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Trump, the Press, And How to Treat a Liar

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Reprinted from Smirking Chimp

From flickr.com/photos/28435100@N00/23436095775/: Donald Trump's pants are on fire
Donald Trump's pants are on fire
(Image by nordique)
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Another day, another Donald Trump lie about the 9/11 terror attacks.

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Appearing on Face the Nation, Republican frontrunner Trump told host John Dickerson that prior to the attacks, the wives of the 9/11 hijackers "knew exactly what was going to happen" and were flown "back to Saudi Arabia" days before the hijacked plane strikes.

This is complete nonsense. As The Washington Post explained, "There is no support for Trump's claims ... virtually all of the hijackers were unmarried." And anyone who followed news of the attacks, and the subsequent years-long investigation, ought to know that. But on Face the Nation, Dickerson didn't flinch when Trump floated his latest 9/11 lie; Dickerson didn't question Trump's absurd claim.

Then following his CBS appearance, the New York Times reported that Trump was "fuzzy" on his 9/11 facts and that the wives tale didn't "align" with "the timeline and details of the hijacking of the planes." Additionally, the Times suggested Trump was simply "having trouble keeping some details straight about the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

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Incredibly, nowhere in the dispatch did The Times explain that the Trump wives story represents bad fiction. (i.e., Most of the 9/11 terrorists weren't even married.)

This is getting ridiculous. And The Times really needs to drop this advance class in euphemisms and start explaining to news consumers exactly what Trump is doing: Lying.

All the time.

There's no question the press remains befuddled by Trump's staying power in the wake of his documented falsehoods. Many journalists seem to cling to the outdated and naive notion that most Republican primary voters will turn on Trump once he was shown to be dishonest and slightly unhinged.

The good news is journalists have not let Trump's lies go undetected. There has been aggressive fact-checking. But with his defining lying streak, Trump is trying to rewrite all the campaign rules and bowl over the media's watchdog role, which means polite fact-checking won't be enough. Where are the endless pieces looking into Trump's dark character and the search for clues as to what drives him to be such a cavalier liar?

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