The media needs to become ruthless in how it challenges President Trump and members of his administration when they push false information.
On Nov. 26, CBS reporter Paula Reid not only fact-checked the President regarding the U.S. policy on separating immigrant children from their parents but did so to his face and effectively had him retreat like a petulant child.
Reid is being praised for her actions during the press conference, which has been reported on by various outlets such as the Washington Post. This is all well-deserved praise, but this should be the norm for how the media interacts with this President and his administration.
The time for allowing the President to make use of his platform to peddle misinformation should have ended long ago, and even more so when CNN correspondent Jim Acosta had his White House press access revoked for a short period.
The case with Acosta had the President not only resort to personal insults when Acosta attempted to follow up on his questions, part of his job as a journalist as some are keen to forget it seems, before his microphone was taken by a female intern.
Let us not forget the video footage released of the situation, which was doctored by InfoWars and disseminated by the White House to make it appear as though Acosta had touched said intern intentionally rather than by accident as the original footage shows.
The media has a difficult job keeping up with the false claims made up by the President, ranging from his rallies to his interviews and, of course, his Twitter account.
The Washington Post is cited as stating that the President had made 6,420 false statements since the beginning of his presidency and was “now averaging 30 a day.”
Even with this staggering number, the style of confrontation that Paula Reid demonstrated should be adopted by every single reporter and journalist in order to pummel the truth into the situation.
Another example of a great way of dealing with this problem was demonstrated by Mehdi Hasan, a host for Al Jazeera who confronted Trump advisor Steven Rogers on air about some of Trump’s claims regarding riots in California and the building of new steel mills.
This exchange has since become the pinned tweet on Mehdi Hasan’s Twitter account.
In the clip, Hasan confronted Rogers with Trump’s many inconsistencies and Rogers refused to call the President a liar. Hasan responded, “I’ve just put to you multiple lies, and you’ve not been able to respond to any of them.”
This is what we have to do – put these officials on the spot and call them on their lies immediately and bludgeon them with the facts until their meager defenses of falsehoods are ground into dust.