Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Calling a Lie a Lie

This man is called Gerard Baker.


 He is editor-in-chief of one of the largest newspapers in America, the Wall Street Journal.
Here is what he has to say about whether his paper will call out compulsive liar Donald Trump when he tells one of his frequent lies:



He's serious. He thinks that it is his paper's job to just print uncritically whatever untrue, dishonest claptrap is spewed out that day by Orange Julius Caesar and expects readers to say "oh, that's what the Journal says that Trump says, now I'll go find an actual reliable source to check that against and see whether it seems like something I should believe." Because your average headline-skimmer has that kind of time to do the research, but obviously reporters and editors have better things to do with their time.

Trump's off-the-record cocktail party with reporters draws criticism

New York Times Reporter Shares Picture of Joe Scarborough at Trump’s NYE Party

Look, I get why you don't want to use the word "lie." I get that seeming to be objective is more important in the news business than getting the actual truth out there. I get that you're sniveling cowards.
And I get that the word "lie" may not be exactly accurate when it comes to Putin's hand-puppet, because I'm not entirely convinced he really understands the difference between truth and a lie. I think in his mind if there is something that he wants to be true or wishes were true, then it's true. Like I think he may possibly have thought "wouldn't it be cool if the NFL sent me a personal letter asking me to please re-schedule the debate because they were afraid I'd destroy their ratings," and that thought morphed into "the NFL sent me a letter asking me to postpone the debate."  He may not actually know that what he's saying isn't true.

I used to work with a compulsive liar. Nice enough guy, but a compulasive liar. He had no reason to lie to me, impressing me wasn't going to help his career, I was low man on the totem pole, and I wasn't an attractive woman, so their was no reason to tell me lies. But he did. Constantly. And I think that when he said that he was in a band that won a battle of the bands against the Rolling Stones in Stockton, California he actually believed it. I think he may have actually believed, at the moment he was spinning his yarn, that he once was called upon to sit in with the Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Fillmore when Mitch Mitchell came down with the flu. He really seemed to believe those stories as he was telling them (and many more).

 So maybe Trump does, too. I don't know. But even if you can't bring yourself to call a lie a lie, you can still report that "President-elect Baboon Mussolini today tweeted that 3 million votes were cast illegally. This, while he may believe it, is completely false. He seems to have conjured up these three million imaginary illegal votes in order to claim that he also won the popular vote, since he actually lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by about 3 million votes. He may not even realize why he came up with this ridiculous number, since he is obviously afflicted by a serious personality disorder that may be preventing him from distinguishing his hopes and dreams from reality."

Now, granted this takes a bit more ink than just printing "Today the anthropomorphised temper tantrum with a bad combover said that 3 million votes were cast illegally. That is a lie." but if it helps you feel like you've lived up to your standards of objectivity, be my guest. But not pointing out falsehoods is just a dereliction of duty.