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New Roundups Of Trump’s Lies Prove Why Fact-Checking Is Vital During Presidential Debates

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New Roundups Of Trump’s Lies Prove Why Fact-Checking Is Vital During Presidential Debates

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Published with permission from Media Matters For America

The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico all independently published on September 24 and 25 reviews of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s “blizzard of falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies” in just the last week. Given that Trump’s “mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration” is so “frequent,” these reports of Trump’s “untruths” bolster the case for debate moderators to fact-check the candidates during the presidential debates.

Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton are set to debate on September 26 in the first of three meetings. Given that Trump has a startling penchant for lying and that Trump’s debate prep team is filled with conspiracy theorists and disreputable political operatives, journalists and veteran debate moderators have called on the moderators to hold the candidates to a high level of truth-telling and fact-check their inaccurate statements.

Media Matters has also called on the debate moderators to fact-check the candidates in real-time, so a debate over settled fact does not become a “‘he said, she said’” situation. Failing to fact-check Trump’s lies during the debate will also feed into the growing media tendency to lower the bar for Trump and hold the two candidates to different standards.

Those calls for asking “tough follow-up questions” have been given even more importance with these new studies. Trump, according to a five-day Politico analysis of his most recent remarks, “averaged about one falsehood every three minutes and 15 seconds.” The Politico analysis found 87 different lies of Trump’s, including on issues such as the economy, health care, national security, immigration, and Clinton, among others. The study also noted Trump’s September 16 lie that “he was not the person responsible for the birtherism campaign to delegitimize Barack Obama’s presidency.”

The New York Times also “closely tracked Mr. Trump’s public statements from Sept. 15-21, and assembled a list of his 31 biggest whoppers, many of them uttered repeatedly.” The Times spotlighted Trump’s “most consistent falsehood he tells about himself” — “that he opposed the war in Iraq from the start” — which the “evidence shows otherwise.” The Times also highlighted Trump’s “unfounded claims about critics and the news media,” “inaccurate claims about Clinton,” and “stump speech falsehoods.”

The Washington Post similarly examined “one week of Trump’s speeches, tweets and interviews” and found that Trump “continues to rely heavily on thinly sourced or entirely unsubstantiated claims.” The Post’s roundup of Trump’s recent “false or questionable claims” and “controversial and debunked statements” included his erroneous assertion that the black community is “in the worst shape that they’ve ever been in before, ever, ever, ever” and his false claim that law enforcement cannot question a person suspected of carrying an explosive.

Though print media outlets are becoming increasingly comfortable spotlighting Trump’s compulsive lying, his habit is not new: PolitiFact found that 70 percent of Trump’s assertions throughout his campaign have been “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire.” The Times, Post, and Politico’s roundups of Trump’s lying just in the past week show how crucial it is for debate moderators to be vigilant fact-checkers during the debate.

Photo: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump walks off his plane at a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S., September 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

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17 Comments

  1. Buford2k11 September 26, 2016

    It’s rigged I tells ya..It is rigged…Trump has run a fact free, and undeniably dangerous and contemptible campaign…the folks who don’t want fact checking are just as deplorable and disgusting as is humanly possible…Jane…

    Reply
  2. 1standlastword September 26, 2016

    After getting “burned” do we now have a media that is ready to fight fire with fire. If they put Trump’s flames out tonight he might not show up for the next debate and that would make sense because he would’t have anything left to say…if you get my drift!

    I don’t like the establishment either but Trump is nobody’s savior!

    Reply
  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth September 26, 2016

    Any person, whether of the Left or Right or anywhere in between, should be severely rebuked and reprimanded in debates and in other public forums. Trumps haughty and imperious disregard for honesty and fair-play have now become the stuff of legend, and which should be accurately and fully recorded and preserved in the history books.

    I’m sure Hillary, and all the rest of us have lied, but Trump has shown a giddy delight in lying out loud, and without the slightest hint of remorse for his lies, or concern for how his lies harm others.

    Indeed, lying with such frequency and smugness is the imprimatur of a “bat” from a hellish condition.

    Reply
  4. Thoughtopsy September 26, 2016

    It’s just money.
    Why do you think every political race up till now “drew neck and neck” in the last stretch before the election?
    Because the media makes the most money from writing as if the race is close. No one reads or watches if it’s a foregone conclusion.
    So they ignore the weak candidate’s failings, highlight the strong candidate’s slightest mistakes and endlessly tsk tsk over them.

    In the case of this race they have repeatedly glossed over Trump’s enormous failings and horrible business practices and history to focus on Hillary’s “optics”. They have repeatedly failed to hold him to any standard in interviews… mainly because they know he will ban them from the money fountain if they are mean to him.

    But…

    Now the election season is coming to a close. Trump’s insane candidacy has been milked for all the eyeballs, airtime and ratings they can possibly get. Just like an expiring bottle of milk, his value to them in monetary terms is falling and they no longer need to fear him blacklisting them from his interviews and rallies because it’s nearly over and the debates are now here.

    So what now will make the most money? What will bring the most eyeballs, ratings and clicks? Reporting on all the horrible things they have studiously been avoiding in order to pretend the race is close. Pulling out his lies, history, tantrums, hate speech and so on. Gleefully ripping down the same person they just built up. Because people will tune in for the carnage, scandal and inevitable rage. Either because they have been waiting for the other shoe, or because they don’t believe it and still support him.

