John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, says President Donald Trump criticizing fake news and inaccurate reporting is “dangerous” and is “a strategy, used by autocrats, designed to completely disorient public perception.”
“He’s not just trying to spin the bad news of the day; all politicians do that,” Podesta writes of Trump in a Washington Post op-ed. “He seeks nothing less than to undermine the public’s belief that any news can be trusted, that any news is true, that there is any fixed reality.”
Podesta, however, was all for facilitating a “fixed reality” by manipulating media when it served his political purposes.
Indeed, Podesta’s hacked emails revealed multiple instances of collusion and collaboration between mainstream media journalists and press outlets and the Clinton campaign throughout the election. Ironically, many of the journalists who cozied up to the Clinton campaign were from the Washington Post — Juliet Eilperin, Anne Gearan, Karen Tumulty — the same news outlet from which Podesta’s Trump hit piece was published.
The longtime Democratic operative also compared Trump’s handling of the media to that of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“He is emulating the successful strategy of Vladimir Putin,” Podesta wrote, insisting that Trump’s media criticism puts America “in danger of experiencing an information void like Russia,” where citizens “hear something on TV and assume it’s a lie.”
Podesta, of course, failed to mention his connections to Russia and Putin-connected companies.
Podesta warns voters to “maintain a heightened vigilance” and says, “A heavy burden falls on American journalists to fact-check a president and a White House staff that is setting records for peddling false information and not to be afraid to call a lie, a lie.”
“The recent ouster of Michael Flynn as national security adviser demonstrates that lying still carries consequences,” Podesta writes. “But they must go further and provide context and analysis for what motivates Trump, Stephen K. Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, and the others to constantly distort reality.”