There’s a goatee’d ad guy out there named Brad Todd and he’s positioning himself as the Trump explainer. Todd is responsible for the meme: “voters take Donald Trump seriously but not literally, while journalists take him literally, but not seriously.” At CNN this week Todd got a column to explain to journalists that “For the first time, words don’t matter.” Why the column went on beyond that proclamation is difficult to understand, since it was not-mattering word after not-mattering word. What Todd presumably meant was that truth doesn’t matter. Because if you can’t take literally something the president says, what to do?
That’s the dilemma CNN describes concisely in an article describing the aftermath of Trump’s claim to have been the victim of voter fraud, despite his victory. Here’s the dilemma in a nutshell:
“Trump’s penchant for peddling conspiracy theories and attacking critics and media organizations on Twitter is unprecedented, and has been cause for concern among journalists and media watchdogs who are wrestling with how to cover a president who is a leading source of misinformation.”