January 23, 2017

Don't panic about 'alternative facts'

By Neal Urwitz

Since Donald Trump upended everything we thought we knew about politics, hands have been wrung and ink has been spilled about the "post-factual age." How could the candidate with the worst Politifact rating in the 2016 campaign come out on top? How could fake news cause a man to shoot up a pizzeria in a quiet Washington neighborhood? How could the Trump administration claim its new press secretary was using "alternative facts"?

Do facts still matter — and if they don’t, will real journalism stay relevant? Or is the “lamestream” media a relic?

We shouldn’t overreact. Now that President Trump has taken the oath of office and the business of governance has begun, the impact of fake news and “alternative outlets” will be revealed as vastly overblown. “Traditional” media will still control the national conversation. Policymakers will still have to build their days around what the mainstream media reports. The scandals, conflicts and reality checks the mainstream press unearths dominate the headlines, as they did just before the inauguration. Those of fake news sites will not.

Read the full article at USA Today.