Michael Moore identified Donald Trump as the “godfather” of “fake news.”
“Fake news? He was one of the founders of that in the Obama era,” Moore said, citing Trump’s claims about the president’s birthplace. “He is the godfather of this decade’s fake news.”
Moore told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that Trump reminded him of Richard Nixon when he denounced CNN as “fake news” during his Wednesday morning press conference.
“Put those words in Nixon’s mouth, (and) it would have sounded like the paranoid that Nixon was,” Moore said. “Put those words in George W. Bush’s mouth — you know, ‘You’re fake news’ — it would have sounded defensive, like the little boy. This guy pulls that off, and he pulls it off, and he pulls it off over and over and over again.”
Moore said Trump overwhelms his opponents with belligerence and confusion, combined with superficial showmanship.
“It’s critical that the media do its job, and do not be afraid — do not back down,” Moore said.
He hoped news organizations wouldn’t shy away from reporting controversial topics after Buzzfeed drew criticism for publishing an unverified but widely circulated dossier on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.
“Was there collusion between the Trump campaign and any Russians during the campaign?” Moore asked. “That’s worthy of the investigation that apparently the FBI and others are doing right now.”
He said Trump will readily contradict himself at any point, which makes covering him accurately nearly impossible.
“This is a crazy time,” Moore said.
He agreed with Hayes that Buzzfeed should not have published the dossier without first verifying its contents, and he said the website had reported inaccurate claims about him before.
“This is going to be the undoing of the press if they don’t (verify their claims), if that kind of serious journalism doesn’t happen,” Moore said.