Remember the quaint old days when then President Clinton tried to get us to believe that truth depended upon what “is” is? In his words, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”
We have had to deal with a couple of whoppers from the White House since then. President George W. Bush making the claim of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Barack Obama stated ‘If you like your health care plan, you can keep it’, just two of the most obvious lies. Donald Trump however has taken deception to a new low as shown by Robert Reich’s video below originally posted on his blog.
Earlier this year the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief insisted that the newspaper wouldn’t label President Donald Trump’s false statements as “lies.” Lying, said the editor, requires a deliberate intention to mislead, which couldn’t be proven in Trump’s case.
But Trump lies more than any president we’ve ever had, and he seems to get away with it. Here’s his 10-step plan for turning lies into near truths.
Step 1: He lies.
Step 2: Experts contradict him, saying his claim is baseless and false. The media report that the claim is false.
Step 3: Trump blasts the experts and condemns the media for being “dishonest.”
Step 4: Trump repeats the lie in tweets and speeches. He then asserts that “many people” say he’s right.
Step 5: The mainstream media start to describe the lie as a “disputed fact.“
Step 6: Trump repeats the lie in tweets, interviews and speeches. His surrogates repeat it on television and in the right-wing blogosphere.
Step 7: The mainstream media begin to describe Trump’s lie as a “controversy.”
Step 8: Polls show a growing number of Americans (including most Republicans) that believe Trump’s lie is true.
Step 9: The media start describing Trump’s lie as “a claim that reflects a partisan divide in America” and is “found to be true by many.”
Step 10: The public is confused and disoriented about what the facts are. Trump wins.
Don’t let Trump’s lies become near truths. Be vigilant. Know the truth and spread it. The media should stop mincing words. Report Trump’s lies as lies.
If the media does not call a lie a lie it is our responsibility to hold them accountable. It does matter what ‘is’ is, especially when ‘is’ is a lie.