While the same media outlets that have been openly critical of President Trump became the topics of his “Fake News Awards,” the entire event was filled with hypocrisy, and served as a depiction of the pot calling the kettle black—both entities have spent a significant amount of time lying to and misleading the public.
WikiLeaks, an organization that the mainstream media have attempted to claim is a pro-Trump, pro-Russia propaganda firm, took to Twitter to point out the hypocrisy surrounding the awards:
“While WikiLeaks, as a primary source organization with a perfect verification record welcomes debate over ‘fake news’ it should be noted that along with the U.S. establishment press, the Trump administration is a frequent source of false information,” the organization claimed.
Comment: While @WikiLeaks, as a primary source organization with a perfect verification record welcomes debate over “fake news” it should be noted that along with the U.S. establishment press, the Trump administration is a frequent source of false information. #FakeNewsAwards
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 18, 2018
The statement is notable because it serves as a reminder of the relationship between WikiLeaks and the Trump administration. When Trump was running for office, and WikiLeaks was releasing emails from members of the Democratic National Committee, Trump was more than happy to credit the organization when citing the damning information that it released about his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
However, now that Trump is in office, he has made no attempt to pardon WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, who is currently living at the London embassy in Ecuador after he was granted political asylum.
Trump has also openly criticized Chelsea Manning, the Army whistleblower who helped to put WikiLeaks on the map by releasing 700,000 files and documents that revealed atrocities committed by the U.S. military in Iraq.
Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2017
Trump’s hypocrisy when it comes to WikiLeaks is notable because it serves as a reminder of his hypocrisy when it comes to foreign policy. He uses stories of innocent children killed by airstrikes and the dangers of blowback when it suits him but ignores those same factors when they challenge his administration’s policies.
When Trump was viewed as the “outsider” candidate in the 2016 election, and he needed support from an anti-establishment fan base, he was fully in support of holding Saudi Arabia accountable for the role it played in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, once Trump was in office, his tune quickly changed, and Saudi Arabia became the first stop on his first foreign trip as president—paving the way for the completion of the largest single arms deal in U.S. history.
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— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2017
Trump’s cozy relationship with Saudi Arabia has resulted in pure genocide in the poorest country in the Middle East. While the massacre was initially started by the Obama Administration, the Trump Administration’s foreign policy has only made conditions worse in Yemen, where the latest records show that since 2015, 5,000 children have been killed or injured, 3 million were born into war, and 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished.
Trump’s hypocrisy on foreign policy extends to Syria, where he began criticizing Obama’s attempts to invade the country in 2013. He also used his time on the campaign trail to accuse the Obama Administration of helping to create ISIS in its attempts to overthrow Assad.
However, despite Trump’s rhetoric, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson boasted a “new” strategy in Syria centered around long-term U.S. military presence that would eventually lead to overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad, during a speech at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
Tillerson vowed that the U.S. will stay until “ISIS and Al-Qaeda in Syria suffer an enduring defeat; do not present a threat to the homeland; and do not resurface in a new form; and that Syria never again serves as a platform or safe haven for terrorists to organize, recruit, finance, train and carry out attacks on American citizens at home or abroad or against our allies.”
Tillerson also said the U.S. still seeks to overthrow Assad “through an incremental process of constitutional reform and UN-supervised elections.”
“A stable, unified and independent Syria ultimately requires post-Assad leadership in order to be successful,” Tillerson said. “The departure of Assad through the UN-led Geneva process will create the conditions for a durable peace within Syria and security along the border for Syria’s neighbors.”
Secretary Tillerson: #Syria remains a source of severe strategic threats, and a major challenge for our diplomacy. But the United States will continue to remain engaged as a means to protect our own national security interest. https://t.co/JklNT96B0b pic.twitter.com/rDLHzHQVe9
— Department of State (@StateDept) January 18, 2018
Ultimately, Trump is correct in stating that the mainstream media has published stories about him that were false or misleading. But Trump is guilty of the exact same offenses that he accusing CNN and MSNBC of committing.
While one might wonder why the mainstream media would focus more on Russiagate than on the dramatic increase in civilian casualties, or the escalation of military spending under the Trump Administration, they should also realize that in order to provide accurate and honest coverage of Trump, the media would have to admit that he is only continuing the exact same thing his predecessors have been doing—and the media has been covering up—for years.
Rachel Blevins is a Texas-based journalist who aspires to break the left/right paradigm in media and politics by pursuing truth and questioning existing narratives. Follow Rachel on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.