Calling a Liar a Liar: It’s Time to Tell the Truth About Trump’s Fact-Phobia

Donald Trump, lying
I am the least dishonest person on the planet. Believe me. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from DonkeyHotey / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0) .
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Here is something that doesn’t get said enough: Donald Trump, the president of the United States of America, seemingly can’t stop lying. It’s not that people don’t know. Everybody knows. Still, the media usually skirts around the subject that Trump is a huge liar.

The Washington Post’s fact-checking team revealed this week that Trump has made “3,001 false or misleading claims” so far in his presidency — an average of six per day.

The paper often awards him between one and four “Pinocchios” to show how far from the truth the president has strayed. Using the well-known children’s character whose nose got longer the more he lied is cute, but not at all helpful.

Because there is nothing cute or funny about the most powerful man in the world being unable to stop lying. Where is the value in sugarcoating it by saying that Trump’s statements are “false or misleading?” Sure, in some cases, he is just ignorant and doesn’t know the facts — which isn’t much better — but any sensible person would then keep their mouth shut to make sure they don’t say something false. Trump lacks that sensibility — or any type of filter that keeps him from lying constantly. He also keeps repeating lies that have already been disproven, which is clear evidence that this isn’t just about him being clueless.

Trump lies so much that he has overwhelmed the system. The media seems to be unable to deal with the tsunami of bullshit coming out of the president’s mouth.

So when Trump tells yet another lie, it barely registers.

Professional journalists are used to giving people the benefit of the doubt. Even if it seems apparent that somebody has committed a crime — for example, because they were caught in the act or there is a mountain of evidence — a credible news outlet will always put the word “alleged” in front of the supposed perpetrator’s name until he or she is convicted.

And in most cases, that is the right thing to do. After all, the word “lying” conveys intent. Can we really say with certainty whether a person meant to lie or simply misstated something, was unaware of the facts, didn’t remember something correctly, etc.? That is why journalists usually contrast a false statement with a fact to show that it is incorrect and allow readers to determine for themselves whether it was deliberate or not.

Trump no longer deserves that benefit of the doubt. In fact, every single statement of his within a news story should come with a disclaimer like, “The president is a known liar. Everything he says should be viewed in that context.”

It’s ironic that the man who was elected, in part, because his supporters like that he “says it like it is” — seems unable to actually do that.

Even his backers know — at least the ones who can tell the difference between the truth and a lie. Still, they can’t get themselves to call Trump a liar.

Earlier this week, former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum came close when saying “The president says things that don’t comport with the facts. I don’t like calling people liars, but the reality is this president has a problem.”

But it’s not just Trump’s problem. It’s our problem. The president shouldn’t be a compulsive liar. While that should go without saying, in this case it must be said over and over again.

At this point, how can anybody — allies and adversaries alike — trust anything Trump says? Or take him seriously?

And the president’s supporters should be the first to point this out to him. Because by discrediting himself, he is hurting them. However, since Trump is not just a world-class liar but also vindictive, they are all too afraid to speak truth to power.

On Thursday night, Fox News host Neil Cavuto pointed out a bunch of Trump’s lies and he still couldn’t get himself to call the president a liar.

On the closest thing to state TV the US has ever seen, Cavuto said Trump is giving his opponents way too much ammunition.

“Maybe not intentionally. I’ll even give you the benefit of the doubt, Mr. President, and say, maybe not deliberately,” Cavuto stated in a four-minute monologue. “But consistently. Way too consistently.”

A bit later he was even clearer — and still stopped short of what needs to be said often and loudly.

“I’m not saying you’re a liar, I’m just having a devil of a time figuring out which news is fake,” Cavuto said. “Let’s just say your own words on lots of stuff give me, shall I say, lots of pause.”

This got Cavuto a lot of praise but isn’t this what any journalist should be doing? In fact, they should be much more outspoken about the president’s lies.  

Because this stuff really matters. Trump has set the bar so low and shattered so many norms that the US will be paying for it for years. Just this week, we got confirmation of something everybody had already assumed — that the letter from his doctor proclaiming Trump would be the healthiest president ever had been dictated by Trump himself.

So in addition to bucking tradition and not releasing his tax returns, and therefore depriving the public of judging his business acumen — and possible ties to shady foreign moneylenders — voters were also deprived of an objective assessment of Trump’s state of health before he was elected.  

Instead, they got more lies.

Understandably, the media is a bit touchy when it comes to Trump. The “fake news” label, which he slaps on any story he doesn’t like, not only gets under the skin of good journalists but it’s also sticking with Trump’s supporters, many of whom see the press as an enemy of the state.

That’s why it’s time to shatter some norms of our own and start treating Trump differently. While coverage of the president needs to remain fair, it also has to be accurate. And that means no longer giving him the benefit of the doubt and calling out Donald Trump for what he is: the worst liar to have ever occupied the office.

What do you think? Please comment Below.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Trump lips (DonkeyHotey / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0).

