Closing out the Child of the Sun Series was former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who navigated the topic of a post-truth era.
The post-truth era is defined as a movement where consumers of media tend to be drawn towards news that they agree with and disregard facts that they do not agree with.
Earnest worked under the Obama Administration for the eight years that Obama was in office. He acknowledged that the President of the United States has one of the greatest platforms in the world to create an argument. He believes that President Trump does not take advantage of that platform and instead makes assertions and empty promises.
It is expected of people all around to be honest, including those within the political world.
When bringing the concept of “fake news” to the forefront of the conversation, Earnest said that Trump has put himself in a position of power and uses that power to persuade people of different circumstances, whether they are true or not.
He said partisan media outlets are partially at fault for the blurred lines between real and fake news. Earnest blamed Fox News in particular for being inconsistent in coverage of the White House in comparison to its counterparts. This is because Fox incorporates opinions with facts, and many viewers do not know the difference between the two.
“It is important for people to understand what news they are consuming,” Earnest said. “We need to pay attention to what we are reading and hearing and not just what interests us. We need to push beyond our limits and comfort zone. It’s not an easy thing to do.”
Social media has played a large impact on the continual growth of how information is spread and continues to expand the ways stories are told and who is able to tell those stories. One advancement that was made during the time that Earnest worked under the Obama Administration was the immediate updating of Obama’s social media accounts without going through the White House journalists. This direct form of communication that left no room for gray area as information was passed on.