Former President Donald Trump is celebrating CNN’s reported decision to discourage the use of the phrase “the Big Lie.”
During a rally on Saturday, Trump said, “You ever see where they say the big lie? That was no lie. The big lie was what they were doing.”
“That was the big lie,” he insisted.
Trump went on:
“In fact, a big story from two days ago, that CNN has put a clamp on ever using the term ‘the Big Lie.’ Because I think they’re worried about the legal liability of using that term, because I think they realize it wasn’t a big lie. They’re not allowed to use the term ‘the Big Lie’ on fake news CNN anymore.”
Watch the video below:
Trump tonight claims that the new CNN president asking hosts not to use the term ‘The Big Lie’ anymore proves that they know the election was stolen. (CNN just changed it to “Trump’s Election Lies”) pic.twitter.com/9zz15q0o4F
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) June 19, 2022
Trump’s comments refer to a report that CNN’s new president, Chris Licht, advised staff against using the phrase “Big Lie” when they talk about the former president’s claims of widespread fraud in the election.
The former president has repeatedly claimed that the election was stolen, but several recounts and legal challenges have not found evidence to support his allegations or alter the results.
Mediaite, which first reported the decision, noted that Licht’s advice was not a requirement.
However, he suggested they use “Trump election lie” or “election lies,” instead.
Licht explained that using the phrase “Big Lie” is adopting language from the Democratic Party and can cast doubt on the network’s objectivity.
While Licht has reportedly not really “put a clamp,” on the phrase as Trump suggested, it is a good move.
For one, the phrase is just a lazy way to talk about the former president’s claims. It assumes that viewers know what the reporters and anchors are talking about and is kind of ambiguous.
It also just kind of sounds childish, not to mention that it was reportedly coined by Adolf Hitler.
The other reason is, as Licht noted, appropriating Democratic Party talking points is not good for an ostensibly objective news network.
As the network’s president noted, there are other phrases that can be used that can say the same thing without appropriating the language of the party that opposes Trump.
While “the Big Lie” might be catchy, when reporters repeat the phrase uncritically over and over and over on-air, they are helping to mainstream the phrase and shift the language about the election. And when one group can control the language used to discuss a certain topic, it makes it easier for them to dominate or win the conversation.
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