The history of fake news by the mainstream media is far more serious, long lasting and pernicious than anything in a few disreputable internet sites.
The latest – circulated by the BBC and the British press – was that Donald Trump had “banned Muslims from the United States”. He had not.
The Trump administration introduced up to 6 months temporary bans on travellers and migrants from certain Middle East countries which even President Obama had named as dangerous. The most populous Muslim countries (Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey) were totally unaffected by the measures.
All the countries which were included in the temporary ban had been named by the Obama administration as significant dangers in their December 2015 Terrorist Travel Prevention Act.
Donald Trump’s executive order was entirely reasonable and its wording was as follows:
Section 1. Purpose:
In order to protect Americans, the United States must ensure that those admitted to this country do not bear hostile attitudes toward it and its founding principles. The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including “honor” killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.
As Srdja Trifkovic pointed out in his excellent article in Chronicles magazine (https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/the-real-muslim-ban) when immigrants become US citizens they have to declare that
“I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
These perfectly reasonable demands by the United States of its citizens and immigrants are unacceptable only to those who seek not to integrate but to conquer and colonise in the name of an ideology or religion. Given the specific demands of ALL Muslims in that religion’s holy books to do just that Donald Trump’s response has been highly restricted and mild.
In another example of how “fake news” covers not just what is reported falsely but what is NOT REPORTED AT ALL I notice that there are no protests against the 16 Arab countries who refuse to allow Israelis to enter their countries – ranging alphabetically from Algeria to Yemen. Several of them refuse entry to anyone who has even travelled to Israel.
Fake news also involves deliberate imbalance in reporting – or reporting extensively physical street demonstrations by those calling for violence and expressing hatred of democratically elected politicians while the true balance of expressed opinion by voters sitting quietly at home is PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE.
For instance 57% of Americans supported Donald Trump’s temporary ban while only 33% opposed the measures. And while the BBC and others showed demonstrations against the forthcoming official visit by President Trump to the United Kingdom a Yougov opinion poll showed that the support for the visit was 49% to 36% – despite the barrage of anti Trump reporting! .
A few thousand marching on the streets with vicious placards cannot outweigh the millions of voters who support a policy – but about whom the mainstream media are strangely and undemocratically silent. No wonder that 70% of Americans said that they had no confidence in the media reporting of the Presidential election in America.