Who, me lie? Source
Donald Trump’s lies are already legendary, and as they mount daily, fuel his presidential illegitimacy in ways no others can: lies fuel voter mistrust, disapproval (of which Trump has record high levels entering the presidency) and increasingly detract from their perception of his presidential legitimacy. Remember Richard Nixon?
An important, dangerous fallout, however, is that the lies provide yet more distractions from important stories for the puppy dog pack of mainstream media, infused with giddy happiness as they chase every lying ball Trump tosses.
SNL Covers The Big Story, as Mainstream Media Act Like Silly Puppies – Wondering who covered the big story this weekend on one of the biggest problems confronting our survival? SNL did, but not the puppies, who were teething on Trump’s latest lies. screencapture at
Thus, the post inaugural Sunday shows were not about the latest NOAA report noting the calamitous upswing in global warming (record high levels of heat for the past 3 years – oops, was that news to you?), but rather Trump’s latest lies about just how many attended his inauguration.
What to do? Yo, media, wake up and smell the coffee. Trump’s lies aren’t news! We all know that, based on his psychological makeup, they will increase with time. More importantly, they will increasingly undermine voters’ and other countries’ confidence in him, and undermine the legitimacy of his presidency and our country. Now, THAT’s news that should be covered, and presumably will, in due time.
A Growing Nose Isn’t Accurate Enough – to estimate Trump’s increasing lies, and ultimately one runs out of space trying to show it. Source
In the meantime, the media can easily – and briefly – report on his lies using the handy, dandy method of estimating Trump’s lying rate presented here, and then setting up an estimated Trump lie counter on their websites. Alas, no one appears to have done a serious statistical study of the rate at which he lies yet, so this first try at an estimated Trump lie counter is, by necessity, a crude one – but helpful, especially if it gets the media to stop fixating on the lies and focus on the real harm Trump is doing to the country with his new (lack of sensible) policies.
There is one piece that did take a stab at Trump’s lying rate during the election campaign. “Lyin’ Donald Trump Is Literally Lying Every Five Minutes” noted one conservative documenter as they listed 101 of Trump’s numerous, nearly continuous lies way back in April 2016. Showing how you can’t keep a good liar down, Trump kept lying, as he called nearly every other candidate a liar.
Credit Erik T. Johnson, Design by Kelly Niland, at the New Yorker
The “Lyin’ Donald Trump” piece estimated, based on their observations, that Trump was lying on average roughly every 5 minutes. That’s 12 times every hour (repeating a lie counts). Multiply that by 24 hours (hang on, got to find my calculator), that’s 288 lies daily, or 8,640 lies monthly. And the master liar is catholic in his scope: nothing is beyond his ability to create illusion for all, and delusions for himself.
[One might argue that he is not lying because he is delusional — but if that is so, doesn’t that justify his immediate removal based on mental incapacitation as stated in Section 4 of the 25th Amendment? So, for now, we’ll presume his party would rather have him seen as lying – or that they are equally delusional. You pick.]
Of course, that 5 minute average only takes into account observable lies, ie, those that were documented in some way. We have no idea what kind of impressive show behind the scenes is denied to us. One can only guess about the number of lies that flow in the privacy of Trump Tower and the White House, where, presumably, he is now able to lie fairly continuously to a continual flow of people wanting to transact with the U.S. president. Given that, let’s just round up the above estimated numbers of daily and monthly lies to 300 daily, or 9,000 monthly.
And The Lies Keep Mounting… and Mouthing…
Now, every time the media flies feel drawn to the carrion of Trump’s lies, they can carry on by simply reporting the current estimated number, then focus on the real main stories – and note when Trump’s lies affect those stories.
Indeed, feel free to imbed an estimated Trump lie counter on your website, one that automatically adds one more to Trump’s total lies every 5 minutes: start the counter at 12 noon January 20, 2017. Refer to it briefly whenever you feel the urge to fixate on his lying. Mark impressive numbers: Trump will be passing the 100,000 mark somewhere into his 11th month.
Then focus on the real news.
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For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly columns at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week