As the first presidential candidate debate approaches on Monday, parts of the media that have been reluctant to call Donald Trump a liar are finally dropping their polite euphemisms and calling the Republican presidential nominee’s lies what they are.
Brian Stelter, host of CNN’s Reliable Sources said on Sunday that newspapers like the New York Times, the Washington Post and Politico are finally foregoing words like “misstatement,” “truth-stretching” and “exaggeration” and crossing a line that is not normally crossed in legacy media, uttering the “L-word.”
“We don’t see this normally during presidential elections,” he said in an interview with Poppy Harlow filmed at Hofstra University, “and the editors I’ve spoken with at these papers say this is necessary to call it out, to tell it like it is.”
“Yes, Hillary Clinton makes misstatements,” he continued. “Politico, for example, counted eight within the last week. However, Donald Trump made more than 70 during that same period of time.”
“There are not two equal sides for fact-checking in this election,” Stelter said. “Donald Trump lies more. Hillary Clinton also makes misstatements, but you can’t weight them equally.”
In its editorial on Sunday, Politico said that “the conclusion is inescapable: Trump’s mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration so greatly exceed Clinton’s as to make the comparison almost ludicrous.”
The New York Times pointed out that many of Trump’s lies share a common theme. “Virtually all” of them “directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction.”
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