This week alone, PolitiFact has already given The Donald two Pants on Fire ratings, both stemming from his unfounded, conspiracy-oriented, racist beliefs.
The first was for a tweet in which the Republican falsely claimed that blacks are responsible for 81% of white homicides. Not so. Who is to blame for white homicides? Well, this is awkward, but it’s white people.
Of course the perfidy goes deeper than just some inaccurate statistics. Trump tweeted those inaccurate statistics one day after a black activist was was shoved, tackled, and punched at a Donald Trump rally in Alabama.
Watch here if you must:
— Jeremy Diamond (@JDiamond1) November 21, 2015
The Washington Post had a reporter in the crowd who reported that “one of the men put his hands on Southall’s neck and heard a female onlooker repeatedly shout: ‘Don’t choke him!'”
Trump’s reaction to this? Blame the victim and say it’s what he gets for exercising his free speech rights. From the Washington Post:
Donald Trump said Sunday that the protester who interrupted his rally at a convention center here on Saturday morning was “so obnoxious and so loud” that “maybe he should have been roughed up.”
The agency cited in Trump’s image in crime stats doesn’t exist, so that’s comforting for a presidential contender, but it does explain why it’s so hard to get through to Republicans. They live in a false construct supported by epistemic closure.
The year is also not over, but the stats cited by Trump are for “2015”, so that’s problematic. Actual stats are not released yet because, you know, the year isn’t over yet. But PolitiFact had a gander at 2014 and the actual number of whites killed by blacks is 15%, as opposed to Donald Trump’s claim of 81%. Yeah, that’s a huge difference.
And it’s not a one-off. PolitiFact notes this has been the trend for decades, “Trump cast blacks as the primary killers of whites, but the exact opposite is true. By overwhelming percentages, whites tend to kill other whites. Similarly, blacks tend to kill other blacks. These trends have been observed for decades.”
It’s worth noting that Little Green Footballs traced the image Trump used and it led to a symbol of the neo-Nazi German Faith Movement with a bio warning, “Should have listened to the Austrian chap with the little moustache.”
So, neo-Nazi associations praising Hitler. Not a good look for a presidential candidate.
This earned Trump a Pants on Fire.
Then Trump got another one- two in one week, and we’re not done yet, it’s only Tuesday. On Saturday during a speech, Trump said, “I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering” (as the World Trade Center collapsed).
On This Week with George Stephanopolous Sunday, Trump doubled down, saying he witnessed “thousands and thousands” of Arab people in New Jersey cheering the fall of the World Trade Towers on 9/11.
When Stephanopulous seemed dubious, Trump countered, “It was on television. I saw it. It was well covered at the time, George.”
Oh, it was on “television”. AKA Fox News. AKA it didn’t happen that way. Yes, it turns out it is an urban myth, spurred on in part by “chain emails and perpetuated by shock jock Howard Stern’s radio show.” Doesn’t that just scream “presidential” to you?
PolitiFact wrote, “This defies basic logic. If thousands and thousands of people were celebrating the 9/11 attacks on American soil, many people beyond Trump would remember it. And in the 21st century, there would be video or visual evidence.” And thus they slapped Pants on Fire on Trump’s Arabs cheering in New Jersey urban myth.
Trump earned another Pants on Fire for this one. There were people cheering (sick), but they weren’t in the U.S..
So dies another two lies with the reality based community. Which of course excludes the Trump voters, lucky for him.
Perhaps this is what Donald Trump means when he says he’s not a “politician” – he knows nothing about politics and doesn’t care to learn. So he will just believe whatever he wants to, and if you challenge him, well, that makes you an enemy deserving of being choked. For the freedom.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.