"Fake news" is now part of the American vernacular, and wordsmiths have Donald Trump to thank.
President Trump recently handed out the 2017 "Fake News Awards" for the 11 most irresponsible examples of reporting. And the headlines, ranging from ice cream to pecan pie, bordered on—if not crossed—the ridiculous. Trump's "favorite" media outlet, CNN, garnered four of the awards.
But long before last week's awards, Donald Trump was calling out those who just plain didn't get the story straight, even on the campaign trail. And his boldness resonated with voters, says Stephen E. Strang, author of the best-selling book, God and Donald Trump.
Strang, who was a guest on Fox & Friends this past Sunday, said that when then-candidate Trump began responding to his critics at all hours of the day and night on Twitter, he surprised and embarrassed a lot of his detractors, tweeting strongly worded comments no one had expected.
"He had already waged highly publicized verbal battles with Meryl Streep and other celebrities such as Rosie O'Donnell and Oprah Winfrey, but this would be an altogether different kind of war," Strang wrote. "With a level of technical savvy uncommon for a man of his generation, Trump was able to counterattack within minutes whenever his opponents made scurrilous charges against him. This was something new, and it delighted his fans and the public at large, even as it infuriated the increasingly volatile resistance.
"Before long, Trump was a serial tweeter, and he provided the media with some riveting sound bites," he continued. "Not everyone, of course, was thrilled by this new development. Liberal news organizations compiled exhaustive catalogs of Trump's tweets to show how insensitive, ignorant and wrong-headed he could be. But they couldn't ignore them, and they followed his tweets faithfully, hoping to catch him in some word or deed that would be his undoing."
Strang fully acknowledges that some of Trump's comments were tactless and crude, often attacking his detractors with salty schoolyard taunts.
"But Trump's use of Twitter gave him a way around the mainstream media and his political opponents who had been getting free access to the media and were able to insult and demean him with impunity," Strang wrote. "Suddenly, those same people were being held accountable in real time, and news hawks on both sides didn't want to miss a word of it.
"Trump hasn't slowed his Twitter storm since moving into the White House," the author added. "At one point, he had said there would have been 'ZERO chance of winning WH' if he had relied on the 'Fake News' being churned out by the mainstream media. But his candid and unfiltered Twitter feeds helped turn the tables on his foes."
Strang is an award-winning journalist and successful businessman who began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Orlando Sentinel. He later founded a Christian publishing house and media company while interviewing and writing about nearly every Christian leader in the country over the past four decades.
God and Donald Trump is published by Frontline, an imprint of Charisma House, which has published books that challenge, encourage, teach and equip Christians, including 14 New York Times best-sellers.
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