For Trump and his supporters, the phrase 'fake news' is their most potent weapon: Opinion

Tuesday, 14 November 2017, 06:00:30 PM. In the bumper-sticker realm of Trump Nation, it's the etymological equivalent of a Bushmaster with a bump stock; turn it on your enemy and spray.
Sean Hannity, the Donald Trump adviser who masquerades as a political journalist on Fox News when it suits him, got up on his hind legs recently to scold CNN's Jake Tapper, who is a real journalist and former White House correspondent, a fellow who actually has to follow the norms and rules of the craft, such as they are. Basically, that means Tapper would be fired for knowingly telling a lie on air, whereas Hannity presumably counsels President Trump on making them up. Hannity's issue with Tapper that night was foolishness – something about how horrible it was of Tapper to say, on air, just after a man shouting Allahu Akbar had mowed down several Manhattan pedestrians with a rented truck, that Allahu Akbar is a phrase sometimes uttered as a beautiful sentiment, and has been corrupted by bad people. What caught my interest was the way Hannity set up the CNN-loves-terrorists smear: "You have liberal fake news CNN's fake-Jake Tapper," he explained in his pained, self-righteous tone.  Unleashing the angry id It was crude and puerile. But then, like the president he advises, Hannity is unconcerned with grownup language (or even proper spelling). He instead packs his sentences with emotives and epithets designed to stimulate the angry id. He and Trump are linguistic gunsmiths, and the phrase "fake news" is their most potent weapon. In the bumper-sticker realm of Trump Nation, it's the etymological equivalent of a Bushmaster with a bump stock; turn it on your enemy and...Read more
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