Why Won’t the Media Hold Trump Accountable for His Lies?
President Trump is a liar. This goes without saying, but in case you’re still skeptical, the Washington Post has receipts. A lot of them. On Monday, the paper revealed that, according to their calculations, the president has now delivered over 10,000 false or misleading claims since taking office, good for around 12 a day.
Statistics aren’t necessary to demonstrate that the president is a pathological liar who harbors a fiercely adversarial relationship with reality. The more salient takeaway from Post’s tally is instead that his penchant for disinformation has intensified to an alarming degree in recent months. Or even in recent days. According to the Post, he spouted 171 false of misleading claims between April 25th and 27th, last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. This was more than he lied in any single month in the first five months of his presidency.
Trump capped his latest lying binge with a breathtaking performance Saturday night at a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Most notably, the president said Democrats support giving mothers the right to execute their newborn children, a claim that has no basis in reality.
Here's Trump making another false & unspeakably dangerous claim about abortion:
"The baby is born; the mother meets with the doctor. They take care of the baby. They wrap the baby beautifully. Then the doctor & mother determine whether or not they will execute the baby." pic.twitter.com/Hg6V6pjgpX
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) April 28, 2019
The New York Times described the lie, one of the most disgusting and dangerous the president has made since taking office, as an “inaccurate refrain.” Several other news outlets failed to note the president’s rampant dishonesty, which also included lies about the trade deficit, job creation numbers, immigration, taxes, health care and more.
Here are some very typical examples from last night: pic.twitter.com/Aj5t8tJDzL
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 28, 2019
In other words, the president lies because knows he can get away with it.
He also does it out of necessity. The more time Trump spends in office, the more corruption there is to scrutinize and the more he feels he needs to lie to defend himself. According to the Post, it took Trump 601 days in office to cross the 5,000-lie threshold. He only needed an additional 226 days to make it to 10,000 false or misleading claims. As 2020 looms and congressional Democrats continue to investigate the president’s finances, his campaign, his conduct in office and more, there’s no reason to believe he’s going to reconcile with reality any time soon.
Despite the overabundance of evidence that Trump is a serial liar, those charged with defending him refuse to acknowledge his penchant for false claims. The Mueller report made clear that the president has lied on multiple occasions regarding his handling of the special counsel’s investigation, perhaps most notably when he maintained that he did not instruct then-White House Counsel Don McGhan to fire Mueller. And yet, when CNN’s Anderson Cooper pressed Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley to at least acknowledge that the president has lied, he was unwilling to do so. “I’m not aware of him lying,” said Gidley. “He hasn’t lied to me. He’s coming through on all the promises he said he’d do for the American people, whether it’s building the wall or defeating ISIS.”
For the record, construction of the wall has yet to begin, and ISIS has yet to be defeated.