John Kruzel, “Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ epithet emboldens despots around the world,” Politfact

“Every authoritarian needs to spread his own version of reality, and will invest time and resources to discredit anyone else’s,” said Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a history professor at New York University. “Many of them are corrupt, and if an investigation threatens to compromise their authority, or charges of wrongdoing come down, they need the public to believe only what they say.”

Ben-Ghiat said Trump’s consistent efforts to attack the press as purveyors of bias and lies against him, and incite hostility toward individual news outlets and journalists, can be seen as part of a larger campaign against sectors of society that value evidence and investigation.

“When Trump says ‘I am the only one who matters’ it is not just self-glorification, but a message about whose version of the facts should count in America,” she said. “How can foreign rulers not feel empowered by this?”

John Kruzel, “Donald Trump’s ‘fake news’ epithet emboldens despots around the world,” Politfact
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