Accuracy in Media


Although the Washington Post claimed on Monday that President Donald Trump has now told 10,000 lies since taking office, what it characterizes as lies continues to fail to measure up.

The “lie” told most often by Trump – 160 times, according to the paper – is “We’re building the wall, by the way. We’re going to have over 400 miles of wall built by the end of next year.”

The wall is being built, as even the Post acknowledged.

But it declares, “No, Trump’s wall is not yet being built. Congress inserted specific language in its appropriations bill that none of the $1.57 billion appropriated for border protection may be used for prototypes of a concrete wall that Trump observed while in California. The money can be used only for bollard fencing and levee fencing, or for replacement of existing fencing.”

The Post says Trump “appears to acknowledge the renovations, except he persists in claiming it is a wall.” In short, the statement that the wall is being built is deemed a lie solely because the wall is not being built with concrete.

It dings Trump for 15 “lies” related to Elizabeth Warren’s claim she had American Indian heritage when a DNA test she submitted to found she had less than the average European-American. But it is Trump who has “seized on the misleading reports [the Post doesn’t say what was misleading about them] to incorrectly say she has no Native American heritage. She has some but her DNA is more than 95 percent European-American.”

It says Trump has lied 51 times about breaking the attendance record at Green Bay’s Resch Center on Saturday night. This is based on the Post’s claim the record is 10,414 for an Elton John concert in 2003 and the Secret Service reportedly telling the Post “only the first 10,000 people would be allowed inside for Trump’s rally.” The Post has no way of knowing how many people actually came in or whether the figure provided was intended to be exact or a rough estimate.

It assigns 49 lies for Trump’s claim that the new trade deal with Mexico and Canada will be better than NAFTA. “Trump keeps claiming that he significantly overhauled” NAFTA, the Post explained. “It’s not a total trade revolution, as Trump promised, but USMCA [the new agreement] does make changes to modernize trade rules in effect from 1994 to 2020, and it gives some wins to U.S. farmers and blue-collar workers in the auto sector.”

It gives Trump 42 lies for criticizing the high tariffs Canada places on dairy products – a significant matter for the dairy farmers in the border states of New York, New Hampshire and Wisconsin, among others.  Its claim that Trump is lying is based on a quote from the Brookings Institution saying that since no farmers actually sell dairy products in Canada – because of the tariffs Trump is criticizing – the president is lying because “no U.S. exports really pay a high tariff.”

It assigns 26 lies for Trump saying, “Remember, President Obama said manufacturing jobs are gone. You need a wand, a magic wand. We found the magic wand because they’re coming and they’re coming fast.”

It claims Trump misquoted Obama, who said, “You’re actually seeing some manufacturers coming back to the United States” but, the Post added, “that alone won’t help works whose jobs had been previously outsourced and so “what we have to do is to make sure that folks are trained for the jobs that are coming in now. The ‘magic wand’ referred to recreating jobs of the past through negotiating a ‘better deal.’”

Obama’s actual quote reveals Trump was accurate in how he represented it. Trump said jobs were coming back; Obama said, “There’s no answer to it. He [referring to Trump] just says, ‘Well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal.’ Well, how – what – how exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have? And usually, the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.”




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