Because it is not true

Earlier this week, I listened to an interview on NPR with Jake Tapper. He was there speaking about his new book, but the interviewer asked about his several interviews with Kellyanne Conway. During one taped interview early on in the Trump Presidency, she was lamenting that the mainstream media was not covering certain statements made by the President. One example, in particular, noted the President saying the murder rate is at the highest it’s ever been in 47 years. Tapper said the reason we did not cover it is “because it is not true.”

Tapper said we should not cover things that are obviously not true and asked why Trump cannot stick to the the truth. Conway would not answer the question and was running out the clock. Tapper told the interviewer, listening afterward to her not answer the question, he should have stopped her sooner. But, he did not want to come off as a jerk. She half-heartedly concurred when he pressed, but said why don’t you cover veterans’ issues or the economy?

Tapper said he would love to cover those things. We spend our time chasing whatever Trump tweets or diverts us to. It would be great to discuss real issues and progress to address them. He said Trump does himself a disservice when he lies.

I have said many times I don’t like being lied to and, too often, it is obvious the President or one of his spokespeople are lying. I also think his spin doctors know they are lying. As for their boss, I believe he lies so much, he has a difficult time knowing when the truth ends and lies start. It is constant marketing schtick – just say anything to get the sale. I know there are many fine professional salespeople, but Trump exhibits the worst in all of us.

I found Tapper to be a breath of fresh air. Like many reporters, he wants to get it right. But, like many reporters, he realizes how hard it is do so with a man who lies far more than he does not.

 

9 thoughts on “Because it is not true

  1. I commend that straightforward answer he gave: Because it is not true. This period must be the most difficult ever for the press, trying to keep up with all the tweets and rants, fact-checking endlessly, for every single word that comes from his mouth or his advisors’ must be fact-checked, and then deciding how much space to give him. They aren’t always getting it right, and I believe too much air time is given to his tweets, many of which are of no value and used only to deflect our attention from other, more relevant issues. But again, they are in a tough spot, and I believe that for the most part, they are doing a good job.

    • Jill, I agree with the straightforward response of Tapper. Trump’s lies are bothersome, in general, but when he wants policy set off his lies that worry me most.

      Just yesterday, while speakers talked about working together in a fair and honest manner to honor John McCain, Trump was using hyperbole to bully Canada and threaten Congress. What followers should realize is how often he defines things he is attempting to change a “disaster” and how uniquely qualified he is to solve our problems. Both are hyperbole. NAFTA is not perfect and needs update and improvement, but it certainly is not a disaster. The same goes for the Iran deal, TPP, ACA, Paris Climate Change Accird, …..

      But, he has vastly oversold his skills. He has a very difficult time defining what tariffs do and who they punish. He has a difficult time in negotiating fairly and with multi-party deals. One financial reporter noted that Trump does not have the patience or attention to detail to involve himself in deals. He had his people do that for him. So, his claim to be the utmost deal maker is overstated.

      Keith

      • All of which would be funny, if it weren’t so dangerous and didn’t pose such a threat, not only to the U.S., but to the rest of the world as well. Listening to Obama, Bush, Biden and others these past few days has reminded me what real statesmanship looks and sounds like. And it ain’t Trump!

      • Jill, what puzzles me are the obvious correlations that are overlooked by his followers. In business, if you had a cadre of organizations you sold and acquired things to and from, how would your employees, shareholders and trading partners react if the new CEO told everyone that previous deals were disasters and that buyers and sellers were taking advantage of the company. If I were a Boardmember, I would want proof and a plan. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: The press is doing a better job at saying the President has claimed without proof….Yet, I do feel they could be even more direct with all politicians who lie. After saying “Congressman Smith suggests that…..,” the news could print “It should be noted this assertion has been identified as mostly-false by Politifacts.” Just maybe, after the so-called out politician gripes and moans, he may be more truthful next time.

    I was interested that former Senator John Kyl was mentioned as a temporary fill in for Senator John McCain’s seat. Kyl, when caught in a lie, once stated “you should not construe what I say as the truth.” This is an eloquent way to say it is our fault he is lying. When I relay Kyl’s story, I think of Trump. He must be shown again and again when he is lying. Without it, he has impunity to lie even more. And, that he does.

  3. Dear Keith,
    It used to be that a politician would at least be embarrassed for being caught out for stating an obvious lie. Now they do it with impunity.

    I admire Jake Tapper for playing it straight on the subject of the president’s lies. It’s so bad that there is nothing he can say or do that doesn’t have to be double checked and verified for what context is missing, what is he really saying, etc. There is nothing that comes out of his mouth that can be taken at face value.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, that lack of conscience thing gets in the way. We have too many that don’t just lie to defend, they lie as offense. Devin Nunes and Donald Trump do this in spades. Keith

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