In the home stretch of the election, large media companies have conscripted into their ranks so-called ’fact-checkers’ — staffers essentially dedicated to vetting and rebutting the words of President Donald Trump.
While this is mostly an effort to engage partisan activism and provide cover for their candidate, Joe Biden, there is a positive aspect to the spirit of the endeavor.
Politicians lie a lot.
Politicians exaggerate, omit, spin and mislead routinely and that is why most people don’t like them.
Perhaps we should hold elected leaders to a higher standard than we do and demand the truth from them rather than tolerate them as disingenuous, but necessary, elected administrators.
We can start right here by pointing out a few untruths.
Earlier this month, President Trump tweeted, “I never called John (McCain) a loser.”
That is untrue.
In a 2015 event, Trump said,”(McCain) who has been, in my opinion, not so hot. And I supported him for president! I raised a million dollars for him. That’s a lot of money! I supported him. He lost. He let us down. But he lost. So I never liked him much after that, because I don’t like losers.”
In June, as reported by Politifact, President Trump claimed that he had coined the nickname “Mad Dog,” for James Mattis, Trump’s former Defense Secretary.
In fact, it is well documented that Mattis has borne the nickname very publicly for more than a decade. All the way back in 2004, the LA Times referred to ‘Mad Dog Mattis.’
Across the aisle, Joe Biden has also had challenges with the truthfulness of his remarks.
At a campaign event earlier this month, Biden said there had been 6,114 “military CC deaths” and 118,984 miltary COVID infections.
That is patently untrue and not even close. At the time there had been only seven COVID-19 deaths and about 40,000 COVID infections.
CNN, which labels Trump’s incorrect statements as “lies” said Biden “way overstates” the COVID numbers in its headline.
Earlier this month, speaking at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha Wis., Biden told a mostly Black audience, “I’ve been involved with the African American community and the civil rights movement since I’ve been a junior in high school, desegregating movie theaters and the like.”
Biden was not significantly involved in the civil rights movement at the time, if at all, and essentially said so himself when similar claims got him in trouble during his first presidential run in 1987.
That year he had publicly said, “I came out of the civil rights movement … I was one of those guys that sat in and marched and all that stuff.”
But in the fall of that year he took it all back. “During the 1960s..I was not an activist. I worked at an all-black swimming pool in the east side of Wilmington, Delaware. I was not out marching. I was not down in Selma, I was not anywhere else.”
Lies and misstatements know no particular political party but are employed by all. They should be called out, immediately, because lies beget lies and cannot exist side by side with transparency.