When are Donald Trump’s lies not lies?
When they arrive at the news desk of the Wall Street Journal.
The august paper’s Editor-in-Chief, Gerald Baker, said on “Meet the Press” that the word implies too much for an…um… untruth.
Wading into the etymology of deception, Baker says the word will not again appear in any WSJ account of Trump’s misleading views. “Lie,’ he tried to explain, “implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead.” (Oh?) And if you assign “lie:” to our next president’s comments, Baker said, “you run the risk that you look like you are, you’re not being, objective.”
Political correctness aside, we now have the chief of a national newspaper sinking to a new level of journalistic cowardice. Let the campaign notes show that Trump regularly called Hillary a liar while adding: “and you can trust Hillary Clinton far less than you could even Obama.”
Still, it is not a stretch to say that 2016 was a terrible year for the media. It never seemed prepared to catch up with Trump’s dissembling overnight tweets of manufactured “news”’ in his altered state of mind. Today, the picks of his twitter still find homes in the prints and cables, breathlessly reported.
For the many Americans who don’t read much, TrumpWorld speaks to them in headlines and breaking-news TV crawlers and not much more. Here’s how they are told of his magical success in retaining American jobs:
“Trump declares victory: Sprint will create 5,000 U.S. Jobs” (CNN Money)
“Trump announces 8,000 more jobs for American workers” (Fox News)
“Trump says Sprint will bring 5,000 more jobs back to the US. OneWeb will create 3,000 jobs” (CNBC)
Trouble with these headlines is that the deals to bring the jobs back were in the works before he barged onto the stage.
Oh, Trump – violating all that we have been taught from our school days about Communist tyrants such as Vladimir Putin doesn’t mind praising him effusively and dismissing the reports of our intelligence agencies that he interfered with the U.S . election. Says Donald, as one with his own dictatorship in mind, “I know more than anybody else.” And he wants everyone to know that objectively “that’s no lie.”