Trump Thinks These Fake News Peddlers Are Not The Enemy–They Got Press Passes (VIDEO, TWEETS)

Donald Trump spent this weekend ramping up his full-scale war on the media. Having already declared that any even remotely critical coverage of him is “fake news,” he has declared that the press is an enemy of the American people–an overtly fascist move that has gotten him deservedly slammed.

Well, Trump’s critics would be even more outraged if they knew that one of the most notorious peddlers of fake news and conspiracy theories has been granted one of the most coveted slots in American journalism–a seat in the White House briefing room.

For more than a decade, Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit has been notorious for pushing outright lies. Long before “fake news” even became a term, he was known for promoting or starting so many bogus stories that he was branded “the dumbest man on the Internet.” Hoft is notorious for doing minimal–if any–vetting. He generally seems to either cull stories from Free Republic, or dash off any dreck that his fans email him. Indeed, even some conservatives have put him on blast for what can charitably be described as blatant disregard for the truth.

But he really upped–or rather, lowered–his game during the 2016 campaign. He helped peddle the hokum about absentee ballots for Trump being destroyed in Ohio, as well as false claims that Hillary Clinton was not in the best of health.

Well, Hoft has been richly rewarded. At last month’s DeploraBall, he made a major announcement–Gateway Pundit had been granted a White House press credential. Media Matters got a clip.

Hoft touted his blog’s freshly minted credential as a reward for “telling the truth” throughout the election and delivering “real news” while the mainstream media peddled “fake f*cking news.” He also introduced his new White House correspondent, Lucian Wintrich–who claimed that he will be the youngest White House correspondent ever.

Hoft and Wintrich officially joined the White House press corps on Valentine’s Day, and milked the moment for all it was worth on Twitter.

In an interview with The New York Times, Wintrich hinted he would engage in “a little trolling of the media.” But Sean Spicer never called on him at Tuesday’s briefing.

The fact that Hoft even got in the briefing room at all suggests that the White House’s vetting standards are even worse than we thought. Last month, Hoft was one of many right-wing bottom-feeders who promoted a rumor that Washington Post web editor Doris Truong snapped pictures of Rex Tillerson’s notes during his Senate confirmation hearing. Truong was bombarded with ugly threats both on social media and on voice mail.

Gateway Pundit later updated its post on the story to say that the Post denied it was Truong, but the damage was already done. It says a lot about Spicer and the White House media team that anyone this reckless could still keep their briefing room seat.

Even some conservatives are aghast at Gateway Pundit being granted a press credential. For instance, former RedState boss Erick Erickson, a charter member of the NeverTrump club.

That picture comes from a story Hoft posted about a massive Trump rally in Maine. There’s just one problem–it never happened. The picture was actually showing the Cleveland Cavaliers’ victory celebration.

Trump’s standard response to any criticism seems to have become “(noun) (verb) fake news.” And yet, he invites a man who has virtually no regard for truth or decency to his briefings? The mind reels.

(featured image courtesy Hoft’s Twitter)

Darrell is a 30-something graduate of the University of North Carolina who considers himself a journalist of the old school. An attempt to turn him into a member of the religious right in college only succeeded in turning him into the religious right's worst nightmare--a charismatic Christian who is an unapologetic liberal. His desire to stand up for those who have been scared into silence only increased when he survived an abusive three-year marriage. You may know him on Daily Kos as Christian Dem in NC. Follow him on Twitter @DarrellLucus or connect with him on Facebook. Click here to buy Darrell a Mello Yello.