CNN's Stelter Explains The Danger Of Journalists Parroting Trump's Lies

Brian Stelter: “Fact-Checking Is Important, But The Framing Of These Stories Is Even More Important. ... Focusing On Trump's Tendency To Buy Into BS Gets To What's Really Going On Here"

Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

From the December 4 edition of CNN's Reliable Sources

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BRIAN STELTER (HOST): Let's tell some truths about lying, because the way Donald Trump lies has people rethinking some of the basic premises of journalism, like the assumption that everything a president says is automatically news. When President-elect Trump lies so casually, so cynically, the news isn't so much the false thing he said, it's that he felt like he could just go ahead and say it, go ahead and lie to you. That's the story. Why does he bend and flex and twist and warp and distort the truth? Personally I'm curious because I think Trump does it differently than past presidents. His lies are different and deserve scrutiny. 

[...]

Court cases involving Trump have shown that he lies even when the truth is really easy to discern. And that's what we're seeing all again now. That's why I think fact-checking is important, but the framing of these stories is even more important. Take Trump's promotion of this voter fraud conspiracy idea. He said on Twitter "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." The journalistic impulse was to say something like "Trump claims he won the popular vote." I would suggest to you that better framing is "Trump lies again, embracing a far-right-wing conspiracy theory." See, focusing on the falsehood createsmore confusion and gives the lie even more life. And that's the wrong way to go. Focusing on Trump's tendency to buy into BS gets to what's really going on here. This calls for more reporting and for reporters to show our work, to show that we actually know the truth. 

Previously

How Mainstream Headlines Have Been Normalizing Donald Trump

Trump Lies That Millions Voted Illegally, And Mainstream Outlets Uncritically Echo Him

The Trump Birther Headlines Problem

Posted In
Media Structures & Regulations
Network/Outlet
CNN
Person
Donald Trump, Brian Stelter
Show/Publication
Reliable Sources
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