The editor of the Wall Street Journal has said he won't call Donald Trump's lies what they are

Louis Dor
Monday 02 January 2017 15:00
Picture:(Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's relationship with the press just got a lot less combative.

He's campaigned on facts that are easily refutable, and seems unrepentant when called out for playing havok with the truth.

On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker said of covering president-elect Trump:

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.

He continued:

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.’

Baker also made comparisons to Hillary Clinton:

This is happening all the time now, people are looking at what Donald Trump’s saying and saying, ‘This is false, it’s a false claim.’ I think people are saying, ‘You know what, Hillary Clinton said a lot of things that were false.’ I don’t remember the press being quite so concerned about saying she lied in headlines and stories like that.

Donald Trump has been elected to the highest office in American politics. He will be the leader of a country that may turn to its leader for words of leadership and responsibility in a crisis.

The responsibility that office asks of a president is to be as certain of details as possible before acting or addressing the public, to act in the interests of the country.

To knowingly mislead the public is irresponsible. To unknowingly mislead the public when you have the CIA, the FBI, the NSA, the military and numerous other experts at your fingertips, is also irresponsible.

The New York Times has previously called Donald Trump's statements "lies", as have MSNBC, New York Magazine and Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin.

Ok. So:

  • Donald Trump has claimed the unemployment rate was 42 per cent when it was 5 per cent.
  • He's claimed with no evidence that he could save $300 billion a year from a Medicare prescription drug program that only cost $78 billion. 
  • He claimed with no evidence that he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrate the 11 September attacks.
  • He claimed with no evidence that Hillary Clinton started the "birther" movement.
  • He claimed that 58 per cent of black youths were unemployed when the real number is less than 20 per cent.
  • He claimed that the murder rate is the highest in 45 years when it's half what it was in the 1980s and 1990s.

And that's before you get to these unsavoury statements.

When do you call a man a liar?

More: The 9 most controversial moments of Donald Trump's campaign