The term "fake news" is to freedom of the press what the term "bigot" is to freedom of speech.
Before I explain, let me be clear: there is both real bigotry and real fake news.
1. Let me explain about bigotry first.
When you call someone a bigot, it makes it harder for them to engage on equal grounds. ("You're a bigot!" "No, actually, I'm not..." isn't productive.)
Worse, labeling someone a bigot groups them with other people. Suppose Joe supports non-discrimination ordinances for LGBT individuals with sensible religious exemptions, but opposes same-sex marriage and efforts to coerce religious individuals to act in violation of conscience. (This happens to be my position. But the merits of my position is not the point here.) Calling Joe a "bigot" ignores the efforts he might takes to defend LGBT rights, lumping him in with, for example, the Westboro Baptist Church. I hope we can see the problems with this.
There are ways to critique Joe's position, and I'm not faulting people who do so. I'm just saying the term bigot should be left out of it.
2. The term "Fake news" is in essence same story, just used by largely different people. When you call something "fake news" it is hard to engage with the term on equal grounds. It puts the burden of proof on the reporter to support every fact in the story. Plus it is designed to end a discussion, not start one ("You're quoting CNN? Such fake news." won't lead to "Well, CNN is actually right this time..." How unconvincing is that after being called fake news).
Worse, calling something "fake news" groups them with other people or groups. CNN does post more against Trump than for him. And they occasionally get things wrong. But calling CNN fake news lumps it in with news sites that categorically or exclusively publish lies-- there are some sites and sources that will ONLY post frauds. We can't talk about these sources if people are trained to think they are no different than CNN. They are NOT.
And, yes, CNN does publish some truth, which must be grappled with, even if it is a biased recitation of the truth.
There are ways to critique CNN's reporting and I'm not faulting people who do so. I'm just saying the term bigot should be left out of it.
So by all means, critique Joe (and me). Critique CNN. But think long and hard before you use the terms "bigot" or "fake news."