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Fact-Checking in the Age of Trump


Fact-Checking in the Age of Trump

Alicia Shepard

Glenn Kessler was going to take the night off from The Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” blog and just watch Donald Trump’s long-awaited immigration speech in Phoenix on Aug. 31.


.All politicians are born liars. So that's what they do for a living.
Nobody is going to fact-check any politician into telling the truth. Ever.
The question then becomes, why do we keep listening to and voting for politicians?
Are we all insane?


Any negative thing anybody says about Trump is well deserved. Whether it's true or not.
Trump is a lunatic.


So the theme of election 2016 is: lunatics deserve negative critique while crooks don't ?


Both lunatics and crooks deserve criticism.


This is new territory because there has never been a candidate for president who lies as much as Trump. In the 1950 thee country was very dismayed to learn that Eisenhower had lied about the U-2 spy plane incident. Now no one expects presidents to be totally truthful but we still assume most of the time they and presidential candidates are telling the truth. Trump is different because it has to be assumed everything he says is a lie. The real challenge is to find truthful statements. He may even be lying that his tax returns are being audited. He has used that as an excuse for not making his tax return public. But as Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC pointed out Trump's taxes may not actually be being audited and maybe they haven't been at all. The IRS is not allowed to say if someone's taxes are being audited. The only proof Trump could have is a form letter from the IRS. He has never produced one. His campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was recently asked in an interview if Trump had such form letters and she appeared stunned at the question and said only "I'm sorry?" Then the interviewer asked it again and Conway blurted out "Are you calling my candidate a liar."? Well, yes that was the implication by the interviewer.


The linked website lists Trump saying the US election system is rigged is a "pants on fire" lie.


I enjoyed Keith Olbermann's piece on Trump's statements:


You must have heard Trump say that if he loses in Pennsylvania that the election was rigged and he encouraged his supporters to watch the polls (i.e., intimidate). He claimed some people may vote five or six times. Almost no instances of multiple voting has ever been found. It would be foolish to do so because it is a federal crime and can land the person who did in jail for several years. Trump made the statement in Altoona. People who know Pennsylvania said it was a coded message that such cheating would take place in the black neighborhoods of North and West Philadelphia. He was basically trying to stir up his supporters in the central and western parts of the state. Since Pennsylvania has not gone Republican since 1988 for Trump to claim the that if he loses the election was rigged he was just playing to paranoia which is central to his campaign.


Do you know what is meant by "non sequitur"?


I think that I misread your comment. Apparently you are referring to Politifact. In addition to all the lies he uses many coded terms. For those of us who not go to gun shows these terms are often missed. The gun show crowd gets what he is saying. And I don't think they care whether he lies or not. Lying does not seem to be problem on the far right. The climate denial thing is probably the most obvious example. Before that it was volcanoes are causing the ozone hole. And then here was the old standard everyone on welfare is cheating and the prime example the welfare queen. Rush Limbaugh perfected this type of politics. If you keep saying the lie enough eventually nobody cares. Supposedly Trump based his campaign on his playbook for Trump University. The strategies are amazingly similar. He really understands that people who feel they are in a really bad economic condition will buy into anything. He has expanded that from the people who signed up at Trump University to people throughout the country in economically depressed areas. Someone in coal country interviewed by the New York Times said he knows Trump will get them killed but he is going to vote for him anyway. How sad is that. And frustrating for those who want to stop Trump.


"“I burst out laughing at how ridiculous it is to say fact-checking doesn’t matter,” said Kessler. "

Yet here we are, with the 2 least popular and possibly least truthful candidates for president ever, scores of other federal races with at least one person who's lying about almost everything and usually 2 or more such candidates in each race. Both major parties are pushing stands on almost every issue that are opposed by a majority of people in the US, sometimes an overwhelming majority. Fact checking can't check what's not said; it doesn't check what's believed by a majority of deceived and deluded people in the US, almost never checks on whether technically true symbolic statements represent deeper truth (hardly ever) or horrendous lies based on the duopolistic dishonesty strategy. Both parties are lying about what they want, what they'll do, what they have done, what will happen if they're elected and lying about what will happen if Greens and others are elected... Each party's lies are aimed at different and dichotomous segments

The mega lie of the US is epitomized by Olbermann, above, who gets more and more shrill as he goes from lies of sort-of substance (he never once mentions anything of real substance and crucial importance) to shouting about taco trucks, bobbie pins and OMG! wearing the SAME SUIT MORE THAN ONCE!

NO! The Republic Will Fall!

Meanwhile, the other duopolistic oligarchy candidate tells the same lies--by not going after inequality but pursuing policies that increase it, by going along with the ruling out of single payer, by not questioning war, oppression by our "allies" around the world, the death penalty and horrific prison-racial suppression industrial complex, by not admitting the direness of climate catastrophe and thus refusing to pursue policies that have any hope of avoiding global ecologic, economic and political collapse, by never coming anywhere near hinting, let alone admitting, let alone suggesting we do anything, about our global society being insane and that to survive we need to admit that and get it and ourselves into immediate treatment, reversing course on nearly everything about modern global civilization. Meanwhile, fact-checking becomes yet another layer of lies—about what’s not said at all, what’s not thought about, what’s unconscious, what’s rigorously avoided by nearly everyone. Fact-checking becomes yet more froth on the surface, hiding the depths that are the only thing that matters.

Lesser Evilism needs a new slogan that can pass a fact-check. How bout: Pick your evil, cause fact check...they're both taking us into Hell.


"...the 2 least popular and possibly least truthful candidates for president ever,,,'

I don't anyone is close to Trump when it comes to presidential candidates lying. However, when it comes to Clinton you are just repeating Republican lies about her. At the national level this goes back to Whitewater. She told the truth. What about Benghazi? Nine investigations later and not a hint that she didn't tell the truth. It is sad that people on the left are swallowing the Republican lies about Clinton hook, line, and sinker. Nothing to proud about on the left. The left should be better than that. In the primary debates Clinton got the highest Politifact score for statements that were absolutely true. She certainly has some faults but not telling the truth isn't one of them. Perhaps not being forthcoming soon enough is a fault, but that isn't lying. The Republicans have created this false image Clinton and it is important to see through to it and not accept their lies as being the truth.


I have no television and still really have no idea what benghazi is about. I don't listen to Republicans; I only know Clinton's voting record, speeches, statements, and other statements. She constantly lies about her desires, almost always tells lies to rope in progressives so she can continue to get elected to pursue her conservative agenda.

Try reading my statement. The vast majority of political lies aren't checkable by fact-checkers; they're only checkable by wise and intelligent people making deep and insightful analyses. During the primary campaign Clinton, her campaign and the DNC and party on her behalf lied thousands of times about Sanders' record, statements, desires and intentions and positions. She lied about stealing money. Wasserman-Schultz lied, was "fired" for it and then promoted. Clinton never disavowed, distanced, asked for retractions or in any other way corrected any of those false statements.

You're right about one thing; she certainly does have some faults. Her life is a lie. Her career is a relentless pressing on the "Lie" button. Stop being such a shill for a despicable anti-democracy oligarch.