Everything is “Fake News”

Remember how Rachel Maddow had a couple pages from Tax-Dodger-in-Chief’s 2005 tax returns, and talked about it on her show?

This is also “fake news”… according to the aforementioned Wannabe Tan Ruler, anyways… (from the New York Times)

President Trump on Wednesday denounced as “fake news” the release by journalists of a portion of his 2005 income tax form, just hours after his administration appeared to confirm the accuracy of the documents.

Two pages from the president’s 2005 tax returns were disclosed Tuesday evening by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow after being mailed to David Cay Johnston, a former New York Times reporter. They show that Mr. Trump paid $38 million in federal income taxes on reported income of $150 million, an effective tax rate of 25 percent.


The White House confirmed those numbers before the show and appeared to accept the document’s authenticity by criticizing a story “about two pages of tax returns from over a decade ago” and stating that it was “totally illegal to steal and publish tax returns.”

But in a Twitter message posted just before 7 a.m., the president appeared to backtrack from that acknowledgment.

“Does anybody really believe that a reporter, who nobody ever heard of, “went to his mailbox” and found my tax returns? @NBCNews FAKE NEWS!”

That term, “fake news”, was legitimate once, in a time past that I am, inexplicably, missing… but not anymore. Now it means literally nothing.


  1. Siobhan says

    Now it means literally nothing.

    I disagree. I think we can deduce that the accuser likely just finds the information inconvenient to their political beliefs. That’s not quite nothing!

  2. blf says

    I think we can deduce that the accuser likely just finds the information inconvenient to their political beliefs.

    That can be valid if the person asserting such-and-so is “fake news” is the originator of that particular claim. After the Nth forwarding, retweeting, copying, and so on, that deduction is perhaps not-so-valid. Context has perhaps been lost, there may have been editing, the “echo chamber” encourages groupthink and worse, etc etc etc… the actual viewpoints and understandings of the Nth repeatertyping monkey could be harder to deduce.

    Not always, of course; e.g., the claim might be repeated (quoted) so it can be disemboweled. Admittedly, no deduction is perhaps needed in such as case as the dissecting can make the dissector’s position / belief and knowledge on the matter reasonably clear.

    Having said that, I do concur the phrase still has meaning, the catch being it is acquiring multiple meanings — making knowledge of the context, history, and originator just that more important.

    (This is also happening to deep state, which the nazis are using to describe opposition-to, and opponents-of, their statements and actions from within the government itself. The usual meaning is that of a “state within a state”, or parts of the government operating independently without any controls or oversight; Egypt and Pakistan are commonly-cited examples.)

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