Supplemental: We’ve never seen so much apparent lying!


But our “press corps” no longer cares:
We don’t know when we’ve seen a campaign with so much apparent lying. But how odd!

In 1999 and 2000, the press corps built an entire campaign around the way they hate it when a candidate lies! Indeed, they hated one candidate’s lies so much that they invented this candidate’s lies, then agreed, as a group, to pretend that he had said them!

They kept it up for two solid years, sending George Bush to the White House. Today, open lying seems to surround them. But our “journalists” no longer care!

What kinds of apparent lies do we mean? For today, forget about Carly Fiorina crazily doubling down on her claims about that Planned Parenthood videotape, as she did yesterday on Fox News Sunday. (Emphasis on “crazily.”)

Forget about all the crazy things Trump said in 2011, when he sent his research team to Hawaii to check on Obama’s birth. The crazy claims he made at that time are highly relevant again, but our journalists have agreed to pretend that they never occurred.

Forget the “hundreds of thousands” of veterans who belong to that veterans group which endorsed Trump last week—the veterans group which doesn’t exactly seem to exist. Forget the ridiculous stupid shit Trump said about vaccinations. Forget the six lives which apparently weren't really lost in the search for Bowe Bergdahl.

The press corps is working extremely hard to ignore the mountains of nonsense flying around their heads. But today, for one remarkable example of an apparent lie, consider what Candidate Trump said last week about his opposition to the war in Iraq.

It happened in last Wednesday’s debate, with the whole world watching. Responding to a question from Hugh Hewitt, Trump went into great detail about the brilliant foreign policy judgment he showed back then, in real time:
TRUMP (9/16/15): I have to say something because it’s about judgment.

I am the only person on this dais, the only person, that fought very, very hard against us—and I wasn’t a sitting politician—going into Iraq. Because I said going into Iraq— That was in 2003, you can check it out, check out—I’ll give you 25 different stories.

In fact, a delegation was sent to my office to see me because I was so vocal about it.

I’m a very militaristic person, but you have to know when to use the military. I’m the only person up here that fought against going into Iraq.


I would like—and I think it’s very important. I think it’s important, because it's about judgment. It’s about judgment.

I didn’t want to go into Iraq, and I fought it. Because what I said— What I said was you're going to, you’re going to destabilize the Middle East, and that’s what happened.
Trump was blowing his horn again, quite hard and in detail. Here’s the problem—his elaborate claims don’t seem to be accurate.

Trump said he could “give us 25 different stories” about the way he opposed the war in Iraq. Presumably, that meant he could show us news reports to that effect.

Using Nexis, we can find exactly zero reports to that effect. In this post at BuzzFeed, Andrew Kaczynski had the same problem, although he didn’t state the nature of his search.

At the Washington Post’s Fact Checker site, Glenn Kessler cited the BuzzFeed post. Unfortunately in our view, Kessler included a wet, irrelevant noodle from Kaczynski’s report:
KESSLER (9/17/15): Trump claimed that there were “25 different stories” demonstrating his opposition, but BuzzFeed News reported that an extensive review could not turn up any statements by Trump [before] the invasion in March 2003. However, the week the war started, he was quoted by The Washington Post as saying “the war’s a mess.” But apparently he also told Fox News that because of the war, “I think the market’s going to go up like a rocket.”
Was Trump quoted in the Washington Post saying, “The war’s a mess?” Yes he was! But as Kessler notes, the statement came almost a full week after the start of the war. And in his full statement (see below), Trump explicitly referred to events which had gone wrong that day, as the drive toward Baghdad stalled.

Just so you’ll know, Trump’s statement was included in a silly, fluff-filled report about random comments celebrities made at the Vanity Fair post-Oscar party. According to Nexis, it was Trump’s only recorded comment on Iraq.

Just to give you a sense of the seriousness of Trump's fight, the headlines on the piece said this: Hollywood Partyers, Soldiering On/War Dampens but Doesn't Deter Ritual:
BOOTH (3/25/03): Donald Trump, with Amazonian beauty Melania Knauss at his side, pronounces on the war and the stock market: “If they keep fighting it the way they did today, they're going to have a real problem.”

