This week in lies… the “dishonest media” isn’t telling you that the murder rate has never been higher, no president has ever been as disrespected as Trump, and terrorist attacks are taking place all around us

theweekinlies

Usually, when I talk about the administration’s lies, I try to provide context. I make it a point to explain what it is that I mean by “lies,” and offer some kind of justification as to why I think it’s important that we acknowledge these events. Today, though, I’m just going to jump right into it… I think, by now, we all know what’s going on, right?

Here are the three latest lies to catch my attention.

1. This past Tuesday morning, speaking with a number of county sheriffs, Trump repeated a lie that he’d said several times on the campaign trial concerning the murder rate in America. “The murder rate in our country is the highest,” he said. “Did you know that? Forty-seven years. I used to use that… I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised, because the press doesn’t tell it like it is. It wasn’t to their advantage to say that. But the murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, from 45 to 47 years.”

But, of course, that’s not true. Not even remotely.

The United States murder rate in 2015, according to the FBI, was 4.9 per 100,000 people, which, as you can see in the following graph, is considerably lower than it has been for decades. While there’s been a bit of an uptick this past year, we’re still pretty much at a 50-year low. But that’s not a story that will justify building walls, restricting immigration, and putting more military grade weapons in the hands of the police, is it?

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 3.06.32 PM

2. On Tuesday, Trump said that “obstructionist Democrats” had kept him from getting his full Cabinet in place. It was, “the longest such delay in the history of our country,” he said. As BBC senior North America reporter Anthony Zurcher, and others, quickly pointed out, however, that’s simply not true. Obama did not have a complete Cabinet in place until April 28, when Kathleen Sebelius was sworn in as Secretary of Health and Human Services, a full two months after she’d been nominated.

CabinetTime

But, again, the truth doesn’t support the narrative that he’s trying to push, which is that he’s being unfairly attacked to a degree that no president in history has been… Speaking of which, did you happen to see the interview Kellyanne Conway gave a few days ago with Jake Tapper on CNN? Toward the end, she said the following about the unprecedented degree to which Trump has been disrespected. “(W)hen we read certain words being used to describe the president of the United States — it’s never been done,” she said. “It wasn’t done about President Obama. It wasn’t done about either President Bush, President Clinton, because people have a certain respect for and recognition of the dignity for the office of the president.” Of course, it’s total bullshit that people respected “the dignity for the office of the president” when Obama was President, and we’ve got video to prove it… Just to jog your memory, Trump himself not only suggested that President Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim, but that he may have been responsible for the untimely death of the State Health Director who verified his birth certificate…. To Obama’s credit, he never complained publicly about the abuse. In stark contrast, however, Trump seems to revel in the role of victim, going so far as to alter the facts in order to demonstrate abuse. And, as history has shown us, the cult of victimhood can be powerful stuff. Just look at what Hitler was able to do with it.

3. Speaking to U.S. Central Command on Monday at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Trump said that the media was intentionally not reporting terrorist attacks. Talking to the assembled military leaders, Trump went off script and said the following: “You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.” This, as many immediately pointed out, is simply not true.

In an attempt to quiet the subsequent media uproar, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, the following day, told reporters that Trump had meant to say that some terrorist attacks, in his opinion, were under-covered. “He felt that members of media don’t always cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered,” Spicer said, before reading a list of 78 attacks that the White House thought could have been reported in more depth. [This list, bizarrely, included such unbelievably well-covered events as the murder of 14 in San Bernardino on December 2, 2015, and the Orlando nightclub attack that left 49 dead this past June, both of which generated thousands of lengthy media reports.] An analysis by Politifact shows found that, of the 78 attacks noted by the White House, “the media reported on every one of the incidents in some fashion, except an alleged October 2015 non-deadly attack in Egypt that we could not independently verify.”

For what it’s worth though, Trump is actually right when he says that some terrorist attacks aren’t being discussed. It’s not the press that’s ignoring them, though. It’s the White House. Take for example the recent murder of six Muslim men in Quebec that was perpetrated by a white Trump supporter. For some reason, Trump has yet to mention it, choosing instead to talk at length by a non-deadly attack at the Louvre, which was perpetrated by a Muslim.

While, to my knowledge, Trump hasn’t been asked about this directly by the press, his advisor, Kellyanne Conway, has. Here’s a clip from the transcript of her discussion yesterday with CNN’s Jake Tapper on this subject.

TAPPER: President Trump was clearly saying that the media does not cover terrorist attacks that we clearly cover, and he was saying we don’t do it because we don’t want to do it and because we have some sort of ulterior motive in that. That’s not what you’re saying right now, but that is what he’s saying.

