“Gaslighting” may be the word of the year, but it’s so much more than that
It’s official. The Merriam-Webster word of the year is “gaslighting.” It’s an overdue recognition — and unlike past words of the year that come and go without much notice or fanfare — gaslighting has left its mark not just on the English language, but on the whole of American society. It is a word that marks an era and epoch of history.
Trump would be nothing without gaslighting. The entire multi-billion dollar American media industry is dependent on gaslighting. It fuels the “Trump industrial complex,” and most news organizations abandoned fact-finding for what could generously be called interpretive gaslighting during Trump’s campaign and presidency. CNN during the Zucker era is a perfect example of this phenomenon.
Zucker recruited a Star Wars creature cantina of Trump sycophants who would defend anything he said, any lie he told, every absurdity he uttered, every maliced word he hissed, and every delusion he conjured. Where exactly did truth fit into any of this? Where did the public good? Where did the public interest fall into the equation?