BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump lies a lot
That rather obvious conclusion comes from Greg Sargent of the Washington Post (15,000 shares) who weighs in on the latest Big Trump Debate Of The Week/Day/Hour™ over whether or not to characterize Donald Trump's "unprecedented" falsehoods as "lies"—a word which, to people like The Wall Street Journal's Gerard Baker, suggests not only a deviation from the truth but also an intent to deceive.
But Sargent argues that Trump's campaign—and now, it appears, his presidency as well—was so focused on building an alternate post-fact reality that proving dishonest intent with each new lie is an unnecessary burden for journalists. Most journalists on Twitter seem to agree:
"Strong, worth-supporting journalism exposes, not hides, lies," says STATnews' David Beard.
"The end of a fact-based society continues to be my #1 concern in 2017," adds MacWorld's Ted Landau. "And the WSJ’s reply here is truly scary."
KCUR's Frank Morris poses the concern a different way: "How does the media handle a president 'trying to assert power over truth itself'?"
To the BBC's Barin Masoud, the whole question of whether or not journalists should call out Trump's lies is absurd and has an obvious answer: "Oh gosh- it was so nice to be off Twitter for a bit but this article on #Trump/semantics makes my head spin..um DUH?"
And finally, the Huffington Post's Fernando Espuelas has a blunt and rather scary response to people like Baker who are reluctant to call Trump a liar: "Silent journalists are a threat to democracy."
And here's the news you didn't already know:
If you're among the many of us who, in the interest of our sanity and our souls. took a break from Twitter over the holidays, you probably didn't know about the social media feud between CBS News' Sopan Deb and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, which began after Deb called out Scarborough for "partying" with Donald Trump on New Years—an arguably questionable activity for a supposedly objective journalist. Well, now you do (sorry) and ao here's Callum Borchers of the Washington Post on why such feuds are exactly what the media doesn't need right now because of how it reflects the increasing misuse of the word "fake news." Or, as NYU professor Jay Rosen puts it, "Has any term ever gone from descriptive traction to rancid meaninglessness as quickly as 'fake news?'"
Why are corporations helping Donald Trump lie about jobs? The New York Times Editorial Board poses that question in a new op-ed that's making a quick climb up the Muck Rack charts (8,000 shares and counting). "Sprint helped Trump lie about jobs so they could get T-Mobile merger approved, which will cut thousands of jobs," tweets Columbia professor Keith Boykin, referemcing the central example used to bolster the Times' argument.
According to the AP's Jari Tanner, Finland will become the first country in history to pay its unemployed citizens a basic income. The monthly payments will amount to around $587 per person.
More from the anti-journalist front lines: "Our reporter was booted out of the Eagles press box after mentioning a football writers' union," tweets the Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Krewson.
"It has been 158 days since Donald Trump's last press conference. In that time, he's tweeted 1,531 times," points out NPR on Twitter.
"Repeal and delay is step 1 of the Republican health care plan," tweets New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait, linking to his own piece on the matter. "There will be no step 2."
And finally: What's it like to read nothing but fake news for two straight weeks? Politico's Simon van Zuylen-Wood found out by adopting, as Politico's Blake Hounshell puts it, "Mike Flynn, Jr.’s media diet," referencing the son of Trump's pick for National Security Adviser who at one tijme had an official email associated with the president-elect's transition team, despite tweeting about such anti-HRC and anti\-Democrat conspiracies like "#Pizzagate." Zuylen-Wood's big takeaway? "Overall, I found plenty of evidence that, yeah, fake news is a poisonous influence on the supporters of Donald Trump. But I’m not sure all that much would change if the teenagers in Skopje knocked it off and shut down their bogus sites."