After a new poll showed that a “shockingly high percentange” of Americans believed President Donald Trump’s wild claims on Twitter in March that his predecessor Barack Obama ordered a wiretap on Trump Tower before the 2016 election, Tapper pointed out that the allegations had not been substantiated.
That didn’t stop Trump and his team from “pushing ways to try to make this evidence-free claim somewhere sort of possibly in the neighborhood of almost not entirely false,” Tapper said. “Now they failed, but they muddied the waters quite a bit.”
Highlighting how Trump’s baseless claim could be interpreted as the definition of “fake news,” Tapper acknowledged “this is America” and people were entitled to believe whatever they wished. He then noted how 18 percent of Americans claim to have seen or felt in the presence of a ghost.
But “in a thriving democracy, truth matters,” Tapper said. “Facts matter. We learned in the campaign that Donald Trump can be cavalier about facts and truth.”
He laid the blame with some government officials and the conservative press for working “to make his (Trump’s) falsehoods seem true” — but Tapper also apportioned some of the responsibility to the progressive media.
Tapper explained what can be done to wipe out the threatening phenomenon of spurious stories being reported as true.
“This is a time for all journalists to be extra careful about our own reporting, to make sure that we adhere strictly to facts and cogent analysis,” he said. “This is the time for you the public to demand evidence from your leaders and from your media, even if you already agree with the politics of the person on your TV.”