Trump, falsely, on MTP: "We're the highest taxed nation in the world." Chuck Todd: "Gotcha." Why not say that's not true?
— Dan Friedman (@dfriedman33) May 8, 2016
Because networks do not hire hosts smart enough to catch politicians in lies in real time. https://t.co/1Xg0YDAfOH
— Olivia Nuzzi (@Olivianuzzi) May 8, 2016
Transcript of fascinating Trump interview on “Meet the Press” pic.twitter.com/IdaSdR4Exx
— Daniel Lin (@DLin71) May 9, 2016
Mr. Pierce, needless to say, has a damning transcript, to which he adds:
… This is going to be a real crisis for elite political journalism from now until November, perhaps the deepest crisis elite political journalism has faced since the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, and that one didn’t turn out well at all. The Republican Party is about to nominate an utterly truthless fellow who doesn’t know how much he doesn’t know and is prepared to lie his way past everything he doesn’t know anyway. I’m afraid that elite political journalism is so wedded to “balance” that it is in no way prepared to cope with a post-reality candidate. (Professor Krugman shares this concern.) “Fair enough” and “gotcha” are not appropriate answers to the assertion by a candidate that he plans to heal the national economy by setting up a roulette wheel and two blackjack tables in the Department of the Treasury.
If hope is not a plan, then bluster and bombast are even less of one. Elite political journalism has a greater responsibility to the Republic than “balance” or “objectivity.” This is going to be a long six months.
Even Glenn “Pinocchios’ Kessler, the Washington Post‘s Fact Checker, meeps angrily:
…[M]ost politicians will drop a talking point if it gets labeled with Four Pinocchios by The Fact Checker or “Pants on Fire” by PolitiFact. No one wants to be tagged as a liar or misinformed, and we have found most politicians are interested in getting the facts straight. So the claim might be uttered once or twice, but then it gets quietly dropped or altered.
But the news media now faces the challenge of Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president. Trump makes Four-Pinocchio statements over and over again, even though fact checkers have demonstrated them to be false. He appears to care little about the facts; his staff does not even bother to respond to fact-checking inquiries.
But, astonishingly, television hosts rarely challenge Trump when he makes a claim that already has been found to be false…TV hosts should have a list of Trump’s repeated misstatements so that if he repeats them, as he often does, he can be challenged on his claims…
That’ll happen, Mr. Kessler, approximately three news cycles after the consumers to which ‘TV hosts’ are pitching their owners’ bullshit start switching away. Which, by my estimate, will happen as soon as the Twelfth of Never.