Four news organizations came to a similar conclusion ahead of tonight’s presidential debate: Donald Trump lies more often than Hillary Clinton. In a statement to ABC News, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway said she doesn’t “appreciate campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers and that these debate moderators should somehow do their bidding.”
Tonight’s presidential debate will begin at 9 EST across all major cable and broadcast networks including CNN, Fox News and ABC.
New York Times (September 24, “A Week of Whoppers”)
“All politicians bend the truth to fit their purposes, including Hillary Clinton. But Donald J. Trump has unleashed a blizzard of falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies in the general election, peppering his speeches, interviews and Twitter posts with untruths so frequent that they can seem flighty or random — even compulsive.
However, a closer examination, over the course of a week, revealed an unmistakable pattern: Virtually all of Mr. Trump’s falsehoods directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction.”
The New York Times tracked all of Trump’s statements between September 15 and September 21. Their analysis revealed that “his version of reality allows for few, if any, flaws in himself.” In a Fox News interview on September 15, Trump said that a supportive crowd in Flint, Michigan, yelled “Let him speak!” when the Rev. Faith Green-Timmons asked him not to give a political speech in a church. A video of Trump at the church that day shows there were no such chants.
In another Fox News interview on September 18, he said any supportive remarks he made about the Iraq war came “long before” the war began. However, fact checkers from Buzzfeed and Politifact were the first to unearth a transcript from Trump’s 2002 appearance on The Howard Stern Show in which Trump expressed support for the war while Congress debated whether to authorize military action. Trump has also said that he publicly opposed the Iraq war in an Esquire interview “pretty quickly after the war started.” This is also untrue: The Esquire interview appeared in August 2004, a year-and-a-half after the war began.
Trump also claimed that “everybody agrees” with his positions on immigration (polls indicate most Americans oppose Trump’s border wall proposal), that he was “never a fan” of Colin Powell (Trump praised Powell in his book, The America We Deserve) and that the presidential debate moderators “are all Democrats” (only one, Chris Wallace, of Fox News, is a registered Democrat).
Los Angeles Times (September 25, “Scope of Trump’s Falsehoods Unprecedented for a Modern Presidential Candidate”)
Never in modern presidential politics has a major candidate made false statements as routinely as Trump has…
Still, Trump’s pattern of saying things that are provably false has no doubt contributed to his high unfavorable ratings. It also has forced journalists to grapple with how aggressive they should be in correcting candidates’ inaccurate statements, particularly in the presidential debates that start Monday.
The Los Angeles Times, among other things, countered Trump’s claim that he opposed US involvement to depose Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. Journalists around the country leveled heated criticism at NBC’s Matt Lauer after he failed to fact-check Trump on his claim during Trump’s appearance on Lauer’s Commander-in-Chief Forum. At the time, Trump said that Hillary Clinton “made a terrible mistake in Libya” and suggested he would have
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