Looking as pensive as a “Nightline” talking head, the Donald concludes, “The war's a mess,” before sweeping off into the crowd.
That was it! Within the Nexis archives, that was Trump’s only recorded remark concerning the war. He is recorded making zero comments in the months preceding the war.

Did Nexis miss the 25 different stories? We have no idea!

Trump’s elaborate statement at last week’s debate has the look and feel of a lie. But so what? His claim has occasioned almost no challenge, correction or push-back from the overfed, zombified remnants of the American press corps.

In 1999 and 2000, they spent two years savaging Candidate Gore for a series of “lies” they themselves had invented. In the past week, they’ve been working hard to see no evil as a string of highly peculiar claims go flying past their ears.

Did Candidate Trump make that story up? Truth to tell, the press corps doesn’t care! Nor do they care about Fiorina’s borderline crazy conduct on Fox News Sunday. They only seem to care about the “lies” they invent themselves!

On Morning Joe, Mika was working hard to cover for Trump again today. We’ve never seen so many apparent lies—and so little interests in traditional fact-checking.

In our view, Chuck Todd embarrassed himself when he spoke with Trump on yesterday's Meet the press. So did Chris Wallace when he spoke with Fiorina.

The misstatements are coming thick and fast. Our Potemkin journalists don’t seem to care. Can Candidate Trump actually show us those “25 different stories?” There is no sign that any journalist is going to bother to ask.

Has their behavior ever been so thoroughly faux? We’ll spend the next several days examining this topic.


  1. Which Daily Howler Troll Type are YOU?

    Take our simple quiz and find out now!

    What bothers you most about the following statements:

    "Has their behavior ever been so thoroughly faux? We’ll spend the next several days examining this topic."

    Is it...

    A) "Ever?? So now Somerby's saying this is more faux than the (supposedly) terrible education reporting he's always harping on about, more false than the (supposedly) biased and (supposedly) influential 2000 presidential campaign coverage he can't forget (or ever stop mentioning), more baseless than... Well, I could go on, and I probably will."

    Or is it...

    B) "Oh God! The ''next several days!'' examining *this* topic. Except for all the interruptions to tell us how awful Maddow is, if history is any guide. But really, wasting so many words again when he could be covering the human tragedy of the Syrian refugees. Typical Bob."

    Or, is it...

    C) "Bother? Uh, that's just a writerly tic, chum. Actually, I kind of think Somerby's got a point."

    Thanks for taking our quiz!

    If you answered A, you are a douchebag troll.

    If you answered B, you are a troll, douchebag.

    If you answered C, you are probably a typical reader of this blog, known throughout trolldom as a Bobfan: "C'mon think for yourself why don't you, instead of just swallowing everything your guru Somerby tells you."

    1. Given that Obama won the nomination over Clinton largely because he portrayed himself as being opposed to the Iraq war while she voted to authorize Bush's actions, don't you think today's column is important?

      You seem to think that agreeing with Somerby is some sort of disgrace (hence terms like Bobfan or Bobinista). I think our media should be examining Trump's lies (which is what they are) and calling him on it -- not having fun because he is so colorful and their articles just write themselves.

      I don't think it is funny that Trump and our media have turned our democratic process, whereby we choose our next leaders, is all a big joke, a circus, an entertaining lark. People in less democratic countries die for the right to cast a ballot, and here we are making a mockery of that process.

      It reminds me of feeding caviar to dogs while people are starving. It is ugly and I am glad someone like Somerby is as upset about this stuff as I am. It makes me less despairing for our country to know that Somerby and others are trying to do something to stop this crap.

      What have you done useful in this world today? Write that piece of crap comment placing yourself on the side of the jesters? Will it still be funny when your home burns up in a forest fire started because no one paid any attention to global warming while Bush was fighting his Iraq mistake? Will you laugh, ha ha -- like you are laughing now, while displaced people sift through ashes for irreplaceable traces of their lives?

