There’s been a lot of news about myth versus reality this week. Pollsters Ipsos Mori have been asking people what they think on key issues and then comparing popularly held opinions with the hard facts. Subjects ranged from opposition to abortion and to homosexuality – and, contrary to widely held beliefs, it emerged that Muslims are not swamping Europe anytime soon.
Ipsos Mori call this glaring discrepancy the “index of ignorance”, and nowhere is it more prevalent than on social media – during the US elections, it was “reported” that Hillary Clinton had died. The “news” that the Pope had endorsed Donald Trump was shared no less than a million times, and critics of Trump claim these ludicrous untruths were lapped up by reactionary Trump supporters, contributing to a skewed election result.
Facebook has just announced plans to make fake news easier to report and anything which is disputed will be flagged up, but the company still seems reluctant to actually censor them, claiming it is a forum for free speech. In reality, the day-to-day world of Donald Trump is beyond any myth – who would believe that a man appointing a cabinet (albeit mostly comprising fellow multi-millionaires he already knew, a limited gene pool), a man who will decide the US’s nuclear strategy and international policy, would have time to meet a musician whose grip of reality is perhaps best illustrated by his famous quote: “My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live”?
Apparently West and Trump discussed “multicultural issues”, and afterwards West tweeted “#2024” – a reference to his own stated intention to run for the top job in 2020. Now it seems he’s prepared to give it another four years.
Trump told reporters they had been “friends for a long time” – in spite of badmouthing the rapper’s wife Kim Kardashian back in 2013 when she was pregnant. According to Trump back then, Kim had “a fat ass” and “a terrible body” – not surprisingly, she endorsed Hillary.
So what was the meeting of two huge egos at Trump Tower in front of the world’s press all about? Kanye’s collaborator John Legend put it very succinctly: “a publicity stunt”. But who is using who?
This week, Trump also met with top executives from Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple – the very people he once accused of undermining his campaign. At this gathering of some of the world’s cleverest people sat Trump’s three children. No wonder the techies looked glum: their future might be determined by Ivanka, with her cringe-making “lifestyle” website.
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