But while we’re on the subject of not addressing a terrorist attack, I want to ask you — in Quebec City last week, a white, right-wing terrorist opened fire on a mosque, a mosque filled with innocent men, women, and children. Six people were killed. President Trump has not said or tweeted one public word about this. You want to talk about ignoring terrorism? Why hasn’t the president offered his sympathy to our neighbors in the north?

CONWAY: I know he’s sympathetic to any loss of life. It’s completely senseless and it needs to stop, regardless of who is lodging the attack. We, of course, are very sad about loss of life here. And he is talking about trying to stop terrorism in people who want to do harm to this country, and I’m sure in the case of our neighbors to the north, I’m glad that the prime minister of Canada is coming here next year — next week, excuse me. I’m sure they’ll talk about that if he’s coming soon, as I understand.

But the fact is that he — I will ask him. He doesn’t tweet about everything. He doesn’t need to comment about everything, but I can tell you that the entire point that I do think has been misinterpreted many places about why he wants extreme vetting, in this case temporary and through seven very narrowly prescribed countries, that the Obama administration, President Obama’s administration in Congress thought needed more quote, serious screening. He is doing that in response to what he sees and he hears in his briefings as the advance and the continued threat of terror attacks, not unlike the one that you’re citing to our friends in the north. And of course, put us on record as always being sad about the senseless loss of life.

TAPPER: He tweeted when there was an attack at the Louvre Museum where nobody was killed. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t tweet when six Canadian citizens were murdered, except for the fact that the undercovered document that the White House distributed the other day — last night, rather, also did not mention any attacks other than those committed by Muslim terrorists. And obviously radical Islamic terrorism is a big problem, but there are all sorts of kinds of horrific terrorism that take place. We saw some of that in South Carolina recently. And I guess the question is, are these victims any less dead than the ones killed by Islamic radical terrorists?

Then, Conway, after going off on a tangent about how veterans are important to her, eventually got around to playing the victim card herself, saying that she’s “being attacked by the media.” She then concluded by saying,
“We have a very high respect for the truth.”

Speaking of the truth, and how important it is to this administration, I was just reading the other day that some of the parents who lost children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and their fellow residents of Newtown, Connecticut, plan to send a letter to Trump, asking him to please sever his ties with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who has convinced many of his followers that their children were not really murdered, and that the whole incident was a false flag operation perpetrated by the government in order to take the guns of American patriots. It takes a strong stomach, but, if you can, try to read the recent LA Times story, which talks with residents of Newtown about the resurgence of conspiracy theorists, emboldened by the Trump win, who have begun to descend on their town to “investigate” the December 14, 2012 shooting that left 20 children between the ages of six and seven years old, as well as 6 staff members, dead.

The truth matters. And we need to keep fight to protect it. We cannot allow this to continue. It will be the death of us all, if we do.

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16 Comments

  1. Kit
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    The Bowling Green Massacre didn’t even make the top three?

  2. Eel
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    How about the question as to whether or not Jefferson Beauregard “Jeff” Sessions III was actually given an award by the NAACP?

    http://www.snopes.com/2017/02/08/jeff-sessions-award-of-excellence

  3. anonymous
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard people suggest that the networks shouldn’t run any of Trump’s comments live, but instead should hold off until everything he says can be fact-checked, so that, as his comments are airing, the true facts can be aired right along with them. I like that idea.

  4. anonymous
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s also being reported that a third Breitbart employee has now taken up residence inside the White House.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/315841-third-breitbart-alum-joins-trump-administration

  5. Art
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    Give it up. No one gives a shit.

  6. Meta
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    The hight murder rate is necessary as it justifies this.

    “Donald Trump signs executive order giving police more powers: The President has signed three orders to tackle ‘public safety’ moments after he swore in Jeff Sessions as Attorney General” -UK Independent

    Donald Trump has signed three executive orders to deal with “public safety”, including handing more authority to the police.
    At the formal ceremony to appoint Jeff Sessions as Attorney General, the President outlined the new mandate that Mr Sessions would have, including tackling crime, drug cartels and terrorism.

    He insisted that the US faced the “threat of rising crime” and that “things will get better very soon”.

    “It’s a shame, what has been happening to our great, our truly great, law enforcement officers. That is going to stop today.”“I am directing the Department of Justice to reduce crimes and crimes of violence against law enforcement officers,” he said.

    One of the executive orders seeks to “define new federal crimes, and increase penalties for existing federal crimes, in order to prevent violence” against state and federal police.

    In 2016, a total of 135 police officers were killed in the US, a five-year high, according to a report from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. Around half of them – 64 officers – were fatally shot while on the job, including 21 who were killed in an ambush-style attack. The number also includes traffic accidents and job-related health issues, for example, heart attacks while working.

    No mention was made by Mr Trump of the hundreds of people who die at the hands of law enforcement every year.

    There were 968 deaths last year, according to The Washington Post, and more than 130 people so far in 2017, according to a database called killedbypolice.net

    The executive orders were signed during Black History Month.