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17 responses to “Calling a Liar a Liar: It’s Time to Tell the Truth About Trump’s Fact-Phobia”

  1. Stephanie says:

    What a disgusting way to depict our president. I was almost was interested in this new website I found until I scrolled down to see this and had to comment. You should be ashamed of this image of your own POTUS. It reminds me of tryin to watch the grammys or any comedian on MSM. Like Hollywoods ratings, this too will be in the dump for placing political smear campaigns out in America and expecting good views. Nobody cares. They all lie but dammit he’s the president and I respect him and you should too. I’m out. I’d rather watch Infowars at least they’re not anti-American!

    • Jeff Clyburn says:

      K, couple things: … It’s not a new website… Also, it’s an opinion column, not a news report. … Curious: Why do you blindly respect a man who mocks the disabled, cuts funding for kids with cancer, and wants to send US-born children away to a foreign land they’ve never lived in? Respect is earned. … Have fun at InfoWars!

  2. John Sullivan says:

    As Americans plunge ever deeper into Fantsyland-a world filled with endless entertainment, video games, reality tv, pornographic addiction, apocalyptic thinking, and the insatiable quest for material possessions-the sad reality is truth, i.e. truth supported by facts, by logic, by empirical standards matters less and less. Nonetheless, journalism devoted to finding truth and disseminating it is vital to moving beyond these diversions and into a more humane future. Call the liars out lest you are complicit in the lie!

  3. Kenneth McClintic says:

    Maybe, the greatest liar of all time. Tony Schwartz, who ghost wrote “The Art of the Deal”, said that Trump was not only a probable psychopath, but the most prolific liar he had ever met – this was after spending 18 months with the man.

  4. Edward Shipley says:

    Credible news sources will use the word alleged until a person is convicted of a crime.
    Tell that to Lee Harvey Oswald. He was never tried and convicted in a court of law.

  5. Maggie Jay says:

    Thanks for this article….and hopefully bugle call to many journalists to use the suggested caveat — “may not be true”.
    Worse, the lies seem to be contagious, with the cabinet, advisers, Republicans who opposed him in 2016, and like P Ryan, who now follow the “pied piper” like the vermin they have been shown to be.
    Why do we hear less about the Russian election interference and more about the DT lies? Beginning to seem to be anything for a distraction? I want to know if the November election will continue to use the tainted machines or paper ballots, as WA.

  6. Alan says:

    It is true that this fake president is a buffoon but his actions are more an American people problem than a Trump problem. Recently, when this subject of lies came up in church, a supporter responded by saying that “people knew what he was like when he was campaigning.” This is true, yet they voted for him anyway, and strangely still support him and believe that he is doing a good job. It is not Trump who set the bar so low. It is the American people. He should have been one of the very first eliminated during the primaries. America has a people problem.

  7. Gina de Miranda says:

    What I find disconcerting is not just that Trump lies, but that there is this cynical embrace of those of his lies convenient to the GOP and their implicit disdain for both the truth and the right of citizens to honest representatives not Koch puppets.

  8. Fred says:

    Maybe Trump has been coached by the DOD who as policy dishes out lies and propaganda. Same for the CIA, FBI, NSA, FDA, Homeland Security, CDC, etc etc. not to mention AMA and drug companies. Edward Bernays was the father of modern PR according to NPR but he actually wrote the book on propaganda. Propaganda is a way of life now. And that goes for the major media. Best to include a broad view from alt media, foreign, etc. and use some common sense.

    • SteveD says:

      Yeah, the same CIA and FBI who are preventing any investigation into the Clinton Foundation (maybe because Hillary Clinton was backed by the banksters who are the financial arm of the globalists who also backed Obama)

    • SteveD says:

      What of all the lies from Obama?

    • Kathleen says:

      What lies? The one about keeping our own doctor was not a lie, just lack of correct information. Try again.

    • james warren says:

      Then you can change this subject by mentioning Hillary, Pelosi, Soros and tree-huggin’ liberals.

      Anything to avoid having to confront your own contradictions.

    • Dennis Bartholomew says:

      Trump’s Foundation has been proven to have broken the law. Here’s the story:

      The Donald J. Trump Foundation is a New York-based private Foundation founded and chaired by President of the United States Donald Trump. It has been a source of controversy, criticism and scrutiny. The Foundation has been fined for making political contributions[1] and admitted engaging in self-dealing practices to benefit Trump, his family, and businesses.[2][3] On December 24, 2016, Trump said he intended to dissolve the foundation. The Foundation’s 2016 Internal Revenue Service filing, submitted in November 2017, said the Foundation intends to dissolve and is seeking approval to distribute its remaining funds to other charities.

  9. Fred says:

    I think changing policy just because Trump is Trump, is a bad idea.

    It’s exactly the worst thing journalists could to, and would certainly just further polarize people.

  10. reinkefj says:

    ALL politicians, bureaucrats, and those in Big Media “lie”. What’s so spectacular about DJT45 is the casual way with “the Truth”. I remember when Rush Limbaugh suggested a TV frame saying “He’s lying”. Sigh. As such, maybe DJT45 is training us NOT to believe anything we hear. “I wouldn’t believe you, if your tongue came notarized.” … attributed to Judge Marilyn Milian, but may have an earlier history.