Donald Trump, as the media kept reminding readers and listeners, engaged in a virtually non-stop stream of “lies,” and this became a theme of its Axis of Unethical Conduct duties of undermining the Trump Presidency. There was never any question about the fact that Donald Trump’s relationship with truth, facts, reality, history, promises, assertions, choices of words, opinions, and everything in between, has always been a matter of his mood, purpose and convenience. Sometimes he lies, sometimes he exaggerates, sometimes he forgets, sometimes he spins—it’s exhausting following him, really, and no question about it, public officials and figures who ask for and must have the public trust can’t communicate like that: it’s unethical, whether we are talking about competence, fairness, responsibility—it doesn’t matter. It’s wrong. However, the news media and Trump’s political opponents, once they realized the man’s habits and proclivities, decided it was advantageous to call anything Trump said that could be challenged or disagreed with a “lie.” The Washington Post, in particular, had a ball with this approach, and created a running database of all of Trump’s “lies.” Trump, of course, made their job easy because, vie Twitter, he made more statement, many of them off the cuff, than any five U.S. Presidents in our history combined.
Or maybe it’s three. Or seven. I was estimating. If Trump said that, the Washington Post would label it a lie.
Does President Biden lie as often as Trump did? I don’t know: it’s close, but you wouldn’t know that by reading and watching the mainstream media…or the Washington Post. Nobody set up a database of Biden’s lies. They were just “gaffes,” you see, because old Joe has always been confused. Or they were “mistakes.”