Monday, May 09, 2016

Should Trump Be Banned From TV For Blatantly Lying Too Much?


Although all of his Republican opponents repeatedly called Trump a liar, the epithet didn't stick, at least not among Republican primary voters. Only 9% of Trump's fact-checked campaign statements have been rated "true" (2%) or "mostly true" (7%) by PolitiFact, but it was only Trump's branding of the immensely dislikable Ted Cruz as "Lyin' Ted" that stuck with the voters. It didn't matter that Cruz "only" lied 64% of the time-- as opposed to Trump's 76%-- the Trumpish mood on the right has metastasized into a full-blown takeover of the Republican Party, a party whose moorings with reality had been so loose in recent years as to be exactly what a sociopath like Trump needed to swoop in and crush the party establishment entirely. What worries people now is whether or not he can repeat this feat nationally, especially if the Democrats-- as it appears they are about to do-- nominate the weakest and most unlikable candidate they've put up in living memory.

One thing that is clear, as Glenn Kessler pointed out in the Washington Post over the weekend, there is nothing that will keep Trump from repeating his lies, especially with the mass media so eager to repeat them ad nauseum. "[M]ost politicians," he wrote, "will drop a talking point if it gets labeled with Four Pinocchios by The Fact Checker or “Pants on Fire” by PolitiFact. No one wants to be tagged as a liar or misinformed, and we have found most politicians are interested in getting the facts straight. So the claim might be uttered once or twice, but then it gets quietly dropped or altered. But the news media now faces the challenge of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Trump makes Four-Pinocchio statements over and over again, even though fact checkers have demonstrated them to be false. He appears to care little about the facts; his staff does not even bother to respond to fact-checking inquiries.
[A]stonishingly, television hosts rarely challenge Trump when he makes a claim that already has been found to be false. For instance, Trump says he was against the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but research by BuzzFeed found that he did express support for an attack. He said the White House even sent a delegation to tell him to tone down his statements-- and we found that also to be false.

Yet at least a dozen television hosts in the past two months allowed Trump to make this claim and failed to challenge him. There is no excuse for this. TV hosts should have a list of Trump’s repeated misstatements so that if he repeats them, as he often does, he can be challenged on his claims.

(On Thursday, Bret Baier of Fox News finally pressed Trump on his support for the Iraq War. “I said very weakly, well, blah, blah, blah, yes, I guess,” Trump responded.)

The online version of the Fact Checker keeps a running list of Trump’s Four-Pinocchio statements. He now has 26, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of Trump’s statements that have been fact checked.

Trump often falsely suggests he opposed the intervention in Libya when he was actually an advocate for toppling Libya’s then-dictator, Moammar Gaddafi. He also has repeatedly made the bizarre claim that the terror group known as the Islamic State has control of oil fields and is making a fortune there.

Claudia Gazzini, a Tripoli-based senior analyst at the International Crisis Group, said it is simply not true that the Islamic State has control of any Libyan oil.

“While it is true that ISIS has attacked oil fields in the Sirte basin area and destroyed key equipment there, they have not sought to keep control of the oil fields,” Gazzini said. “At the moment, they appear to have adopted a hit-and-run strategy. There is no evidence that they are pumping out the crude oil and certainly no evidence that they are trading it.”

...[Trump often claims that] Russian President Vladimir Putin “called me a genius”

This is an exaggeration of a mistranslation.

After Putin’s annual news conference in December, he was cornered by a reporter for ABC News and asked what he thought of Trump.

Here’s how ABC News translated Putin’s remarks: “He’s a very colorful person. Talented, without any doubt, but it’s not our affair to determine his worthiness-- that’s up to the United States voters.”

Russian is notoriously complex to translate into English, so various news organizations rendered the key quote in slightly different ways. Instead of “colorful,” the Washington Post said “lively.” The New York Times used “flamboyant.”

None of that sounds anything like “genius.” Some news organizations, such as the Guardian newspaper, used “bright.” The Guardian issued a correction a day later: “The word he used was ‘yarkii,’ which can mean bright or brilliant, but not in the sense of intelligent; it can also be translated as colorful, vivid or flamboyant.”

In other words, the Russian president said he regarded Trump as a “colorful” figure, which is not the same thing as someone with a 140 IQ.

No doubt about that. A colorful person may earn lots of Pinocchios; a genius does not.

Trump's latest lies, all of which have been devoured enthusiastically by brainwashed Hate Talk Radio and Fox News consumers and repeated endlessly by professional liars like Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and Sean Hannity:

This is proving too much even for many in the GOP who have acclimated themselves to a party whose entire raison d'être is based on a systemic pathos of dishonesty. Saturday, Robert Costa pointed out that "Trump’s looming nomination has spurred some leaders of the conservative movement-- for generations, the backbone of the GOP-- to break free from a Republican Party now being rapidly reshaped by the New York billionaire’s incendiary tone and unorthodox populism. The extraordinary resistance of many figures on the right this past week to Trump has not been prompted merely by objections to his temperament and fears about his electability in November. At the core has been a calculation by self-identified “movement conservatives” that they would rather preserve their entrenched ideological project than promote a nominee whom they believe would violate their creed and ethos."
[B]y taking a stand they see as a stroke of moral clarity, conservative leaders are at risk of separating their coalition from a Republican Party in which voters coast to coast have effectively shifted the center of gravity by choosing Trump as their standard bearer. In the primaries, Trump defeated a string of classically conservative candidates by peeling away many of the movement’s core supporters: evangelical and working-class white voters.
It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of misanthropes and shysters.

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At 12:47 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

If Big TV had any hearts & guts about banning Trump they would've done it already but they don't because they're corporate media. Independent Media however is a different story they would ban Trump from the airwaves on the spot in a heartbeat.


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