News outlets on both ends of the political spectrum and everyone in between are facing an unusual situation with the presidency of Donald Trump.
The unprecedented level of lies, alternative facts and conspiracy theories coming from the President is well documented.
While his supporters repeat the lies as if there was any basis for them, news outlets struggle with decisions on how to report the President's baseless claims, especially during a global public health crisis. Some simply repeat the President's words verbatim without commentary, others report with a fact check making it clear the President lied while others simply refuse to report his false statements.
NBC News took a different route and found themselves drawing harsh criticism when they made the decision to give credence to Trump's latest falsehood.
NBC News reported:
"President Trump and his supporters have charged that Barack Obama and Joe Biden conspired against Michael Flynn, but there's no hard evidence to support the claims."
The backlash was swift.
You cannot find hard evidence to disprove a lie. That's what makes people so vulnerable to conspiracy theories and other scams.
People made this point to NBC in no uncertain terms.
Others were happy to tell NBC what other things there is "no hard evidence for."
Despite the humor, the point was clear.
And some called for a more robust indictment by the press of the known actions of the Trump administration.
The Washington Post has been running a fact checker that proves or disproves the validity of statements from politicians and government officials regardless of their party or political leanings. By far their biggest offender is President Trump.
The Post created an explanation for how their fact checker works, to dispel claims that their review was biased against Trump or others who were cited for lying.
In April 2020, President Trump reached 18,000 lies since taking office. Despite claims by his supporters that "the other side" or "all politicians" lie, no President in recorded history lies as often as President Donald Trump.
What people wanted NBC News to do was consider the source and give the claims they reported on the credit they deserved. In other words, absolutely none.
The book Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth: The President's Falsehoods, Misleading Claims and Flat-Out Lies is available for pre-order here.