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Trump’s “running war with the media”= 1984 Plot?

Deniz Zengin, Staff Writer

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Before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, CNN decided to broadcast a live press conference featuring the newly elected President. The press conference was highlighted by Trump’s claim that CNN is “fake news”. He also claimed that he was “at war with the media”.

Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s White House counselor, coined the term “alternative facts”, which are fabrications that are replaced with the truth. These “facts” include Trump’s statement regarding his inauguration crowd . Trump said t “looked like a million, million and a half people” in the crowd.

Sean Spicer, Trump’s press secretary, said “This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period.” On the contrary, there was a viral picture going around the internet, comparing Obama’s inauguration crowd size to Trump’s.

Now, not to jump to conclusions, but on CNN, during the Muslim Ban coverage, it was also mentioned that the novel 1984 by George Orwell was one of the top-selling books on Amazon at this time. 1984 is about a dystopian society where the truth can never be said. Whatever the government said was the law, and it was a crime to think otherwise (This was called “thoughtcrime” in the novel). It’s not safe to say that America is turning into 1984, but why would a book published in 1949 be a best seller in 2017?

“Alternative facts” is similar to “doublethink”, the rhetoric used in 1984 by the government. The government or media can say two things that contradict each other, and the public is expected to believe whichever one is being broadcast, without questioning. This can also relate to the term “newspeak”, which was coined by George Orwell, and was the language spoken in 1984. This language is meant to eliminate words, create new terms and substitute terms for political purposes, while also being deceptive. This is exactly what happened when Trump’s inauguration crowd was being talked about on the news. However, it is harmful to normalize this kind of coverage. These statements, as Chuck Todd of NBC responded to, “are not facts, they’re falsehoods!

The connection of this novel and “alternative facts” was first introduced by CNN reporter, Brian Stelter, on his show “Reliable Sources”.  It would be safe to say that people see similarities between 1984 and this type of situation, and how it can evolve into a bigger problem if this continues. Or people are educating themselves on what happens when a leader with this characteristic rules a nation. It’s too soon to judge if America will become a dystopian society, but these are only baby steps.

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William Paterson University's Official Student-Run Newspaper
Trump’s “running war with the media”= 1984 Plot?