This isn't about Trump. It's about judging the media, whoever and whatever they report on. It is about reading critically when so much out there is just simply inaccurate. Not maybe inaccurate, pure dead solid perfect stupid. So don't call me a nazi.
Step One is to note if the story you're reading/seeing is all or mostly unsourced, or anonymously sourced. Red flag.
Step Two is to see if the story is bombastic, dramatic, something that really makes you angry. Something that adds to or dovetails with something you already believe is true. If it sounds like gossip, that's probably all it is. Red flag.
Step Three is to check if the story is a negative one about a person or subject from a media outlet that celebrates its partisan position. Red flag.
Congratulations! You've got a sample target, and are ready to apply a basic test.
Ask who would know the information, why would they tell anyone, and apply a light sniff test: does it make any sense at all?
Here's one to practice on, courtesy of the New York Times. There are no sources at all for the most part, and the story is bombastic, suggesting the people in the White House are dumber than third graders. The Times has had trouble with objectivity concerning the administration. Much of the story sounds like mean gossip.
We'll zoom in on a couple of opening lines, keeping in mind this was presented on the front page as news:
President Trump loves to set the day's narrative at dawn, but the deeper story of his White House is best told at night.
Aides confer in the dark because they cannot figure out how to operate the light switches in the cabinet room. Visitors conclude their meetings and then wander around, testing doorknobs until finding one that leads to an exit.
So the venerable New York Times reports Trump's aides sit in the dark because they do not know how to operate light switches.
Seriously? Light switches are rarely complex. Those aides have been on the job for about two weeks and have not figured out how to turn on the lights? And by the way, the White House is full of non-political, permanent staff, including servants, janitors, the Secret Service, secretaries. Hell, you can dial zero on the house phone and ask for maintenance. It is simply impossible for the Times' statement to be true, and it would have had to have been reported by one of the aides themselves, because no one else was there, or could see what was happening in the dark.