Lots of discussions lately within media outfits on what to call the growing and monumentally-sized list of lies by President Donald John Trump.
Some media organizations try to use the word “lie” when describing a misstatement of fact, untruthful remark or falsehood by the 45th President of the United States.
“Whether and how to push back when Trump says something untrue is an ongoing question for news outlets,” reports Callum Borchers in The Washington Post. “Use of the word ‘lie,’ in particular, is up for debate because it asserts the president didn’t just relay inaccurate information, but that he intended to deceive.”
Some news outlets says a blanket claim that a misstatement is a lie is editorializing because it is a conclusion, not a reporting of “fact.”
Others, like The New York Times, says there isn’t much wiggle room when it comes to Trump’s lying. He lies, he knows he lies and he does it a lot.
Says a headline in the Times: Trump repeats lie about popular vote in meeting with lawmakers.
Same for New York magazine: Trump repeats lie that millions voted illegally in meeting with congressional leaders.
Dean Baquet tells National Public Radio says an obvious lie by Trump, and there are many to choose from, is called it for what it is, especially when Trump repeats what has already been documented as false information.
Baquet is right. Trump’s lies should be called lies because he is the most prolific liar to occupy the White House in modern times, if not in the history of the American presidency.
Yet newspapers like the Wall Street Journal often calls one Trump’s many lies an “unsupported claim.”
The New York Daily news calls a Trump lie an “unconfirmed claim.”
Slate says it is a “false claim.”
The Washington Post often says a lie is “without evidence.”
Trump lies. His frequent and often repeated lies have been documented as lies many, many times. He lied about former President Barack Obama’s birthright. He lied about voter fraud that does not exist. He continues to repeat lies about his relatively small turnout for his swearing in and inauguration, calling them records that aren’t.
Trump lies so much that even the best fact-checking services say they can’t keep up with all of them.
I came up through the newspaper and journalism ranks as a veteran reporter taught to attempt objectivity at all times in reporting and writing the news.
As a columnist for the past 50+ years, I have also had the privilege to add perspectives to the news from a singular goal of reporting the truth. I haven’t always met that goal and have apologized for doing so when it has happened.
Trump is a proven liar. That fact is documented, again and again, but he has never apologized for any lie and continues to repeat many of them.
As President of the United States, he should use truth to govern and make his points. Instead, he uses lies to serve his many, and often conflicting agendas.
My conclusion, in this case, as an opinion columnist?
Memo to Donald John Trump:
“Shut up you lying SOB!”
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