    Don’t worry… it will all be reported on as if it’s breaking news, and only just been discovered. He will be fact-checked and actually asked hardball questions as if the media were always doing their job and nothing has changed…
    Even though, if the fourth estate had even remotely done any of their jobs, he would have already been exposed as a disaster, not given a far lower standard to meet, and actually asked questions like: “You said anyone who insults American voters cannot be President, yet you regularly insult groups of American voters… Care to explain?”

    Everything is completely understandable based on media greed and is going perfectly according to plan.

    And your media is appallingly bad.

    Reply
  5. AgLander September 26, 2016

    Since when did it become the role of the moderator to be a fact checker? The answer is never. The debate is between the two behind the lecterns and if either candidate makes a statement the other considers false, it’s up to the other one to be up to date on the issue and challenge them with their own fact check. We are always told by the Clinton campaign how smart she is and that she has such a firm grasp of the issues. If that is true, why doesn’t she have enough knowledge of the issues that she can confidently challenge the veracity of her opponents statements? Or perhaps she is wanting to play the role of the “girlie girl” and have the man (Lester Holt) stand up for her, in which case how do we expect her to stand toe-to-toe with Vladimir Putin and challenge him when Lester Holt is not anywhere around? Come on Hillary…….”be a man” and stand up for yourself!

    Reply
    1. PeterKVT80 September 26, 2016

      I have noticed that the typical Trump supporter doesn’t care whether things are true or not. If they like the message it doesn’t matter if it is obviously false. They automatically don’t like anything that Hillary is saying. In this situation an independent fact checker seems like a good idea.

      Reply
      1. AgLander September 26, 2016

        Thanks for making my point…..Hillary can’t stand up for herself in a little old debate so how the heck can we depend on her to stand up for an entire nation against Putin and a host of other bad actors? She’s not up to the job, that much is very clear.

        Reply
        1. Sand_Cat September 26, 2016

          According to a moron and compulsive liar like you? Oh. I’m impressed.

          Reply
        2. Independent1 September 26, 2016

          If anyone is looking sick these days – it’s Donald Trump. The rigors of campaigning are really starting to tell on him – he’s not even going to make it to election day.

          And he’s not going to make it to election day for two reasons: 1) he’s not going to be physically able to make it; and 2) he has committed so many felonies during this campaign alone that he will be indicted and brought to trial making him unfit to even be part of the election.

          Reply
        3. Independent1 September 26, 2016

          Trump looks like he’s on his last legs in this photo – which he is!!!

          He also looks like he has severe high blood pressure which is plain as can be.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a8a1b1e23502c73339676ae229c66bd4f11f7d04eb45239a126ab982ea14adcb.jpg

          Reply
        4. I Am Helpy September 27, 2016

          Hahahaha AHAHAHAHA which debate were YOU watching?

          Because in this dimension, your dime-bag Mussolini got his testes kicked so hard he can taste them now.

          Reply
        5. I Am Helpy September 27, 2016

          The best part – the BEST part, though – is that he’s now trying to blame his geriatric coke addict sniffles on a faulty mic. Nothing is as hilarious as watching this senile coot try to blame something – anything! – else for his own manifest failures, no matter how trivial.

          Reply
        6. Thoughtopsy September 29, 2016

          I hear he did SO well that he blamed his microphone.
          Now that’s a real position of strength.

          Reply
    2. Independent1 September 26, 2016

      Do you have someone who writes gobbledygook for you? Your posts are such insane nonsense that you must have so real weirdo under the table somewhere making all these fantasies up you post. If you don’t have a sidekick writing for you, then you really need to schedule an appointment with Bellview Sanatorium because you’ve lost so many marbles your head is clearly empty and needs refilling.

      Reply
    3. I Am Helpy September 27, 2016

      All I hear is “waaaah my white supremacist candidate looked like a cheap Nixon knockoff during the debate IT’S NOT FAAAAAIIIIIR”.

      You neo-Nazis are such precious, delicate weaklings.

      Reply
    4. Thoughtopsy September 29, 2016

      Since when did it become standard operating procedure for a candidate to lie repeatedly about literally almost every actual fact?
      Whenever that was… That’s the same time it became important for someone neutral to state the facts.

      See the thing you leave out is this:
      Facts are non-partisan. The reason you and Trump don’t like them is because you lie to people to manipulate them. The facts get in the way of this manipulation and make you look like you’re lying to manipulate people.

      Your obvious reply will be “Hillary lies too.”

      Sure… all politicians lie. However most of them are smart enough to “bend” or “shade” the actual truth because they expect their statements to be checked, and the voting populace to judge them poorly if they depart too far from the facts.

      Does any politician lie like Trump?.
      Not even close. Although the GOP generally try to… they aren’t in the same league as Trump.

      Where it gets completely out of hand is when the Bullsh!t Deluge strategy gets employed.
      Hannity and Trump are a great match for exactly this reason.
      The Bullsh!t Deluge strategy is simply saying so much bullsh!t in such a short time that the person arguing doesn’t even know where to begin to refute all the lies. So they pick out maybe the one or two worst/most dangerous lies and attack them… At which point Hannity/Trump says they are lying and continues to spout another 40-50 complete lies in their next three paragraphs.

      This turns every “Debate” and most media into a “He said/She Said” debacle with the Bullsh!t spouter controlling the agenda and people watching get confused about what the actual facts are.

      I much prefer the Debate Moderator to simply say: That is not correct. It wastes less time. It keeps the debate on track. And it supplies a neutral arbiter of the actual facts.

      I have another question for you:
      Who wouldn’t want the moderator to fact check?

      Reply
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