Hopelessness watch: Trump calls Clinton world-class liar!


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!


  1. I wonder what Bob's reaction would be if Rachel Maddow called Trump a liar over his claim of early opposition to the Iraq invasion.

    "Is it possible that Trump opposed the invasion. Anything is possible, and the absence of evidence that he publicly opposed the war doesn't mean he didn't oppose it privately, and in the strongest terms.

    "So here we go again, throwing around the 'L' word. Where do we get these subhuman creatures stuffing millions of dollars in their pockets?

    "By the way, it still could be a legitimate traffic study gone wrong. And taking bribes really isn't that bad."

  2. Why doesn't she?

    1. Because the problem is Somerby!

  3. Chapter MLMCCCXXXVI of David's false equivalences.

  4. He is holding out hope 1) Trump shows up in cowboy boots, a suit and a tie 2) Clarence Thomas takes the SCOTUS hostage and selects Trump president like "some other" fellow he misses. He likes THOSE kinds of liars.

  5. The fact is that Clinton stood on the floor of the Senate in Oct. of 2002 and stated without reservation that attacking Iraq is NOT a good idea. - Yet to this day, the media, rightwingers, and even liberals insist she was "for the war."

    It's sort of like when she answered "OF COURSE!" to whether she believes Obama is a Christian. The media, of course, claimed she "hemmed and hawed" and took "forever" to answer the question which she answered about 1/2 second IMMEDIATELY after being asked it.

    - Go figure, eh?

    1. Clinton voted for the Iraq war and also stated without reservation that attacking Iraq is NOT a good idea. That covers all the bases.

    2. "That covers all the bases."

      In your dimmed-bulb, padlocked mind.

    3. Din C, I'm probably almost your age, and have been a lawyer for over 40 years. Unlike how others might see it, I think you have made a reasonable point on occasion. In my previous office there was a lawyer who had been a lifelong republican. But he, like a lot of intelligent people, long before the bizarre state the GOP now finds itself in, couldn't hack how crazy it had gotten, and since then its gotten way worse. You are hardly alone, but it is Orwellian to find some type of equivalence between the two candidates. What actually is your motivation? I'm curious.

    4. Well, I don't think they're exactly equivalent. Many of Trump's lies are loose campaign promises that he can't possibly fulfill. Like building a wall and having Mexico pay for it. Or, cutting federal income tax almost in half while balancing the budget. IMHO one has no idea of what Trump would do if elected President. I discount all of his campaign promises.

      Hillary OTOH has told specific lies about items big and small. She has always gotten away with them, and probably always will. E.g., one trivial lie was telling New Zealanders that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who wasn't famous yet when she was born. http://www.snopes.com/politics/clintons/hillary.asp Another was claiming that she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2008/mar/25/hillary-clinton/video-shows-tarmac-welcome-no-snipers/

      A more important lie was denying what she had told relatives of people killed at Benghazi, according to what several of these relatives say. Another important lie was her stories about why she didn't use the government e-mail system. It's obvious that her real motive was to prevent embarassing e-mails from being made public. Then there was her McCarthyite claim that the accusations about Monica Lewinsky were falshoods coming from a Vast Right Wing Conspiracy.

      Look, Hillary is a smart woman, with good experience. I like the fact that she graduated from my wife's alma mater, Wellesley College. I like the fact that she recommended Madeleine Albright, who was a terrific Secretary of State. But, Hillary really has told a lot of lies.

    5. "E.g., one trivial lie was telling New Zealanders that she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, who wasn't famous yet when she was born.." wrote DinC

      That's not a proven lie you ignorant worm.

      she didn't say she was actually named for the mountain climber, but rather that her mother told her she was named for him — a minor but important distinction given how often parents either make up harmless little fibs to amuse their children or misremember past events.

      Unless you can resurrect Hillary's mother, you have no fucking way of calling it a lie.

      And here we see our resident wingnut troll, LYING in order to prove Hillary has lied.

    6. Fact: “As for her statements on issues, Politifact, a Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking organization, gives Clinton the best truth-telling record of any of the 2016 presidential candidates,” Jill Abramson, writing for the Guardian, explained earlier this year. “She beats Sanders and Kasich and crushes Cruz and Trump, who has the biggest “pants on fire” rating and has told whoppers about basic economics that are embarrassing for anyone aiming to be president.”

      Fact: The biggest liar in this election cycle is Donald Trump, by a long shot. Politifact rates 76% of statements made by Donald Trump to be false, compared to 27% by Hillary Clinton. 19% of Trump’s untruths are rated “pants on fire” lies, compared to only 1% of Clinton’s statements. Of the 3 Clinton “pants on fire” statements, two were from the 2008 election cycle. Twenty-seven of 31 of the “pants on fire” statements from Trump come from this election cycle.

    7. D & C, you have provided a really poor response. So, many of Trump 'lies' aren't really lies because they are campaign promises - aside from the fact that most of the promises are ridiculous, he has told an unprecedented number of absolute whoppers. Virtually everything he says qualifies as a lie or untruth. Then you give the same old tired examples of Clinton allegedly lying. There isn't enough space to fully address how dumb you are being. There is an army of Clinton loathers and character assassins out there. It's like a massive cult. Any politician, or any person, faced with the type of scrutiny she has gotten, could be painted as a 'liar.' There is a hysteria about the Clintons (similarly Obama) if you look at the comment sections everywhere on the internet or all the right wing blogs and radio talk shows. What about Reagan, who claimed to be one of the first to see a Nazi concentration camp?; or Paul Ryan, who claimed he ran a 3 hour marathon (it was 4 hours)? Do you have a transcript of her conversations with the Bengazi relatives? Explain to me how she has told more 'lies' than the average politician, or average person. How is there even a scintilla of a basis to compare her to Trump, who tells more lies in one speech than all the alleged lies of Clinton in her lifetime? I'm not crazy about her. If only Abe Lincoln could be reincarnated and get elected.... But you come across as a liar yourself when you claim there is an equivalency between her and the GOP presumptive nominee.

    8. AC/MA; you don't understand. DinC isn't claiming equivalency, he is claiming Secretary Clinton is much worse. He brushes off Trump lies as "loose campaign promises". No big deal to him.

      You can't talk reason to people who have created an alternate universe to live in.

  6. It is of great importance that Trump's lies be exposed. This does not mean that the effectiveness of these lies on the electorate is not also an important topic. Somberby is commenting on the article he wishes Goldberg wrote, rather than the one she did write. I do look forward to his extended piece though.

    1. Scott, I would suggest that the effectiveness of the lies on the general public might be reduced if the media didn't do such a crappy job of exposing them.

  7. I think we can look forward to the debates when the fact checking can happen in real time... like Mitt's stumble and Obama's famous "just, go ahead" as he knew Mitt was walking into a trap. Because I didnt watch them, of all the RNC debates, we're any town hall style? Trump's hair as he pivots around the room may scare a voter or 2.

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  11. Ironic? Yeah. But the pot calling the kettle black doesn't mean by itself that the kettle is NOT black.

    Philosophical pose: A world-class liar calls someone a world-class liar. Is it a world-class lie?

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