NYT Publisher: Trump Proud Of Spreading Term ‘Fake News,’ Noted Int’l Bans In Convo

on July 27, 2017 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images North America

President Donald Trump last week bragged about popularizing the term “fake news” and mentioned how other countries had begun to ban content judged to be fake, the New York Times reported Sunday.

The Times was reporting on its own publisher, A.G. Sulzberger, who, along with Times editorial page editor James Bennet, met with Trump on July 20.

While the conversation was initially agreed to be off the record, the Times said Trump had put broken that agreement by tweeting about the meeting on Sunday. Subsequently, Sulzberger released a statement in which he recalled warning Trump that using terms like “enemy of the people” to describe journalists would inspire violence against them.

Based on a phone call with Sulzberger, the Times White House correspondent Mark Landler reported an additional topic from last week’s meeting:

At another point, Mr. Trump expressed pride in popularizing the phrase “fake news,” and said other countries had begun banning it. Mr. Sulzberger responded that those countries were dictatorships and that they were not banning “fake news” but rather independent scrutiny of their actions.

In April, Malaysia made it a criminal act to share information deemed to be fake news — “any news, information, data and reports which are wholly or partly false, whether in the form of features, visuals or audio recordings or in any other form capable of suggesting words or ideas” per Poynter — becoming the first country to do so, according to the Times.

Since then, other countries have pursued laws to restrict news considered to be fake.

Later on Sunday, Trump appeared to respond to Sulzberger’s statement with more tweets.

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