After Kellyanne Conway’s disasterous reference to the Bowling Green massacre and Press Secretary’s insistance on huge numbers at the inaguration and fabricated casus belli, it seems clear that the communications mouthpieces of the Trump Administration are committed to avoiding the truth, and instead adding to search costs for anyone attempting to measure the facts and results of their actions. Listening to them talk just makes you less informed.
The downside to doing this is that these official and semi-official voices would no longer be available on Trump-critical outlets for answering hard questions. Also, any boycott of Trump voices would hardly be unanimous. Fox will certainly keep them on-air as will other outlets interested in pandering to the executive.
On the other hand, simply having fewer lies broadcast on the news is a good thing. We used to be able to corner these speakers into revealing some of the truth, at least by discovering which things they wouldn’t say out loud for fear of being caught in lies, but the Trump surrogates seem completely comfortable with the idea of voicing verifiable falsehoods, knowing that if they include the occasional true statement, such as “the sky is blue”, many listeners will not check the rest. Eliminating these lies increases the sum information value on our news programs.
Ultimately, I think this is for the best, and I urge our news outlets to treat Trump sources as false until proven true. Leaving the surrogates and spokespeople off-air provides space for more accurate information to be provided. The truly excellent news sources will be able to find intellectually honest Trump supporters, or at least apologists, to be featured instead. If such do not exist, maybe we can train some?