The term ‘fake news’ on its face would seem to be news that isn’t real – fabricated stories peddling untrue information.
But Wednesday morning, President Trump finally said out loud what most Americans have long since determined about Trump’s use of the term: it means negative coverage the president doesn’t like.
Conservatives have spent decades building a critique of mainstream news, lovingly compiling examples of biased or allegedly biased reporting, and constructing an echo chamber in which the dread Liberal Media can be ignored. Donald Trump is in many ways the culmination of these habits, which he exploited by grasping early on that Republican voters would be willing to forgive literally any lies he uttered, however obvious, because they had been trained to disregard all sources of independent fact.
And Trump has now admitted that liberal bias really just means negative stories about Republicans, and all of that constitutes ‘fake news’.