Back in January, the reporter that threw Trump completely off his game at the Thursday press conference (in which he asked the president whether he regretted all the lying he’s done since he took office) wrote a piece that likely should have told us all what he might do if called on at a presser as he was.
S.V. Dáte [dah-TAY], the White House Correspondent for HuffPost, penned an article that detailed not just the particulars of some of the more egregious and some of the more overlooked of Trump’s extensively-documented lies, but the deleterious effect those lies have had on our national psyche, our democracy, and our expectations for when a leader should be held to account — after all, Trump has never been held to account for the thousands and thousands of lies he’s told while in office.
It almost seems like Dáte is the very first reporter in three and a half years to call Trump a liar to his face, an astounding observation, given that even Trump’s allies acknowledge he bends the truth often — and everyone else knows he’d lie to you about the time of day, just to get in a little more practice lying.
Dáte correctly points out what qualifies as a lie: A thing that Donald Trump knows is not true as he’s saying it. And of these statements, the repeats after having been publicly debunked alone are enough to fill a full set of Encyclopedia Britannica-sized books.
But it’s what Trump’s lies pose the danger of normalizing that has us the most worried:
I’ve been a journalist for 33 years. I’ve covered Congress. NASA and the military space program. City and county halls. The Florida statehouse. Criminal courts, including armed robbers and serial killers. In all of that time, I have never encountered a public official, a candidate for office, a bureaucrat, a defense lawyer or, frankly, an actual criminal who is as regularly and aggressively dishonest as the current president of the United States. And that includes a dozen years covering the Florida legislature.”
If we accept this behavior from the leader of the free world, democracy will never recover. Politics will never recover. The social contract with one another will never recover.
But finally, a reporter asked him about it — and it’s been a long time coming:
For five years I’ve been wanting to ask him that.
— S.V. Dáte (@svdate) August 13, 2020
Featured image via screen capture
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