Thanks go to Vox writer Matthew Yglesias for noticing CNN has found a novel way to let us know when Donald Trump is lying. It’s great. Really great. Tremendous.
As you can see above, they helpfully noted when Trump made a statement that is demonstrably untrue, which in this case involved a statement made in March about security issues in Northeast Asia.
It’s been widely reported, so I won’t go into detail. The gist is that Trump clearly said in an interview with Chris Wallace that Japan should have nuclear weapons to defend itself.
To make sure he heard Trump correctly, Wallace asked, “With nukes?” Trump replied, “Including with nukes, yes, including with nukes.”
This week, Trump said this:
“She made a speech, she’s making another one tomorrow, and they sent me a copy of the speech” Trump said. “And it was such lies about my foreign policy, that they said I want Japan to get nuclear weapons. Give me a break.”
It’s hardly news that Trump has lied again, but having a major news outlet so mattter-of-factly imbed a comment in a screen graphic to inform viewers of the lie is an interesting twist.
I would suggest that the media use this approach especially when Trump is speaking, which could function as subtitles of truth. You hear the words, and then are able to read in almost real time how the words are false. And when the words are literally nonesense, a well-placed “WTF?” would certainly be called for.
One of the things the man has done so effectively is to speak over interviewers who are in many cases unable or unwilling to interject to point out the fabrication of the day. Trump’s ability to hold centre stage through force of personality and push his way through verbal encounters would, therefore, seem to require a new approach. CNN may be on to something.
And, for the record, I would certainly be willing to see Mrs. Clinton treated the same way. Perhaps then we could see which of the two candidates really lacks integrity.
Whatever the mechanism, no candidate for high office should be allowed to utter a single statement that is demonstrably untrue without being challenged in some way.
Donald Trump clearly thinks he has an advantage because he is so willing to resort to rudeness when others are not. Most people, members of the media included, prefer not to call anyone a lying jackass to his or her face, but these are extraordinary times.
If this has to get ugly, and it does, and if we have to play by rules set out by Trump, and we apparently do, let us play the game effectively because the stakes are so high.
Let this lying ignoramus get away with nothing.