Does This Mean “Fake News” is Fake?


On Tuesday, Sean Spicer held his first press briefing in two weeks, following Donald Trump’s first trip abroad as president. It didn’t go well.

As became increasingly clear during the briefing, Spicer no longer has a handle on the White House’s collapsing definition of “fake news.” One minute, it was anonymous sources in news media (except when they talked to Fox). The next, it was factually incorrect tweets (except when they’re about climate change). Spicey should be pretty good at his job by now, which simply requires him to provide an unrelenting defense of Trump’s tweets, whether he agrees with them or not. But after weeks of dismissing all bad press as fake news, even Spicer seemed unsure what the president’s favorite epithet was supposed to mean.


Original DVD cover

Recently, Trump tweeted that news stories that reference anonymous, unnamed sources are “fake news,” in reference to reports that Jared Kushner tried to set up improper “backchannel communications” with Russia. But when a reporter pointed out that Trump retweeted a Fox debunk of the backchannel claim that was itself sourced from an unnamed insider, Spicer had to explain why Trump promoted one story with an anonymous source while dismissing another. Spicer, being careful not to confirm or deny the report, said the question assumed “a lot of facts that are not substantiated by anything but anonymous sources that are so far being leaked out.” So anonymous sources aren’t fake news? Or are they?


After spending an hour railing against it, however, Spicer bizarrely struggled to give a single clear example of fake news. When asked to name a fake news story, Spicer pointed to a tweet from a BBC reporter claiming that Trump didn’t wear a translation earpiece during the Italian Prime Minister’s G7 speech. Trump was wearing one, it was just an in-ear piece.


Of course, if Spicer really thinks that false tweets are fake news, then that would make his boss the world’s most prolific publisher.

Despite all the lazy cynicism and obfuscation Spicer employed in his halfhearted defenses, however, one line from the briefing may have been the truest statement we’ve ever heard from the Press Secretary yet:

“The best messenger is the president himself, he’s always proven that.”


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7 responses to “Does This Mean “Fake News” is Fake?

  1. Lord have mercy. I can’t keep it all straight anymore. I sort of feel sorry for Spiceman having to lie to cover up a lie. And then repeat the lying thing the next day. I suppose a person becomes accustomed to lying and will continue to lie for his boss so he can keep the job.

    Spiceman has a shitty job and you made the poster “up just fine.”

    • Every once in a while, I get a tinge of sympathy for Little Seanie. Then I remember that he lies to protect someone who is trying to destroy this country, and he knows it. He could quit tomorrow and get a sweet book deal (unless Twitler made everyone in his administration sign a nondisclosure deal), and he continues to slander President Obama, Hillary and anyone else who stands up to his filthy boss. Little Seanie is going to Hell with the rest of them.

      • I must agree with your assessment. It makes my brain hurt every time anyone connected to Trump or the GOP, continues to bring up Obama and Clinton. It is odd how “thye” attempt to divert by talking about folks who afre no longer in government which makes it totally irrelevant. Even the jack ass pundits that I see on CNN continue to talk about Clinton and Obama. Passing the buck does not cut it for me. I detest those people and yes, you are right. Spiceman has lost his integrity and could likely find something else rather than being a lying mouth piece for an administrative disaster of corruption.

  2. The best messenger is the president himself, he’s always proven that.

    So it’s all just a load of covfefe.

    Spicer has the impossible job of assembling a coherent narrative out of the random yelling of a deranged old man in a panic. “Fake news”, like everything else, means whatever it’s convenient for Trump to mean by it at any given moment, never mind what it meant five minutes ago. It’s 1984 without the Ministry of Truth to keep the lies consistent.

    I don’t feel sympathy for him either. He took the job and kept it. He made a deal with the Devil, and the Devil has just come to collect on it a little earlier than expected.

    • A load of covfefe, indeed.

      Spicerack does have a difficult job, but even giving him that amount of slack, he really does stink at it. I know that he’s stuck having to give non-answers, because nobody tells him anything. They just give him some talking points to repeat over and over. Still, his delivery is annoying, and he always looks like an aneurysm ready to burst. He can’t ad lib to save his life. Do you think it’s because it has “lib” in it?