As President Trump continues to escalate his Twitter attacks in the wake of negative headlines and unflattering books, Ford School professor Brendan Nyhan told a National Public Radio reporter that the president "more and more is calling into question every other source of information besides himself.”
Tamara Keith’s September 2, 2018 story entitled “President Trump’s Description of What’s ‘Fake’ Is Expanding,” details the noticeable increase of negative tweets regarding the media in relation to news stories critical of the Trump Administration. Following the release of Omorosa Manigault Newman’s book and developments with the Mueller investigation, Keith reports that “There were more tweets in August about things Trump labels fake and phony than in any month of his presidency.”
As the President intensifies his resistance to increased media pressure and further solidifies his political base, “for others,” Nyhan says, “the tweets and similar statements raise doubts and sow confusion about what the truth really is.” Remarking on how Americans are quick to condemn similar behavior in totalitarian oppressive states, Nyhan cautions that “it should worry you when you see it here too.”
Brendan Nyhan is a professor of public policy at the Ford School. Nyhan a 2018 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, co-founder of Bright Line Watch, and author of All the President's Spin (Touchstone, 2004).