If a new bill proposed by Tennessee Republican lawmaker Micah Van Huss becomes law, the state’s legislature would officially recognize CNN and the Washington Post to be “fake news.”
The resolution, which would not necessarily have any tangible effects on the media outlets or their availability in Tennessee, would nonetheless be the first law in the country to take direct aim at the left-wing media monopoly and the nonsense they have peddled since (before) President Donald Trump took office.
Introduced last Wednesday, Van Huss’s resolution would “recognize CNN and The Washington Post as fake news and condemn them for denigrating our citizens.”
“I’ve filed HJR 779 on behalf of a constituency that’s tired of fake news and Republicans who don’t fight,” Van Huss said of his resolution. “Over 60% of Tennessee voters voted for President Trump, and CNN and The Washington Post denigrated them for doing that.”
In the bill’s language, Van Huss says the outlets “are the true masters of deploying mobs to demand total conformity and compliance with their agenda.”
Unsurprisingly, Van Huss’s detractors jumped at the chance to criticize both the Republican and the bill. Brad Barr, a Democrat who plans to mount an opposition campaign against Van Huss in November, said that the resolution was an “absolute waste of everyone’s time and taxpayer money.”
“Our public schools are under attack by a misguided voucher program and rural hospitals are closing at an alarming rate, but this is the garbage that @MicahVanHuss is focused on,” Batt tweeted. “We deserve better.”
Granted, there is a kernel of truth to what Batt is saying about this resolution; in terms of real action or effect, this resolution would have none even if it were passed by the entire Tennessee state legislature.
On the other hand, we have a soft spot for any lawmaker who recognizes just how pervasive and serious the threat of fake news is to this country. It’s not just about sticking up for Donald Trump or griping about liberal bias. It’s about actively-false narratives and stories emanating from some of the most “respected” outlets in the country. That has a rotting effect on our democracy and our politics. Perhaps turning that criticism into an official state’s statement wouldn’t mean anything…but perhaps it would.
Certainly, it’s a sentiment we can get behind.