FAKE NEWS VS. REAL NEWS

Dan Abrams is back with his observations and firsthand insights on the media during a Trump’s presidency.

Aired on August 24, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> AS WE CONTINUE OUR CONVERSATION TONIGHT WITH DAN ANTIBIOTIC RACKS, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE A DEEP DIVE INTO WHAT HAS BECOME ONE OF THE MOST SIGNIFICANT QUESTIONS OF OUR TIME.

WE'RE BOMBARDED ON A CONSTANT BASIS, TELEVISION, PHONES SOCIAL MEDIA, HOW DO WE DETERMINE WHO TO TRUST AND HOW TO SEPARATE FACT FROM FICTION?

IT'S SOMETHING WE'VE SEEN PLAYED OUT DAILY AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF PUBLIC LIFE.

ON TWITTER, THE PRESIDENT ROUTINELY DISMISSES ANY INFORMATION THAT HE SAYS ARE FAKE NEWS.

MEMBERS OF THE MEDIA HAVE RECENTLY STARTED ACCUSING TRUMP OF DELIBERATELY -- HOW DID HE GET HERE?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR OUR DEMOCRACY AND HOW DO WE FIND OUR WAY OUT?

SOME OF THE IMPORTANT QUESTIONS FOR MY GOOD FRIEND DAN ABRAMS JOINING US NOW, AND ALSO I SHOULD MENTAL THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW BOOK, 'LINCOLN'S LAST TRIAL, THE MURDER CASE THAT PROPELLED HIM TO THE PRESIDENCY,' AND IT'S A MARVELOUS, MARVELOUS BOOK.

THANK YOU, JACK, GREAT TO BE WITH YOU.

LET'S START WITH A BIG PICTURE, IF WE CAN.

YOU AND I WERE JOKING ABOUT THIS OUTSIDE.

THE NOTION OF WHERE THE PROFESSION OF JOURNALISM AND THE MEDIA STANDS IN THE MINDS OF THE PUBLIC.

YOU WERE TELLING ME THAT TELL ME THE STORY.

HOW WOULD UCHB DESCRIBE YOURSELF.

I WOULD OFTEN SAY I'M A MEMBER OF TWO OF THE MOST DESPISED PROFESSIONS IN AMERICA, BEING A LAWYER AND BEING A JOURNALIST.

BUT THESE DAYS IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE.

THAT BEING A LAWYER, OH, THAT'S FINE.

IT'S THE MEDIA PART THAT IS REALLY CHANGED.

WHY DO YOU THINK THAT IS?

PART OF IT HAS BEEN PRESIDENT TRUMP.

RIGHT?

MINE, PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS ATTACKED ALL OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA AS, YOU KNOW, BASICALLY FAKE NEWS, BASICALLY SAYING YOU CAN'T TRUST ANY OF THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA.

I THINK SOME OF IT, SOME OF IT IS SELF-IMPOSED.

I THINK IT'S FAIR TO SAY THAT OVER TIME THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA HASEA YOU.

YEAH.

AND YOU HAVE I HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THIS FOR A LOT OF YEARS NOW.

I THINK THAT'S A FAIR STATEMENT.

BUT, THEY DON'T LEAN AS FAR TO THE LEFT AS MANY CONSERVATIVES CLAIM, AND CERTAINLY NOT AS MUCH AS DONALD TRUMP HAS BEEN SUGGESTING NOW.

AND SO THE FIRST THING THE MEDIA HAS TO DO IN MY VIEW IS OWN THAT AND ADMIT THAT AND SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, IT'S TRUE.

YOU KNOW, FOR WHATEVER REASON, THE PEOPLE WHO WANTED TO GO INTO JOURNALISM FOR THE LAST 30 OR 40 YEARS HAVE TENDED TO BE MORE LEFT LEANING THAN RIGHT LEANING.

AND AS A RESULT, YOU KNOW, IF YOU'RE GOING TO LOOK AT THE MACROPICTURE, THAT'SN REFLECTED IN THE MEDIA COVERAGE.

BUT I WILL ALSO SAY THAT THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA GOES TO GREAT LENGTHS TO TRY TO BE FAIR.

DOESN'T MEAN THEY ALWAYS SUCCEED.

BUT I WILL TELL YOU, BEHIND THE SCENES, EVERY DAY THERE ARE DISCUSSIONS AND EFFORTS TO TRY TO BE AS BALANCED AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN BE.

