliver conference—the largest international conference on the rights, health, and well-being of women and girls. As a woman and an American, I was excited to be immersed in conversations about improving gender equality globally. I was excited to meet people leading movements to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. Justin Trudeau, Melinda Gates, Tarana Burke, and other major movers and shakers were going to be there. The conference had been sold out for months.

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Culture