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Mike Barnhill

Ashland

Dear Editor:

President Donald Trump may be credited for coining the term "fake news." But who is most responsible for the proliferation? My choice is Facebook followed by Twitter. Even the most zealous Republican has to admit Trump bends the truth to suit his aims by sometimes exaggerating and often outright lies. Trump has told so many false stories that it is impossible to list all of them over the last four years.

Here are two you may remember: Trump declared "No U.S. servicemen were injured by Iran's revenge attack due to the assassination of General Suleimani." Reports later confirmed 34 U.S. troops suffered brain damage due to ballistic missiles. Trump also denied these requests ever happened: 1) Trump tells Ukraine President Zelensky the U.S. does a lot for Ukraine. 2) Trump reminds Zelensky doesn't reciprocate. 3) Trump asks Zelensky for a favor, which is to look into a debunked conspiracy theory that the hacked Democratic National Committee server is in the Ukraine. 4) Trump asks Zelensky to look into Joe and Hunter Biden.

You can debate whether the second action is an impeachable offense. But it's impossible to dispute that what the "whistleblower" said in terms of the nature and content of the call was accurate in virtually every way.

These refusals to accept the truth by Trump are only magnified by his Twitter comments. Swallowed hook, line and sinker by his followers, who seem to actually believe he can do no harm. Much like the old saying, "Bad news will go around the world before good news can cross the street" is comparable to Trump's words of wisdom on Twitter. Twitter users either talk to Facebook users via the internet or face to face at the local coffee shop.

In summary, if you're relying on Facebook or Twitter to gain truthful news and eliminate "fake news" you're making a big mistake. Instead of truth, you will only find exaggerated conspiracy stories, personal opinions of well-known news celebrities or outright rumors elevated to outright lies. Get smart and start reading different news sources as much as you have time for to examine and decide the real truth. Please remember this. We may never have heard of the phrase "fake news" until a "fake president" won the electoral vote in 2016.

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