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Trump pays a staffer $89,000 to find positive news stories about him
Photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
It might seem like an odd job for an administration that blasts ‘fake news’ media.
While he might not like the news, Trump is certainly willing to pay someone quite a bit of money to find positive stories about him.
Andrew Hemming, 31, is the White House director of rapid response and is tasked with watching cable news, scouring through Twitter, and reading news online to find stories that portray Trump in a positive light, Politico reported on Tuesday.
To compensate Hemming for finding stories in the sea of what Trump has repeatedly called “fake news,” he’s paid $89,000, according to White House filings released earlier this summer.
It may seem odd for Trump’s administration to pay someone to find positive stories from media outlets that Trump has repeatedly disparaged and told his supporters to ignore—not to mention helping to create a concerning anti-press environment in the United States. But newly appointed White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told Politico that Hemming plays an important roll in the White House communications office.
Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO, the Trump base is getting stronger!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2017
“Andy does an incredible job of finding those hidden gems and trying to amplify those positive messages,” Sanders said. “He’s quick, and I would say he has a very good pulse on what’s hot, but also on what wasn’t hot but should be.”
David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, pointed out the hypocrisy of Trump’s team propping up positive stories while discrediting ones they find to be “fake,” or not helpful to the administration.
“If these outlets are ‘fake,’ then why should we believe that their positive reporting about the president and the administration is real?” Axelrod said. “It’s a tacit acknowledgment that, despite the president’s calculated and persistent assaults, these news sources are very credible.”
You can read all of Politico’s report on Hemming here.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).