It sounds like I’m exaggerating his position in the headline for a laugh, but no, it’s a quote. And it’s untrue. By no means are all negative polls fake news; the ones that had Trump losing the popular vote to Hillary by a few points, of which there were many, were basically correct. Although I’ll say this: Between the lefty idiots who had Hillary’s chances of victory at 99.9 percent and the data nerds last night who had the Falcons as 99.5 percent favorites to win at one point, I’m coming around to the idea that all probability models are fake news.
Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 6, 2017
I’ve linked the following hyper-viral tweet about Trump’s media approach before but points two and three are worth reviewing again in light of what he said this morning:
Re Spicer's lies, this is from someone who worked in a past administration. Important read. pic.twitter.com/XrjLJHRAGL
— Anna Rascouët-Paz (@rascouet) January 22, 2017
How often do you hear a political leader overtly instruct his fans to treat any negative information as unreliable? Normal political spin when a bad poll drops is to shrug it off on grounds that polls fluctuate and conflict, and the only one that matters is on election day. True believers ward off discouragement by keeping the bad poll in perspective. Trump’s approach is the opposite. Don’t keep the poll in perspective. Bad news is a mortal threat to morale! Protect your fragile mind from its untoward influence by training yourself to see all bad news as fake news. “Totalitarian” is a big word to throw around, especially as regards something as comically innocuous as Trump tweeting angrily in his pajamas as he’s getting ready to start his day, but “bad news is fake news” really is a totalitarian approach to information. He’s telling people to treat negative feedback as necessarily illegitimate and untrustworthy just because it’s negative. And if it’s untrustworthy, we can’t use it to hold him accountable, which, I think, is what’s been driving the entire White House offensive against the media over the past three weeks. It’s not just that the press is biased and often sloppy and irresponsible, it’s that Team Trump expects you to commit to believing them instead of the media as appropriate. You can’t state that us-or-them attitude much more succinctly than “Any negative polls are fake news.”
But okay. If all negative polls are fake news, let’s enjoy some “real news”:
Americans have a generally positive first impression of Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds. But they’re split on whether the choice should have been Trump’s to begin with.
Forty percent of Americans approve of the choice of Gorsuch and 28 percent disapprove, with the remaining 32 percent unsure…
Other polling has found similar results. A CNN/ORC survey released Sunday found that 49 percent of Americans wanted the Senate to vote in favor of Gorsuch, with 36 percent opposed ― akin to the levels of support for previous nominees Samuel Alito and Sonia Sotomayor. In a SurveyMonkey poll released Thursday, Americans approved 53-42 of Gorsuch’s nomination.
Gorsuch was a brilliant pick and it’s paying off. Although have a look at another tidbit from the same CNN poll mentioned in the excerpt showing the public generally in favor of Gorsuch’s confirmation:
Seems negative. Must be fake. Even if, er, the rest of the poll is “real.”
Here’s Jake Tapper trying and failing to suppress his snark instinct about Trump’s standards for discerning fake news from real news. Exit question: What did Trump mean today when he told a military audience that terror attacks are happening in Europe but “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it”? We’ve all seen cases where a terrorist’s jihadist manifesto turns up on Facebook and the media shifts into “we may never know what caused this” mode because it doesn’t want to have to write about Islam and terrorism again, but that’s a case of suppressing information about motive, not information about an attack itself. Did Trump mean maybe that they’re suppressing reports on problems with integrating Muslims in Europe, for example in Rotherham or Molenbeek, rather than reports on attacks? Or is this again just part of his omnibus “don’t trust the discredited media, trust me” messaging?
— The Lead CNN (@TheLeadCNN) February 6, 2017