MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow warned her audience on Monday of the mind trick Trump is using in an attempt to convince voters that he is not corrupt.
Maddow reminded how Russia’s 2016 election interference included “counterfeiting of the news process” with fake news.
“So that became part of our national discussion about what Russia had done, what Russia harnessed to try to interfere in our election in order to benefit Donald Trump. And the term that was most easily and specifically and conveniently applied to that phenomenon, the phrase ‘fake news,’ because these were, in fact, fake news stories generated for political purposes,” she explained.
“That phrase was soon adopted by President Trump and his campaign,” she noted. “And then ultimately by all Republicans basically so that that phrase became theirs. And the way they used it, the phrase ‘fake news’ no longer described the thing for which that phrase had been coined. It no longer described this specific aspect of the foreign interference in our election,” she said.
“The Trump campaign and ultimately Republicans converted that phrase so it would be used as an epithet against all journalists. Any real journalism, particularly journalism critical of President Trump, would be fake news,” she continued. “It was also just an easy undermining epithet for all types of reality-based journalism, all real media is fake news, all journalism is fake news, all reporters do fake news.”
“And that had two effects,” Maddow explained. “Number one, it undermined journalism and the whole idea of objective facts being the basis for political discussion and policy-making. But it also took away that phrase for a specific and legitimate use. I mean, them taking that phrase, ‘fake news,’ and using it this new way sort of rendered mute, rendered linguistically impossible any analysis of that very real, very specific initial problem for which that phrase was coined.”
“That’s what they did with fake news. That is what they’re doing now with the word corruption,” she warned.
“As with their adoption and perversion of that phrase, ‘fake news,’ they’re trying to make us basically linguistically incapable of characterizing the very thing for which the president is being impeached. The president saying corruption as if he’s a force for anti-corruption, given what he’s being impeached for right now, I believe we’re on a short time frame, before which we won’t be able to use the word anymore to talk about this scandal for which the president is being impeached because by his sheer repetition of it and the adoption of it by his supporters and by the conservative media for it to mean the opposite of what the real English use of that word, the word will become meaningless,” she warned.
“It will become something that is no longer available to us. It means both its real meaning and its opposite. An unusable part of this political drama,” Maddow concluded.