If you watched any cable news today, or read any of the major news websites, you would have seen this story breathlessly reported as actual White House policy:
WASHINGTON—President Trump on Tuesday accused Alphabet Inc.’s Google search platform of elevating critical news stories about his presidency at the expense of friendly conservative voices, adding to the growing scrutiny of tech giants from policy makers.
But, here’s the thing, Trump was just repeating what he saw on the Fox Business News show Lou Dobbs, almost word for word.
The Lou Dobbs show from last night:
Trump Tweet this morning:
As it turns out, the Lou Dobbs show was of course basing their segment on a bogus study:
The 96% figure Trump regurgitated is based on a subjective right wing view of basically all legitimate media being biased, or as Trump puts it: “fake”.
And then, after Trump’s tweet, this same media he is complaining about went ahead and took his tweets at face value, reporting that Trump was going after Google, most likely precipitating several calls to the White House to ask if they were really looking into taking actions against Google, considering the fact that the President of the United States had just tweeted this about Google’s search results: “Illegal?”
First off, how is taking the President’s word at face value something that could be called biased or fake? Because that is mostly what the media does, and did in this case. Maybe the problem isn’t the media. Maybe the problem is Trump’s words.
Secondly, as usually happens, all of this media attention of Trump’s own words eventually had to be responded to by the White House. Well, the White House apparently didn’t want to explain that the crazy old man who is our President was just doing what crazy old men do: watch Fox News and get pissed off. So, instead they sent Larry Kudlow, Donald Trump’s Economic Advisor, out to pretend that they were actually looking into it.
And thus, a bogus Fox News segment becomes official White House policy:
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said Tuesday that the administration is “taking a look” at imposing regulations on Google following President Donald Trump’s tweet Tuesday accusing the search giant of favoring news outlets critical of him in search results.
This is so ridiculous for so many reasons.
- Trump is complaining about media bias against him when he has the largest megaphone in the world. He can literally retweet a right wing conspiracy theory and it becomes the biggest news story of the day.
- The mainstream media pretends that this is all somewhat normal, acting as if the White House is actually thoughtfully looking into policy decisions. THIS IS NOT NORMAL (all caps for the Fox News fans).
- Fox News is directing White House policy. Besides their ridiculous right wing bias, Fox News’ agenda is not to make the country better, it is to get more people to watch Fox News.
- Fox News knows full well that Trump is watching them and taking direction from them, so Fox News also knows that no matter what, they can never turn against him. Because Trump is their biggest cheerleader. He watches Fox News to feed his ego. If Fox News says bad things about him, he will turn on them as fast as he has turned on James Comey, Michael Cohen, Omarosa…
- Trump’s followers also watch Fox News, so when they see the President repeat Fox News talking points, it creates a never-ending loop of validation: the President agrees with Fox News so Fox News must be correct; Fox News agrees with the President so the President must be correct. This is a big part of why they will keep following him until the bitter end.
People, this is not good for the country. We are being led by a literal cult creating apparatus.
Which leads us back to the worst part about this story. It is based on a favorite tactic of Fox News and Donald Trump: telling their viewers and Trump’s supporters that every other news agency is lying. This is exactly what a cult does. A cult tells its victims that the cult leaders are the only people they can trust, that everyone else is lying to them. That is, unfortunately, what millions of Americans have been swept into, and it couldn’t be illustrated any clearer than by today’s news cycle.