    2. Our guess? Such cluelessness from Clinton supporters may represent her “biggest problem."

      R. Somerby

    3. In what way does my comment express or imply support for Clinton?

    4. Your anger over starving people not getting the dog's caviar?

    5. @5:09 Are you so worked up that you imagined the OP "thinks that agreeing with Somerby is some sort of disgrace?"

      Take a look at the first two replies to 10:30PM Anonymous below: "No, just a post or two about Rachel Maddow..."and "he will spill thousands of words..."

      Yep. The troll environment here is pretty much exactly as depicted in the OP.

      The OP is correct that agreement with Somerby is generally portrayed here in this comment section -- in replies by trolls -- as a disgraceful ceding of one's own thought process.

      "What have you done useful in this world today?"

      Well, I didn't begin my day by making a laughable misreading of a comment on the internet, so that's a start.

    6. By OP are you referring to the character played by Ron Howard on the Andy Griffith Show?

  2. In many cases we can't tell whether some media source is exposing a lie or pertetuating a false narrative, because we have no way to indepentently verify the truth. E.g., Scarborough claims Hillary lied when she asserted that the State Dept. approved the use of a private server. But, maybe Scarborough is the one who's wrong.

    1. That's why the mainstream media, such as our paper of record, needs to do its job properly.

    2. "Hillary lied when she asserted that the State Dept. approved the use of a private server."

      When did Secretary Clinton assert that she ever requested approval from anyone to have her emails go through the private server set up for the former President of the United States?

      I'll just wait here.

    3. As i understand it the real reason that clinton doesn't go on the show is because nobody watches it.

    4. mm -- in the link, Scarborough claims sheHillary said to John Dickerson on CBS's Face the Nation that the State Dept had authorized it, but she didn't specify who at the State Dept had (allegedly) authorize it. Now, I don't have a link to that FTN interview, so perhaps Scarborough was incorrect.

    5. mm is waiting on the man he was through with yesterday.

      DinC is waiting for tips on spotting parody.

  3. Well at least we don't have to worry about a President Walker !

    1. No, just a post or two about Rachel Maddow cackling over President Walker's demise. She did use the word "black" to describe him. Think Bob will mention the lack of a transcript?

      I predict he will sandwich it in between the two planned posts
      of the profs from Penn.

    2. I like Somerby's moxy and intentions but I predict he will spill thousands of words and spread out over 5 posts what a better blogger could do in one. This isn't a professional gig for him so "Whatever!" but if he wants to have more impact in the world I suggest focusing on brevity, a wider range of topics "black kids, msnbc and the principals of the clinton administration" and more dialogue with his contemporaries, of which there are plenty of bloggers on either side critical of the media. If he's just doing it for kicks, then hey thats cool man, I get a kick out of a post once a month or so.

    3. This is not something you say once and then move on. This needs to be repeated, over and over, until things change. New people drift in and out and they may not have heard these points before. This blog is not necessarily for you every day. That doesn't mean it needs to change.

    4. Agreed @ 8:15. This blog is for people who don't take Somerby excessively literally, especially when he covers the lying news media.

      People cover here for the best in repetitive hyperbole, plus some sterling commentary in defense of all the blog does for those who need it in this time of challenging cultural collapse when nobody cares or covers how well our black kids are doing on one set of test scores.

  4. Of course, Somerby is just asking these questions rhetorically.

    We already know we have reached the point where republicans and the right can just say any damn thing they want without any fear that the media will call them out for the liars they are.

    I remember when Al Franken - God bless him - was doing a show on Air America Radio, he had a bit every day where he would show how Rush Limbaugh had lied on his previous day show. It was an embarrassment of riches for Franken, he was never at a loss for material. Blatant, demonstrable factual lies day after day after day by Limbaugh. And the same thing goes on 24 hours a day on all of right wing hate radio which has polluted this country for years with lies and propaganda.

    The mainstream media has allowed this to go on for decades.

  5. Speaking of Zombified Remnants:

    "Now, after seven months of making news, Mr. Williams will start covering it once again. He is expected to return to the air on MSNBC about 3 p.m. on Tuesday in his new role as a breaking news anchor, starting with coverage of Pope Francis’ visit to the United States."


    Well, let's hope his return is "blessed."