Trump is embracing five ‘fake news’ outlets he supposedly hates
WASHINGTON — Each afternoon since last week, former President Donald Trump’s 2024 campaign has fired off an email titled "ICYMI: Important Articles and Posts from President Trump".
Most of these missives contain predictably Trumpian fare from decidedly far-right outlets peddling MAGA propaganda and culture war outrage.
“Trump is the greatest defender of the Constitution alive today,” declares the headline of a column from the Washington Times’ Charles Hurt.
“Energy sector sees 88% increase in ‘nonbinary’ workers from last year,” reads one story from John Solomon’s Just the News.
But Trump’s daily brag sheets are also peppered with articles from news organizations that — taking Trump at his own word — are straight-up terrible, filled with lying, no-good agents of “fake news” who are hell-bent on harming him.
Among them is “disgusting,” “bad,” “totally biased” and “truly unprofessional” NBC News, which Trump in March called “one of the worst” as he ordered reporter Vaughn Hillyard off his private Boeing 757 jet following a campaign rally in Waco, Texas.
On Wednesday, Trump used his daily email to highlight the reporting of NBC News’ Monica Alba and Carol E. Lee, who wrote that “attorneys for President Joe Biden and the special counsel appointed to investigate his handling of classified documents have been negotiating for about a month over the terms under which he would be interviewed.”
In 2020, Trump issued a blanket Twitter declaration that “WSJ is Fake News!” after the Wall Street Journal chided the then-president for the quality of his daily White House press briefings.
But Trump’s Sept. 3 email news round-up led with a story from the Wall Street Journal reporters Aaron Zitner and John McCormick, headlined: “Trump Is Top Choice for Nearly 60% of GOP Voters, WSJ Poll Shows”
Even the ultimate “enemy of the people” — the “failing,” “inaccurate,” “corrupt,” “sick,” "discredited” and “totally dishonest” New York Times — earned not one, but two slots in Trump’s sizzle reel.
The top of a daily "Important Articles and Posts from President Trump" email that Donald Trump's 2024 campaign began sending out last week. Screengrab
One was a nearly 23-year-old New York Times story about a plan in Florida to appoint George W. Bush electors “with no Jeb Bush signature” — a not-so-subtle tie-in to Trump’s own 2020 fake elector scheme that has landed him and many of his associates in vat of legal magma.
The other, in Trump’s Sept. 6 email, is a piece from 2015 by Michael Barbaro about a 1987 letter to Trump from former President Richard Nixon. In it, Nixon says that his wife, Pat Nixon, saw Trump on the Donohue show and finished the program convinced that “whenever you decide to run for office you will be a winner!”
The “ultra liberal” and “failing” Des Moines Register and perennial “total joke” frenemy Fox News — “Fox has become fake news, too,” Trump said in 2020 — also got Trump email shout-outs in recent days.
So, has Trump, who is facing 91 felony counts across four separate criminal cases while maintaining a commanding lead for the 2024 Republican nomination, warmed to the coverage of his sworn media enemies?
The Trump campaign didn’t directly answer Raw Story questions about whether Trump still considers the New York Times, NBC and the rest to be "fake news". Nor did it explain why the campaign decided to highlight news articles from outlets Trump had previously deemed untrustworthy.
But in an email to Raw Story, Trump campaign spokesperson Steven Cheung wrote: “When Fake News is forced to print the truth, you know it's dire for Crooked Joe Biden.”
For Kathy Kiely, the Lee Hills chair in free-press studies at the University of Missouri's Missouri School of Journalism, Trump’s desire to have it both ways is a potential teaching moment. She challenged Trump supporters to think critically about when Trump cites mainstream news organizations to his advantage.
“Look at the record. Are they really fake if Donald Trump quotes these outlets?” Kiely said, while acknowledging that Trump’s “contradictions and hypocrisies don’t seem to bother his most hardcore supporters.”
Trump’s hypocrisy is, at least, transparent, Kiely added.
“He bludgeons the media when it’s convenient. He uses the media when it’s convenient. He’s happy to cite the media organizations he hates when they publish something that is helpful to him,” she said.
True to form, Trump’s email on Thursday featured the republication of an Associated Press story about conservative Christians’ attraction to Trump.
The article to which Trump linked appeared in the Milwaukee Independent, a small, nonprofit news organization in Wisconsin that features this quotation in its “about us” page: “As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The quote is from Marianne Williamson, who is also running for president in 2024 — as a Democrat.