We’re currently living in an age of misinformation, and sometimes it can feel an awful lot like the Twilight Zone. The spread of “fake news” on social media helped elect Donald Trump in 2016, and as president, he has since appropriated the term to call out any mainstream media stories he deems unfavorable — while he and members of his administration try to blind the American people with their own narrative. CNN, of course, is one of Trump’s favorite media targets and as such, on Monday the cable news network launched a new #FactsFirst ad campaign.
The 30 second spot not unreasonably shows a picture of an apple, and asks the viewer to believe that it’s an apple, despite the fact that some folks might insist that it’s a banana, and that you might even actually start to believe that it’s a banana. It’s uh, not subtle.
A banner ad on CNN’s website likewise takes you to a landing page for the project, which displays a simple message.
Facts are facts.
They aren’t colored by emotion or bias. They are indisputable. There is no alternative to a fact.
Facts explain things. What they are, how they happened. Facts are not interpretations.
Once facts are established, opinions can be formed. And while opinions matter, they don’t change the facts.
That’s why, at CNN, we start with the facts first.
It’s worth noting that on Tuesday morning, the hashtag #ThingsITrustMorethanCNN was trending on Twitter, and one user made quite the astute observation:
Keep fighting the good fight.