President Trump frequently denounces “fake news,” intensifying a 50-year construction of the major news media outlets as unreliable due to a liberal bias. In recent years, Fox News, in claiming to be “fair and balanced,” implicitly accuses other television media of a liberal or even left-wing slant. In 2016, the phrase “fake news” referred to “click bait” – sensational and untrue stories on the Internet that would make advertising money. Many of these false stories and conspiracy theories then became about the candidates (e.g. that the pope had endorsed Donald Trump or that Hillary Clinton was hiding a physical illness). After Trump won the presidency, the CIA and FBI determined that Russia interfered in the election. Some concluded that false stories on social media helped swing the election to Trump. At Donald Trump’s first presidential press conference he directly accused Jim Acosta and CNN of being “fake news” and then took it from there. The phrase is loved by those who admire Trump’s brief memorable phrases that are extreme and dismissive, while being seen as funny. Pop paraphernalia items promoting “fake news” as pervasive in the mainstream media are aimed at the political right, while other items (e.g., “A free press is the enemy of a dictator,” or “I Voted” along with a picture of Putin) have been marketed to the political left.


The Divided States of America
Cards and Canards
Who Is "America"? Whose "America" Is It?
Racism & Xenophobia
Immigrant Detentions and Contentions
Man Up
MeToo Movements
Misogyny and Misogynoir
Threats of Harm & Electoral Violence
Bullying, Shaming, and Lying
Pandemic Politics
Unmasked Meanings
God on Our Side
Gun Battles
Black Lives Matter
Pop Archetypes
Fake News, Troll Tidings
Disinformation and Conspiracy "Theories"
Talking Back to the Cap
Making and Remaking America
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Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Florida Atlantic University

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