Trump has already explained to us that CNN, the New York Times, etc are not reputable news organizations. That you need to follow media like Fox News and Breitbart like he does. OP: didn’t you get the message?
I don’t see where CNN is using the words “lie” or “liar” in their story. Their headline uses the words “baseless claim.” Later in the story they use the phrase “verifiably false or misleading claims.” Even your version of their headline uses the phrase “falsely accuses,” which is still not the same as lying.
I think this distinction is important. NPR, for example, has made the explicit decision to not use the words “lie” or “liar” because they speak to intent, which they acknowledge they cannot know.
eta: to **up_the_junction’s **point, saying a claim is baseless or verifiably false is information; saying it is a lie is opinion.
And now Spicer says, “Neither the White House nor the President will comment further until such oversight is conducted” referring to a demand that intelligence committees who are already looking into the Russia issues also investigate this. So, Trump makes outrageous accusations without providing any basis for them and says “No comment” to media inquiries about said accusations. Its his usual MO. He says something crazy, the media reports on it, people read the reports and talk about it and he then says, “Look! Everyone is demanding answers about this.” I guess in this case he thinks the best defense is a good offense. I, for one, am offended. We’ve all been pulled through the looking glass.
But Graham failed to mention the third possibility - that Trump’s claims are, in fact, baseless. If that is the case, how much would that worry him and where on the “Since Watergate” scale would that fall?
The media should take a tip from Princeton philosophy prof Harry Frankfurt, who published a short essay, "On Bullshit,"in 1986. His distinction between a lie and Bullshit is that the liar knows what the truth is and wants to keep it from the listener. The bullshitter *doesn’t care *whether his statements are true or false, as long as they persuade the listener. IMHO, this accurately characterizes about 80% of what comes out of Trump’s mouth. (The other 20% is flat out lies.)
I would love to see this NYT headline: “Trump’s latest BS claim: Obama tapped his phones.”
commasense: There is a third option that you are not considering: that Trump is delusional.
We can understand Trump making these kind of statements when he was running for President: he was pushing emotional hot buttons to get votes. But now he is 3 years away from a reelection campaign.
So his priorities now need be to influence Congress to pass legislation, to make political appointments to carry out his policies, to influence foreign leaders his way… and these kind of statements are of negative value to achieving these. So the strong possibility occurs that he suffers from delusions.
up_the_junction, at what point *should *the media imply that the president said something that was blatantly false or dishonest? I’d say it’s when he says it, personally. That’s not editorializing. In fact, anything short of calling a spade a spade is being entirely too kind. Trump lies. A lot. And if the media is unwilling to call him on it, that’s a problem.