  7. C.H.
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know how much of this is planned, but his turning things around on the press and accusing them of being “fake news” is brilliant. It puts his supporters in a position were they don’t know who or what to believe. They hear the media pointing out legitimate lies, and they hear Trump responding by saying those who are accusing him of lying are themselves lying. If my relatives are any indication, people are just tuning out as a result, allowing his administration to keep right on doing what they’re doing.

  8. stupid hick
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I read the LA Times article Mark links to. Reading example after example of delusional denialist is depressing all right, and many of the comments double down on teh crazy. Here’s an example:

    “One more thing: the ugly irony of people who are so self-righteoulsy appalled about the denial of children dying at Sandy Hook, and are SO dismissive of the probability of children getting diddled at Comet Pizza/Pizzagate is certainly not lost on me. I guess screwing kids is okay, as long as you don’t kill them.”

    If Hyborian Warlord is lurking, I wonder what he thinks about it. In one short post, with perhaps one rebuttal, max.

  9. stupid hick
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    And without citing InfoWars YouTube channel as a source

  10. Meta
    Posted February 10, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    From the New York Times editorial by Roger Cohen.

    Velocity trumps veracity. That is the puzzle and the menace of our age.

    Speed and disruption have more psychological impact than truth and science. They shape the discourse. The debunking of a fake news story is seldom as powerful as the story itself. Trump says “X.” Uproar! Hordes of journalists scurry to disprove “X.” He moves on, never to mention it again, or claims that he did not say it, or insists that what he really said was “Y.”

    People begin to wonder: Am I imagining this? They feel that some infernal mechanism has taken hold and is dragging them toward an abyss. The president is a reference point; if he lies, lying seeps deep into the culture. Americans start to ask: Will we ever be able to dislodge these people from power? What are they capable of?

    Simon Schama, the British historian, recently tweeted: “Indifference about the distinction between truth and lies is the precondition of fascism. When truth perishes so does freedom.”

    The enormity of the defiling of the White House in just three weeks is staggering. For decades the world’s security was undergirded by America’s word. The words that issued from the Oval Office were solemn. It was on America’s word, as expressed by the president, that the European continent and allies like Japan built their postwar security.

    Now the words that fall from Trump’s pursed lips or, often misspelled, onto his Twitter feed are trite or false or meaningless. He’s angry with Nordstrom, for heaven’s sake, because the department store chain dropped his daughter Ivanka’s clothing line! This is the concern of the leader of the free world.

    Read more:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/10/opinion/preserving-the-sanctity-of-all-facts.html

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted February 11, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Hyborian is no doubt staying home regretting his vote and licking his wounded pride as he realizes Trump is a sham and populism is easily corrupted. I hope that medical marijuana soothes him while he still has access.

  12. Posted February 11, 2017 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    How about DT’s investments with Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66, both involved with construction of DAPL.? We are supposed to take the word of DT that he has sold off these investments in summer 2016 but he has offered no proof. I say do not trust and verify.

    On 12/8/16 ABCgo.com reported that President Trump announced on 12/7/16 that he sold all of his stock holdings a few months ago. But the he has never offered proof that such a sale happened. We are talking about the sale of the president’s investments into Energy Transfer Partners and Phillips 66, involved in the construction of the DAPL.

    “This declaration comes amid continued questions about his potential conflicts of interest once he assumes office.”

    “Mark Zandi, the chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, told ABC News that there’s no way to check if Trump actually sold his stock investments.”

    I am wondering if Sioux Indians have standing to file a lawsuit re this? If they were able to just file, the threat of future discovery could possibly turn their current situation around for the better.

    I have blogged on this issue, but I am not getting traction with this set of facts.

    PS. 2 Developers of DAPL are living in Trump Towers.

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted February 11, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Sometimes you don’t have to lie; sometimes you just bury or black out the evidence… or the well established rights of children with disabilities. Not quite a sin of omission. More like a sin of erasure. http://www.politicususa.com/2017/02/11/trump-attacks-disabled-children-removing-disability-education-rights-website.html

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted February 11, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Also this, breaking. If you don’t like video, the source is a Washington post article. 9 (!) intelligence sources verifying. DC is a sieve– leaks everywhere. Trump has no friends already. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/magnitude-of-trump-adviser-flynn-s-russia-scandal-gains-clarity-874908739801

  15. M
    Posted March 2, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    People are beginning to suggest that the press should boycott the White House altogether.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/should-the-media-boycott-the-white-house/2017/03/01/57d3968e-fed2-11e6-8ebe-6e0dbe4f2bca_story.html

  16. Jack Garman
    Posted May 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Our Dishonest Media – A Parody of the LA Times Editorial
    http://hub.me/al9w7

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