Well, the term “fake news” is not inherently evil. In fact, it’s quite basic. It’s a label, but it’s not inherently derogatory. It’s not a racial or gender slur, nor is it based on class, age, or anti-dentism. It’s a well-known phrase. It’s used all the time, even by the mainstream media, to describe actual fake news.
More than that, it is very much in popular culture that even kids today use it all the time in a variety of contexts, including to just contradict something jokingly.
But not for one Journalist though.
Bloomingdales just decided to have their own trick in selling their items, the department chain uses the famous tagline of President Trump in hopes to make a lot of money from the shirt that says “fake news.” However, the t-shirt offends at least one person- a journalist.
Allison Kaden a journalist at New York City’s CW affiliate PIX11, just went the extra mile when she came across a mannequin wearing a shirt with the phrase “fake news” printed across the chest, in Bloomingdale’s store in White Plains, New York. Kaden was shopping when she spotted the mannequin.
The Journalist then immediately took to Twitter to call out to retailers for fueling the harmful rhetoric.
Kaden snapped a photo and tweeted at Bloomingdale’s: “This isn’t funny or fashionable. It further delegitimizes hard-working journalists who bring REAL news to their communities.”
In less than 24 hours, the post went viral with thousands of retweets and comments, Keith Olbermann, a well-known irate person joined the chorus, tweeting to his more than 1 million Twitter followers, “What the eff is this, Bloomingdales?”
Bloomingdale’s responded eventually with a statement announcing it had removed the shirts. It also apologized to the offended parties.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention and we apologize for any offense we may have caused,” the store responded, “We take this feedback very seriously and are working quickly to remove this t-shirt. Again, thank you for taking the time to alert us.”
However, other journalists insisted that the apology didn’t go far enough with Baltimore Sun’s Pamela Wood calling the action “Not sincere” even though Bloomingdales had already taken the shirt off of their shelves and garment racks.
“Hi, [Bloomingdales]. Apologizing ‘for any offense we may have caused’ is not a sincere apology, this is not about journalists’ hurt feelings. This is about damage done to our democracy when your brand joins in perpetuating and celebrating the idea of ‘fake news.’ Please try again,” Wood tweeted.
But some people genuinely adored it and were prepared to risk their reputations in defense of it, with Fox News wanting the shirt to be put back up for sale. “Bloomingdales should not have to remove a shirt about fake news just because journalists don’t like it,” according to the pundits on The Five on Fox News.
Including a journalist from Washington Times who said that “It’s your responsibility as a journalist to support free speech — even the kind that offends your delicate sensibilities. your tactics are shameful.”