President Trump’s campaign to discredit the news media is spreading to officials at all levels of government. Many of them are echoing his use of the term “fake news” as a weapon against unflattering stories.
The term has become a signal to a politician’s supporters to ignore legitimate reporting and as a smear of the press corps.
In Idaho, for example, a state lawmaker has urged her constituents to submit entries for her own “fake news awards.”
The Kentucky governor tweeted #FAKENEWS to dismiss questions about his purchase of a home from a supporter.
Experts on the press and democracy say the cries of “fake news” could do long-term damage by sowing confusion and contempt for journalists. It also undermines the media’s role as a watchdog on government and politicians.
One of a package of stories marking Sunshine Week, an annual celebration of access to public information.