The Long War: Trump Allies Dig in for Lengthy Tactical Battle with Very Fake News

trump-CNN-tackle-Charlie Spiering
Charlie Spiering/Breitbart News

Enough is enough, President Donald J. Trump thinks: It’s time for the very fake news CNN and its cohorts throughout the establishment media also spreading inaccurate information to be exposed, confronted directly, defeated, and discredited.

And his allies on the outside seem to agree, as they engage in the most concerted pushback the United States has ever seen against a usually comfortable, fat, and happy media establishment.

Now just over six months into his nascent administration, President Trump heads into Fourth of July in full-scale war with CNN. But it’s not just Jeff Zucker’s network who’s landed in Trump’s crosshairs: the president is taking on the entire rest of the alphabet soup of fake news purveyors. He is at the ramparts with everyone from the New York Times and Washington Post to the Associated Press to Politico to NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and everyone else in the media.

Trump gave the media a half a year to accept his presidency and report accurately, without any significant White House or outside pushback on reams of inaccurate reporting. Now that the entirely unreasonable fake news media fleet continues to refuse to change its ways and report truthfully on President Trump and his administration, one of the most sophisticated pushbacks against the media in political history is emerging—and perhaps one of the most interesting things about this campaign of sorts is that it is happening almost entirely organically.

Allies of the president outside the White House have assembled informal units to review everything the fake news media has ever written—and will write—about the White House, fact-checking everything media-wide.

“I’ve planted at least half a dozen fake news pieces in Politico so it shouldn’t be too hard to get started with them,” one GOP strategist with close ties to the White House told Breitbart News on condition of anonymity.

All of those above-mentioned outlets and more are expected to face rigorous review from the right, and anything out of place will be challenged—and contested—hard.

“It’s unfortunate that it has to come to this,” Sam Nunberg, a New York City-based attorney and GOP activist who worked on President Trump’s campaign, told Breitbart News. “Indeed, it’s sad.”

Nunberg has worked with many others in GOP circles in helping uncover and propel forward the recent scandals that have rocked CNN and other media outlets. As a result of a Breitbart News investigation a little more than a week ago now, CNN was forced to retract a hit piece on President Trump and his associates, including Anthony Scaramucci.

The inaccurate story’s retraction led to the resignation of three high-level CNN editorial staffers—a Pulitzer Prize nominated reporter, a Pulitzer Prize winning editor, and the head of CNN’s investigative reporting unit—and has spiraled the network into crisis. Zucker, the network president, has refused to appear in public to answer questions about the matter, and CNN’s public relations team has gone dark on the scandal, refusing to account for what happened and who is actually responsible.

Meanwhile, the Times, the Post, and others find themselves also under never-before-seen levels of scrutiny. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the 2008 GOP Vice Presidential nominee and Trump ally who endorsed the now-president before the Iowa caucuses in early 2016, is suing the Times for an editorial it wrote about her, inaccurately alleging she was somewhat responsible for inspiring the shooting in 2011 against Rep. Gabby Lee Giffords (D-AZ). Palin’s attorneys previously represented Hulk Hogan in his lawsuit against Gawker, which destroyed that media company, forcing it into bankruptcy.

James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas forced the Post to correct a factual error it made in its writing, and in O’Keefe’s video exposés of CNN employees, he uncovered serious problems at the network.

The Associated Press has been forced to correct significant mistakes it made in its Russia coverage, as well as to correct inaccurate reporting it did last week, inventing an imaginary cabinet-level meeting that never happened. Countless other examples are emerging throughout the media—so many that a common refrain now among Trump allies is that “we have told the American people about the media’s bias and questionable ethics before; now we can show them.”

O’Keefe tells Breitbart News the first few videos on CNN are just the beginning of what to expect. O’Keefe told Breitbart News on Monday:

Veritas already has footage on our hard drives inside other media companies. This is the year we wake the mainstream media up and the American people finally understand what’s going on. I have an infinite faith in the American people that they will draw the right conclusions if given facts. This stands in sharp contrast to the vision of the mainstream fake news media which is dominated not by facts but by characterizations and narratives.

New media outlets, including Breitbart News, are aggressively reporting on legacy, establishment media failures. Whenever new examples of failure emerge, they turn into news pieces—and then those news pieces are amplified and driven home by a network of outside allies of the president and movement conservatives.

The president’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., is a particularly strong and active social media user who blasts away at the fake news detractors of his father and the administration. Sean Hannity of Fox News uses his social media platform, television show, and radio show to hammer away. Laura Ingraham, a nationally-syndicated radio host who also runs LifeZette, hits back on her various platforms.

One such conservative journalist and author who punches back hard on social media, Mike Cernovich, told Breitbart News that the right has put aside its differences for now to focus on the common enemy of fake news.

“The Right has set aside its many disagreements on social issues to focus on the true enemy – fake news,” Cernovich said. “Fake news has acted as a terrorist propaganda arm for far too long. We are fighting back.”

And then of course the president himself—and his White House team—use their various mechanisms of messaging to get around the fake news media establishment directly to the American people, mocking the media along the way. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the Deputy White House press secretary, last week lit into the fake news scandal tearing CNN apart.

After a colorful exchange with Breitbart News’s senior White House correspondent Charlie Spiering in which she bashed CNN and the media for its failures—after she was interrupted by Playboy’s White House reporter, the only person in the room to defend CNN—Sanders turned to LifeZette’s Jim Stinson during a briefing last week. Stinson asked her if there should be a media-wide review of all coverage of the Trump White House.

“I think that would be a great idea,” Sanders replied. “I certainly don’t think that you would get arguments from us if there were retractions from outlets on fake stories.”

From what Breitbart News can reveal so far, it looks like such a review is under way–with informal units of grassroots activists and new media leaders throughout the country springing up their own efforts to dig into the fake news media.

Trump himself, at the same time, has used his Twitter account to shred the media. That escalated this weekend when the president Tweeted a video of himself beating up his friend Vince McMahon with a logo of CNN superimposed on the WWE fake wrestling footage. The battle in the video is not real, but signifies how President Trump is winning a fight against CNN.

In response, many at CNN accused Trump of calling for violence against its own and other outlets’ reporters. But then Jim Acosta, CNN’s White House correspondent, noted correctly on Twitter that WWE wrestling is fake. And Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., fired back at him in a reply Tweet that WWE wrestling is fake “just like” CNN’s content.

In other words, what has emerged in recent weeks in the wake of the CNN scandal—which kicked this whole breakdown of the media off in the first place—is a semi-coordinated but definitely sophisticated, ragtag band of Trump allies bashing away campaign-style against the media. And for now they’re winning. What’s more, it never would have gotten to this point had the media overall been reasonable and reported accurately on the beginning of the Trump administration. Instead, what happened is they opened up this year with rabidly anti-Trump vehemence, sparking the raindown of backfire upon them they’re now experiencing.

The war against the media is not likely to be easy, though. These institutions have tens of thousands of employees collectively, and are some of the most politically and financially powerful people on the planet. Their deep connections to longtime power and fame—not to mention their cultural prowess—is something that only makes it harder to knock them out of striking position against Trump.

But this emerging movement of Trumpian warriors, many of them borne out of his historic campaign, have proven effective. What lays ahead now is a long war grinding down the institutions that have accumulated influence in media for decades, the same way Trump himself ground down decades of influence and power on his bombastic road to the White House, in which he torched years of Republican and Democrat traditions to blaze his own “modern day presidential” path to the presidency.

And the general goal, the president says, is to get the media to actually do their jobs and cover the news of all the successes his administration is having.


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