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Donald Trump, rally, Phoenix, AZ
Donald Trump speaking at a campaign rally at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

The media is so numb to Donald Trump's lies that it doesn’t bother covering them. And that’s a disservice to readers.

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Donald Trump’s “Statement on Life,” i.e., his abortion policy, revealed as much about the former president as it did about the media covering him. 

On Trump’s part, it shows that he is an effective populist. Knowing that abortion has been a losing issue for Republicans since the Supreme Court rolled back Roe v. Wade — even while taking credit for that decision — he declined to join GOP calls for a national ban and instead left the issue up to the states. He also said he strongly supports IVF availability. Say what you want about his mental state, that’s savvy. 

Right-wing evangelicals will vote for him regardless, and this might help with some more moderate Republicans. 

On the media’s part, it shows that they still haven’t figured out how to cover Trump’s lies… even the most outrageous ones. 

Here is one paragraph from his statement: 

It must be remembered that the Democrats are the radical ones on this position because they support abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month. The concept of having an abortion in the later months and even execution after birth. And that’s exactly what it is. The baby is born, the baby is executed after birth is unacceptable. And almost everyone agrees with that. 

What?

Obviously, that’s not only false but also nuts. 

And, when a presidential candidate says something that is completely insane and verifiably not true, then it is the media’s job to point this out. 

This paragraph should have appeared in its entirety in any story covering Trump’s announcement. But it did not. 

Many outlets neglected it altogether while others barely mentioned it. 

That is a real disservice to readers (and voters). 

Yes, they deserve an unbiased accounting of a candidate’s policy positions — in this case that the legality of abortion should be left up to the states.

(Of course, Trump says nothing about what should happen if one of those crazy liberal states were to actually legalize post-birth abortions, i.e. murder. After all, to most of his supporters, there is no difference between the two).

But all Americans also deserve to know if a candidate tells outrageous lies.

With Trump, everybody is so used to him lying that hardly anybody bats an eye anymore when it happens (in part also because all of that eye-batting would probably be really bad for people’s eyesight). 

However, just because spreading falsehoods and misinformation is a huge part of the former president’s MO, that doesn’t mean that the media should give him a pass… especially if the lie is as outrageous and demonstrably false as this one.

Sadly, Trump is rarely called out anymore for his avalanche of falsehoods. It almost seems that he has worn journalists down, which is a real shame. 

But maybe it’s just the media’s way of saying “thank you” to the guy who has made them billions of dollars.

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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