AND SO I THINK THAT THE STARTING POINT FOR THE MEDIA NOW IS SAYING, THEY'VE HAD A FAIR GRIPE ON CERTAIN THINGS.

BUT NOT AS FAR AS SOME ARE CLAIMING.

WE TALK ABOUT THE NOTION OF FAKE NEWS.

AND WE TALKED ABOUT THE PRESIDENT'S VIEW OF FAKE NEWS.

MANY HAVE SAID IT'S NEWS THAT HE DOESN'T AGREE WITH.

BUT THE REALITY IS, THAT THERE IS FAKE NEWS OUT THERE.

YEAH, BUT SEE, LOOK, WE HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT WHEN THE PRESIDENT USES THE TERM FAKE NEWS, IT'S A COLLOQUIALISM.

HE'S NOT ACTUALLY SAYING IT'S ALL -- EVERYTHING IS MADE UP.

HE'S USING IT AS A SLOGAN, BASICALLY, TO SAY DON'T BELIEVE THEM.

AND, YOU KNOW, THAT'S WHAT HE'S BEEN DOING.

THERE'S NOT ACTUALLY THAT MUCH QUOTE/UNQUOTE FAKE NEWS OUT THERE, MEANING NEWS THAT'S LITERALLY UNTRUE, INVENTED.

NOW, WE'VE SEEN ON FACEBOOK AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA, THERE WAS A SCOURGE OF IT LEADING UP TO 2016.

LITERALLY PEOPLE INVENTING THINGS THAT DID NOT HAPPEN AND THEN SHOWING UP ON GOOGLE SEARCH, FOR EXAMPLE.

THAT'S SOMETHING THAT, YOU KNOW, FACEBOOK IS TRYING TO ADDRESS, GOOGLE IS TRYING TO ADDRESS, TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO MINIMIZE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRULY FAKE, UNREAL NEWS.

A SEPARATE QUESTION IS ABOUT BIAS, RIGHT?

THAT'S NOT -- SOME CAN CALL IT FAKE NEWS, BUT I'M NOT GOING TO.

I'M CALLING IT BIASED NEWS.

LAST QUESTION.

ARE WE AT A POINT WHERE IT'S TOO LATE?

IS IT TOO LATE FOR US NOW?

IS JOURNALISM ALWAYS GOING TO HOVER ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST OF RESPECTED PROFESSIONS?

AS OPPOSED TO A TIME WHEN IT WAS AT THE TOP OF THE LIST?

I DON'T THINK IT WILL NECESSARILY ALWAYS BE THERE, BUT I THINK IT'S GOING TO BE A WHILE.

I THINK THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, YOU KNOW, 'THE NEW YORK TIMES' HIRES A CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST, OR CNN HIRES A FEW TRUMP SUPPORTING ANALYSTS, DOESN'T CHANGE ANYONE'S IMPRESSION OF WHAT THE 'NEW YORK TIMES' IS OR WHAT CNN IS OR, YOU KNOW, FOX NEWS HIRES A FORMER OBAMA ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL, WHATEVER THE CASE MAY BE, THAT'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE THE GAME HERE.

IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME.

AND LOOK, HONESTLY IT'S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN DURING THIS PRESIDENCY.

BECAUSE THIS PRESIDENT HAS DECIDED THAT THE MEDIA IS HIS ENEMY.

AND WHEN YOU'RE WORKING WITHIN THAT ENVIRONMENT, THERE'S GOING TO BE VERY LITTLE HOPE, I THINK, OF CONVINCING PEOPLE THAT YOU'RE NOT ON -- YOU KNOW, IF YOUR POSITION IS I'M JUST REPORTING THE FACTS, AND PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SAYING NO, YOU'RE MY ENEMY, IT'S FORCING PEOPLE TO KIND OF PICK SIDES.

AND IT PUTS THE PUBLIC, I THINK, IN A VERY DIFFICULT POSITION AND PUTS THE MEDIA IN AN IMPOSSIBLE POSITION.

DAN, AGAIN, WE COULD ALWAYS TALK FOR HOURS HERE.

I WANT TO MENTION ONE MORE TIME, LINCOLN'S LAST TRIAL, IT'S A MARVELOUS BOOK, AND FOLKS WHO GET OUT THERE AND READ IT, AND WE'LL GET YOU BACK SOMETIME SOON AND TALK SOME MORE.

THANKS, JACK.

YOU BE WELL.

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