Here’s more evidence of just how crucial it is to the Trumpiverse to sustain the narrative that “the media” are the enemy.
Earlier today, Trump’s Director of Communications Tim Murtaugh tweeted a picture of a Washington Times banner headline announcing the victory of “PRESIDENT GORE,” as “a reminder that the media doesn’t select the Present.”
Also in the same tweet was a photo of that page plastered in what appears to be a kitchenette in the Trump campaign headquarters.
If you zoom in on the image in the tweet, you can just make out that the text of that story reads, in part, “George W. Bush… avenged his father.” A glance at the “E” in “GORE” shows that it’s different from the “E” in “PRESIDENT,” a clear sign that whoever added “GORE” was not using the same typeface.
The Twitterverse quickly turned up the real front page, which accurately reported a Bush win. Likewise, the Times (a notably conservative paper which endorsed Trump in 2020) weighted in, saying the image was fake.
Journalists, being human, make mistakes. Even though news organizations compete with each other, reporters recognize and respect good work, and understand that the president’s frequent attacks on favorite targets such as CNN or the Washington Post threaten all the constitutionally protected free press. Journalists regularly pool their resources when the White House limits their access (often for perfectly legitimate reasons, such as the fact that only a handful of reporters can fit on Air Force One or in the White House briefing room).
Repeatedly, Trump has called journalists “the enemy of the American people.” He usually qualifies that attack so that it’s directed against “fake news,” but he applies that term loosely, often meaning any report that does not praise him.
So, to recap: In the wake of news reports that Biden won the election, the Trump campaign headquarters plastered its walls with images of a news reporting error that never happened — an obviously doctored banner headline and image — and presented the distorted image as an example of actual journalism.
Whether the Trump HQ staffers knew the image was fake or not, Trump’s director of communications didn’t exactly demonstrate fact-checking acumen when he tweeted a fake image (full of internal contradictions) to support the ongoing Trumpiverse narrative that journalists are enemies to be mocked, discredited and defeated.
Murtaugh has since deleted the tweet, but as is consistent with the Trump brand, there is no sign of a retraction or apology.