Have journalists finally learnt how to challenge political lies?
ANALYSIS | The profession needs much higher standards to prevent Trump-like figures broadcasting falsehoods
“Well, we’re interrupting this because what the president of the US is saying, in large part, is absolutely untrue,” said CNBC anchor Shepard Smith as his network pulled away from Donald Trump making baseless post-election claims about illegal voting. As did other networks.
Journalism’s belated turn against falsehood should resonate far beyond the US. Trump’s was the most successful project of political lying in a modern democracy. His 22,000-plus misleading or false claims, as documented by the Washington Post, set a record that may long outlive him.
On the upside, he has taught social media and journalism how to deal with future political liars. Facebook and Twitter are finally slapping warnings on his false posts. Now my profession needs to adopt the standards of evidence of the law courts and science. ..