Big scribes don't know how to respond: Yesterday, in a major address, Candidate Trump said that Candidate Clinton is "a world-class liar."
The irony there should have been apparent. Even as Candidate Trump lodged this charge, his own endless assortment of misstatements continued unabated.
Some of Candidate Trump's misstatements concerned Candidate Clinton. Some concerned Candidate Trump himself.
At one point, for example, Trump said this. Like rust, this claim never sleeps:
TRUMP (6/22/16): It all started with her bad judgment in supporting the war in Iraq in the first place. Though I was not in government service, I was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war. And yes, even before the war ever started.Candidate Trump actually wasn't "among the earliest to criticize the rush to war" in Iraq. And no, he actually didn't do that "even before the war ever started."
Those claims are untrue, but so what? Trump has been uttering forms of that howler ever since last summer. And from that day to this, our big "news orgs," including our biggest Potemkin newspapers, have made no real attempt to report and challenge his misstatements about Iraq.
More generally, those big news orgs have made no attempt to report and challenge Trump's general dissembling, which has extended through a number of topics worthy of front-page review.
There were quite a few Grade A groaners in Trump's latest speech. We'll mention a few of those groaners tomorrow, but the more remarkable part of yesterday's speech is the way a set of major journalists have responded to it.
Michelle Goldberg is a partisan liberal who supported Clinton over Sanders. In this high-profile piece at Slate, she shows that she has no idea how to respond to Trump's groaners.
Maggie Haberman is marketed as an impartial political reporter for the New York Times. If we assume good faith on Haberman's part, her news report about Trump's speech is a study in incompetence in the face of misstatement.
We'll complete today's rule of three with Jonathan Chait, a long-time top-shelf liberal. In this post for New York magazine, he thinks he's putting one of Trump's strangest misstatements to rest.
More specifically, he claims that the New York Times has done so. His standards for such journalistic performance are just remarkably soft.
We can't bring ourselves to review these reports today. They betray an almost total lack of basic journalistic skill in the face of misstatement.
Our discourse has been driven by howlers since long before we started this site in 1998. Even now, all these years later, our major scribes lack even the most basic skills when faced with major dissembling and in-your-face, groaning misstatements.
Tomorrow, we'll start with Goldberg's piece. Goldberg is a Clinton supporter, but good God! What puzzling work!