White House asks federal agencies to stop subscriptions to New York Times, Washington Post as Trump ups battle against 'fake news'
Days after President Trump said that the two "fake" newspapers are not wanted in the White House. The maverick leader has always been at odds with the mainstream media and banks more on Twitter for his public communication
The Donald Trump administration's fight with America's mainstream media was bared once again as the White House decided to ask federal agencies to stop their subscriptions to the New York Times and the Washington Post.
President Trump has always been at loggerheads with the two broadsheets, especially the Times, and calls them "Fake News". The latest development showed that peace is yet a faraway dream.
On Thursday, October 24, White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ): "Not renewing subscriptions across all federal agencies will be a significant cost saving — hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars will be saved."
The WSJ also contacted the two newspapers but they refused to remark. Both the NYT and the Post, along with the WSJ, have won Pulitzer Prizes for their coverage of Trump.
That the official boycott of the two newspapers was coming was not a surprise. On Monday, October 21, Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity during an interview that "we don’t even want it in the White House anymore," referring to the Times. He said the Post was also blacklisted and called both papers "fake".
Trump's team echoed his words the very next day saying it would not renew the subscriptions to either the Times or the Post. In January, Trump had complained during an interview with the Times' publisher and reporters that he isn't treated fairly by the newspaper.
Trump supporters have a gala time on TikTok
However, Trump’s supporters were having a field day on social media. In TikTok, for instance, videos were doing the rounds showing how strong Trump's hold is on the ground.
In a video captioned "best candidate for 2020", a young man pretended to gun down the names of the Democratic presidential candidates who are shown as text bubbles, reported Quartz. In the end, the only name that survives on the screen is "Donald Trump", and the meme is hashtagged #Trump2020.
It reminded many of the fake video that recently made the rounds showing Trump bashing up and killing his opponents inside a church — be it his political opponents or critical newspapers.
The video surprised many as earlier in October, TikTok announced that it would not entertain political advertising. In reality, political messaging is rocking the platform and reaching out to young people who will play the role of the electorate in coming days.
That the pro-Trump users are having a happy time on TikTok was evident when it was reported that on October 15, #Trump2020 memes garnered 128 million views on the platform, according to a review by Quartz.
In a week, the number went up to 152 million, which outshines those in support of leading Democratic candidates like Bernie Sanders (#bernie2020 that got six million views in the week of October 15), Joe Biden (#biden with 1.1 million) and Elizabeth Warren (#warren with less than one million).