Last Week Tonight with John Oliver returned to air last night with a section called ‘Reality.’ The 24 minutes sketch focused on how President Elect, Donald Trump, has become a source of misinformation using Fake News as facts and validating outlets like Breitbart and Infowars.
The British comedian usually takes a part of the show to discuss seemingly boring, but important, topics like “Infrastructure” and “Special Districts” in a fun way to raise awareness.
However, last night, he wanted to address the elephant in the room: The new President of the United States is a “pathological liar.”
To do so, Oliver focused on four central questions: How did Donald Trump end up being president? Where does he get his information? Why do people believe him? And what can people do about it?
The U.S. president gets his information like any other American
The British host starts by pointing out Donald Trump has been lying for years about many things including the size of the Trump Tower, the rating for the Celebrity Apprentice, and the U.S. GDP.
Moreover, Oliver shows the President gets his information from cable news and unreliable sources, specifically Breitbart and Infowars. In fact, Donald Trump regularly makes outrageous claims based on things he “just read” which means Fake News is already the biggest problem in the United States.
According to Journalism.org, most Americans get their news from TV and the Internet which would explain why so many of them feel represented by Trump’s speech. The president talks about the things they see on Facebook and online news outlets, so they end up believing he is “the real deal.”
Donald Trump might be the byproduct of years of fake news on the mainstream media
The ugly truth is that Donald Trump is another victim of misinformation on the mainstream media, but he is not another citizen. His status as the leader of the free world gives weight to his statements. So, every time he uses fake articles as reliable sources, he validates the information to the eyes of the general public which in turn twists the concept of reality.
Trump might end up making policy that affects millions of people based on false information. He already implemented the infamous “Muslim ban” which sparked a series of protests against him, and he has said there are people designing the “Mexican wall.”
Trump’s victory in the presidential election in late 2016 sparked a witch hunt that targetted “fake news” online sources. Facebook and Google received a lot of heat, and they started working with other public and private sectors to do something about it, but it might be too late.
People like Alex Jones, from Infowars, have claimed, several times in the past, the “ruling class” owns and uses the mainstream media to control the masses using misinformation as a weapon. Whether that is true or not, it seems the president seems to consume this kind of news. Talk about irony.