The American public is routinely misled by partisan sources. From members of Congress to state senators, Americans are being misled in order to collect votes and garner support.
Rarely, however, do these politicians outright lie, and when they do, they are often called out by the media.
However, Americans are most egregiously and, quite frankly, regularly lied to by President Donald Trump.
This is particularly apparent as pressure mounts for the government shutdown to come to an end and Trump attempts to garner support through his already fallacious logic.
While it has been apparent for some time that politicians often favor the facts that support their own cause, Trump does not seem to favor facts at all.
Instead, he twists the truth in a purposeful effort to mislead his citizenry.
Even one of the president’s largest proponents, Fox News anchor Shep Smith, was quick to fact check Trump after his last address on immigration, which was rife with statements intended to demean immigrants and exaggerate the need for a border wall.
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Trump seems to believe that by discrediting news sources he can make himself seem more honest and therefore, more trustworthy. Trump wants Americans to fall for his hateful, deceptive and divisive rhetoric.
He wants to pit the left against the right so that when something happens, such as a government shutdown, he can blame the left and further divide the nation’s voters.
Many American news sources are working hard to combat this divisive rhetoric and blatant conservative sway.
Most news outlets are trustworthy and honest sources; they fact check our politicians and ensure the American public receives the truth.
While some news sources may seem biased or obviously favor the political right or left — much of this partisanship is only displayed for television, and when it comes to online or print news, their biases fade.
On paper, it is much harder to exaggerate or finagle a fact to fit your side. The media’s first duty is to provide the facts and secondarily to provide commentary on those facts.
Online and print media are limited in the commentary they can provide and thus, must display the facts without room for spin.
The public must realize that to get all sides of the story Americans must pay attention — pay attention to what long-standing news sources are reporting so that we can receive the entire story and decide for ourselves what policy is most beneficial to this country and the citizens within it.
Americans cannot let political commentators on TV decide for them.
Americans cannot let a president who so willingly and frequently lies to the public decide for them.
Politifact.com is a non-partisan fact-checking website that fact-checks politicians and allows you to quickly decipher manipulation from the truth.
Allsides.com is a website that tells you which news sources lean which way — left, center or right — and provides articles from all sides on the same topic, allowing you to easily see which facts are presented in what way based on partisan bias and which are pure fact.
Brytni Emison is a senior in political science and global studies at Auburn and is The Plainsman opinion editor.
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