Tennessee state lawmaker offers resolution to 'recognize' CNN, Washington Post as 'fake news'
© Greg Nash

A Tennessee state lawmaker introduced a resolution that would “recognize” CNN and The Washington Post as “fake news.”

The resolution, which was introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly on Wednesday by state Rep. Micah Van Huss (R), would “condemn” the news outlets “for denigrating our citizens.”

The resolution cites one article published by an editor at the Washington Post on Oct. 3.

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Van Huss in his resolution claimed that the publication "wrote that President Donald J. Trump has cast a spell on the Republican Party and suggested that Trumpism is cult-like." 

Van Huss appeared to be referring to a book review by Marc Fisher, a senior editor at the newspaper published on that date. Fisher reviewed the book “The Cult of Trump: A Leading Cult Expert Explains How the President Uses Mind Control” by Steven Hassan.

In the review, though, Fisher dismissed the idea that there was "something downright cultlike about Trumpism." Fisher wrote that Trump supporters "seem far more like classic populist voters than like Jim Jones acolytes."

Van Huss's resolution also accuses “a CNN host” of suggesting “that Trump supporters belong to a cult and that our president is using mind control” on Nov. 24. CNN host Brian Stelter conducted an interview with Hassan published on Nov. 24.

“We recognize that fake news outlets suggest ideas without directly making accusations so that they can claim innocence from their ivory towers; and … it is fascinating to see this latest 'cult-of-Trump' meme coming from the left, because they are the true masters of deploying mobs to demand total conformity and compliance with their agenda,” Van Huss writes in the resolution.

"To describe the entire Republican Party as a cult led by President TrumpDonald John TrumpNearly 300 former national security officials sign Biden endorsement letter DC correspondent on the death of Michael Reinoehl: 'The folks I know in law enforcement are extremely angry about it' Late night hosts targeted Trump over Biden 97 percent of the time in September: study MORE is problematic: If journalists are going to refer to the party as a cult and its supporters as cultists, they must define what 'cult' means; otherwise, they are assuming that a cult is some obvious phenomenon and everyone knows what the word means,” he continues later in the resolution.

Van Huss says he believes the president “has taken a stand on behalf of the middle class and everyday people, and that is the reason he has growing support" and that "suggestions that supporters of President Trump are exhibiting cult-like behavior isn't helpful in an era of significant political polarization.”

Brad Batt, a Johnson City, Tenn., small-business owner who will challenge Van Huss in the 2020 election for Tennessee State House District 6, WJHL reported, quickly condemned the lawmaker’s resolution on Facebook.

“I still just cannot believe that instead of actually getting real work done our State Rep sat down and typed out an actual two-page resolution decrying CNN and WAPO as ‘Fake News,’” Batt shared.  

“Just an absolute waste of everyone's time and taxpayer money,” he continued.

The Hill reached out to The Washington Post and CNN for comment.

Updated at 6:42 p.m.