President Trump’s swearing in resulted in numerous serious credibility issues which will adversely affect our keeping America great. Of the multitude of issues, these two are extremely troubling:
- Rumors that members of the White House Press Corps may refuse to attend White House briefings.
- “Alternative facts” generated by the President and his staff are presented to the public as truths.
It is a given that the best reporters, and, yes, even those with only a modicum of sense, will be personally and professionally insulted to sit through regular demeaning and belittling tirades by an ignorant sloth. But, sadly, our reporters must gird their loins, or whatever they need to gird in order to keep abuse from sticking, and to keep descriptive notes for their memoirs. Else we will have all our news filtered through the FOX misinformation system. Don’t lose heart. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Please read on.
Ways must be found to handle President Trump’s lies, or “Alternative Facts” as confessed to by Kellyanne Conway. (By-the-way, this was the best thing the despicable woman has done or ever will do. Chuck Todd surprised me greatly by calling her on it. The needle on his BS meter moved a little toward favorable. When “untruths” become “lies,” the needle will move a little more.)
Although TV has come a long way toward living in the here and now, there is more that can be done – especially in the realm of fact checking. Think about it. When you use Twitter and come across a pol’s declaration, you can quickly and easily check it for truthfulness. Currently, there are some good, reliable fact checking resources. Speedy and trustworthy fact checking will help both these items of concern.
Picture This Scenario:
- A Press Corps on duty at the White House armed with a way to instantly fact-check through active, on-line cell phone connections using text or voice. Credibility of independent fact checking services will depend on their speed and accuracy.
- Major news networks taking responsibility to identify the truthfulness of White House statements. Bottom-of-the-screen banners would be colored to indicate fact checking status. For instance, green would indicate the news item was true, flashing orange would be partly true or edging toward untrue which would be flashing red. This would allow for news to be timely as it could be reported before fact checking was completed.
We cannot stop the Chief Executive from being a bully, but maybe our support for the Press Corps can help erect an invisible force field to help them through the next four years. As concerns fact checking, TV surely can to a better job of letting the public know whether the story is true or the “alternative” which is a lie.