Accuracy in Media

There has been an effort almost since the moment Donald Trump started running for president to discredit him.

The Washington Post maintains a list — at their count, he has made 2,436 false or misleading claims the president has made in the 406 days he has been in office. That’s six lies per day, according to the Post.

Of course, many of those “lies” are differences in opinion. Others are attempts to use misleading data to attack claims that are true.

For instance, it calls Trump’s statements that the stock market is as high as ever – which are demonstrably true – misleading flip-flops because he also criticized the weakness of the market under President Obama.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper tried to force Jim Jordan, a Republican congressman from Ohio and a dark-horse candidate for Speaker if Republicans hold the house, to admit Trump had lied to the American public.

Cooper cut Jordan off from trying to say what he thought Americans were thinking of these allegations, but he was expected to speak for them when it was time to point out Trump had lied.

The congressman was not having it.

“The president lies a lot, Jim Comey says,” Cooper said. “Do you think he lies a lot?”

“I do not,” Jordan said. “I think Jim Comey has leaked information through a friend to the New York Times for the stated purpose of getting a special counsel.

“I think Jim Comey took over an investigation that had never happened before … it had always been the attorney general who announced the findings whether they would prosecute or no. I think Jim Comey, as you said earlier, is gone because of how he handled the Clinton investigation and how he started the Trump investigation.”

Cooper pressed on.

“I mean … but come on, you have to admit this president said things that were just demonstrably not true time and time again. The list is a very long one — almost on a daily basis.”

Jordan returned to the original subject of the interview. “I think Andrew McCabe said things that are not true to the inspector general and was fired because of that.”

“Does that make it right,” Cooper asked.

He then regained his footing.

“So you’re bold in calling out Andrew McCabe but not so bold on the president of the United States.”

“It wasn’t me calling out McCabe; it was his colleagues,” Jordan said.

“OK,” Cooper said. “So you haven’t heard the president lie?”

“The president has always been square with me, that’s for darn sure,” Jordan said.

“What about the American people?” Cooper asked. “The American people elected him president of the United States,” Jordan responded.

“But have you heard the president lie? That’s what I’m asking you.”

“I have not. And the American people feel like the treatment he has received from the top …”

“I don’t think you can talk about all the American people,” said Cooper, who had just invited Jordan to do precisely that. “But I’m asking you yourself if you ever heard the president lie.”

“I have not,” Jordan repeated.

“So when the Washington Post counts hundreds of hundreds of times … none of those are believable?”

“I have not seen what the Washington Post reported,” Jordan said. “You’re asking if the president communicated something that wasn’t accurate to me … I have not …”

“No,” Cooper said. “Not to you. Has the president publicly said anything that was a lie.”

Jordan said as much as people such as he and Cooper were on TV talking, even Cooper probably had said something inaccurate. “If I have, I apologized for it and tried to correct it if possible,” Cooper said.

“Have you heard the president apologize and correct something?”

“I don’t know that he’s said something wrong that he needs to apologize for,” Jordan said.  

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