Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump refused to answer the question of a CNN reporter at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May that took place during his visit in the UK. "That's fake news, I don't take questions from CNN; CNN is fake news, I don't take questions from fake news," the president (petulantly) claimed. He then proceeded to take a question from Fox News, which he called "a real network".
This is not the first time Trump has refused to answer a CNN reporter's questions, after all his habit is to discredit all media outlets that do not present a favourable portrait of the President of the United States (probably 97-98% of media right now, considering that also Trump's favourite morning show, Fox & Friends, told him this morning he was wrong to back Putin's denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election...) and to attack journalists who may not share his views calling them dishonest.
His behaviour at the UK press conference proved the President of the United States does not believe in a free press, but its consequences may be even more terrifying, considering that there are Trump supporters in other countries (think about the Italian Minister for the Interior, fascist and racist Matteo Salvini) who may start aligning with that vision to try and restrict press freedom.
You wonder how long these sort of attacks will go on and how long we will have to deal with Trump's "fake news" mantra in our lives, but you also wonder if the media will start boycotting Trump's news briefing (after all, if he likes monologues and the sound of his own voice, why not leaving him alone?) or if we, as ordinary people, should be more vocal and become advocates for truth.
The fashion industry recently attempted to spark up a conversation about the truth and freedom of expression: Sacai created indeed a black and white T-shirt and a hoodie (for both men and women), in collaboration with The New York Times. As you may remember from a previous post, the designs featured the slogan "Truth. It's more important now than ever", part of the newspaper "The Truth is Hard" 2017 ad campaign.
The latter wasn't actually a direct reaction to the attacks of President Donald Trump to media outlets he disliked, but it was more a way for the newspaper to combat the proliferation of "fake news" and remind consumers which are the core values of the publication.
The garments also featured on the back the full New York Times manifesto, a 19-line long declaration that could be interpreted as an active poem for truth.
The idea seemed good and interesting when the pieces were out on the runway, but now that they are finally available, they have proved to be rather expensive.
The designs can easily be found on Saks Fifth Avenue's website, but will set you back $300 (T-shirt) and $420 (hoodie). That's rather bizarre considering that The New York Times sells on its online store cheaper garments including "Truth" shirts (for both men and women) and while they may not feature the entire manifesto and they only come in white with a black print, they look perfectly fine and the site sells them at $25.
Mind you, there is also The Washington Post shop where you can buy "Democracy Dies in Darkness" shirts for $25. In a nutshell, while the truth is more important than ever at the moment, at times it is also awfully and unnecessarily expensive.
The solution? Don't let the truth hide, but create your own T-shirt to support it: your T-shirt may not end up being sold in fancy department stores, but at least it will be unique and, well, a lot cheaper.