*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
As one who makes use of printed words on a daily basis, it is imperative to have at least a rudimentary comprehension of what those words actually mean; it is why dictionaries exist. One word that everyone, including small children as young a four, completely understands the meaning of perfectly is “lie, falsehood, or fib.” There is really no way to categorize a lie by either its size or frequency of use because it is likely one of the few things in a human being’s existence that are, frankly, only black or white; kind of like dead or alive. In fact, there is really no justification for a lie and even Mormons don’t demure about “lying for the lord;” they never call it miscommunicating, misconstruing, or misstating for the lord.” A lie is simply “a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive;” nothing more, nothing less.
Apparently, the editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Baker, understands how important words are, but he is more than hesitant to use them appropriately when it comes to Donald Trump. It isn’t clear if the WSJ’s editor is terrified of Trump due to his storied reputation as a malicious and vindictive cretin, or whether the Wall Street Journal and Fox News’ owner Rupert Murdoch laid down some archaic linguistic decrees the Journal writers have to obey. Whatever the case, Baker announced that the Wall Street Journal will not be calling Donald Trump’s lies “lies.” Obviously it is the WSJ’s resolve to, as the saying goes, not “change horses midstream;” or why start being real journalists instead of Republican shills just because the election is over?
Mr. Baker was making an appearance on “Meet the Press” on Sunday and spent a minute or two describing some of duplicitous Don’s blatant lies as what Republican media outlets apparently call “questionable” and “challengeable” statements; but never in print or broadcast media. It is noteworthy that most of mainstream media was disinclined to even call any of Trump’s lies “questionable or challengeable;” they just pretended he was telling the truth and it is something that hardly occurs in any other area of life.
Seriously, no parent on the planet, or elementary school teacher for the matter, would tell their young wards that the lie they just told was only “questionable” or “challengeable;” they would call them a liar. However, it is likely that parents or elementary school teachers are not horrified into idiocy of an inept television celebrity just because he is going to the White House. And, it is prescient to add that deceitful Donald would not be going to the White House if the woefully deficient mainstream media had ever performed as journalists and recounted disingenuous Donald’s lies as what they always were; dirty lies that have continued unabated.
Apparently in Gerard Baker’s mind, when dirty Don tells lies, they are not deliberate and they are certainly not uttered to mislead the American people. Maybe he thinks Trump’s honest-to-dog mountain of lies are just coincidences, or that his mendacity is founded on a lack of up-to-date facts in the stinking digital information age. Computers may befuddle and complicate Trump’s life, but he lies about things unrelated to access to accurate information making his lying a “deliberate intent to mislead” which is what Baker refuses to accuse Donald Trump of doing.
In fact, Baker handed out a little conservative advice to the rest of the media and said, “I’d be careful about using the word ‘lie.’ ‘Lie’ implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead.” As far as the consequences of not calling Trump’s lies what they are and instead report them as cold, hard accurate statements and facts, Baker said “I think it’s then up to the reader to make up their own mind to say, ‘This is what Donald Trump says. This is what a reliable, trustworthy news organization reports. And you know what? I don’t think that’s true.’”
One would remind Mr. Baker that if a news organization is “reliable and trustworthy,” then it would duly report that when Donald Trump says something that is not true, he is lying. However, this is America and the media has been remiss to ever report the truth if any Republican is involved; especially when they lie with the “deliberate intent to mislead.”
The media was absolutely horrid in not reporting each and every one of dishonest Donnie’s lies throughout the presidential campaign, and except for a couple of mainstream outlets like the New York Times, Newsweek and the Washington Post that decided late in the campaign to start calling a lie a lie, Trump lied with veritable impunity; something he may have reconsidered doing if “the press” would have actually called him a liar and reported that he lied at the same frequency and most humans breathe. It was so bad that the New York Times waited until two months prior to the election to decide to even announce they would start calling Trump’s lies what they are – lies. For dog’s sake even the Internal Revenue Service confirmed that Trump lied about why he couldn’t release his tax returns, but the mainstream media never reported it; this column did.
Of all the despicable reasons Trump is going to live in Washington, a lazy and frightened of a television celebrity press has to be at the top of the list. Look, journalism can be time-consuming and often arduous, but it is a fairly simple proposition; report the truth. What that means in Trump’s case is calling nearly every utterance from his dirty mouth exactly what they are – dirty lies. And although all lies are bad, Trump’s lies are dirty because they are made with the measured intent to mislead the American people and enrich Donald J. Trump and his elitist cohorts in the corporate class; and that is the truth.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.