Debunking fake news — or what the federal government classifies as such — is set to become a regular feature of President López Obrador’s morning press conferences.
The president, who frequently declares he has “other information” when confronted with media reports with which he doesn’t agree, said Wednesday that a government official will present and disprove fake news on a weekly basis at his pressers, which are held every weekday morning at the National Palace in Mexico City.
“… We’re going to have … someone from the government who tells us the lies of the week; a who’s who in the lies of the week in order to combat fake news,” he said.
“There are some [media outlets] that will always take first place, the gold medal, but we’ll be exposing them here and informing the people because there are those who swallow all [the fake news],” López Obrador said. “… We’re going to have this section once a week.”
He said he got his idea for the fake news exposé sessions after hearing of a rumor spread on Twitter that one of his sons was going to buy the Mexico City-based Cruz Azul professional soccer team.
“A message came out on Twitter a few days ago that one of my sons was going to buy the Cruz Azul stadium, the team actually. And a famous person put it [on Twitter], right? … I remember that for a long time they showed one of my sons with a car, a Ferrari, but it wasn’t him. Our adversaries really are very immoral; I’ve always said it,” he said.
The president suggested that his adversaries — whom he often describes as “conservatives” or “elites” — should watch his daily news conferences so that they can avoid being manipulated by fake news. He claimed earlier this week that there was a “very powerful campaign of manipulation,” or a “dirty war,” against his government and the ruling Morena party in the lead-up to the June 6 elections, especially in Mexico City, where the opposition won nine of the 16 boroughs.
“… You have to be [properly] informed,” López Obrador said Wednesday. “We’ll be here making all the fake news known and clearing things up …, even though there are conservative people who don’t want to watch the morning news conference or even see us,” he said.
“… That’s why they’re manipulated. Because if they watched my news conferences, they would have information about what’s [really] happening, but [if they don’t watch], they’re left only with the information that their media gives them,” the president said.
With reports from Reforma