Donald Trump is a liar. There's just no other way to say it. It's an undeniable fact that only Trump, as a liar, would deny with a straight face. As if any more proof was necessary that Trump is an unrepentant, pathological fabulist and fantasist, Lester Holt of NBC News's stunning humiliation of him during an in-depth one-on-one just a few days ago should convince all but the most delusional. In the interview, Holt played back several soundbites from Trump in which the con man and failure of a presidential candidate made very distinct claims against Hillary Clinton, with seemingly unwavering certainty. He then confronted Trump with the truth, which looked nothing at all like what Trump was alleging -- and just sat back and watched as one-by-one, piece-by-piece, Trump was forced to backtrack and admit he just didn't know a fucking thing. It was, in a word, glorious.
What's worth noting, though, is that the lies Holt confronted Trump on all came from a single speech. It was an address given last Wednesday in which Trump attempted to regain his campaign footing by accusing Clinton of being “the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency.” The address was carried live by several cable networks, as one might expect for a speech from the presumptive nominee for president on the Republican side. But, as Lester Holt pointed out, it was full of lies, half-truths and general bullshit. In fact, that single Trump speech pushed the limits of reality so far that according to The Washington Post, it took a dozen AP writers to fact check it. A dozen. Even CNN, which was charged with running the speech live, had to go back and run a story after the fact that fact-checked Trump (read: shredded him to bits).
So with that in mind, a question has to be asked: Knowing that Trump's speeches are nothing but relentless streams of pure mendacity and that -- barring the occasionally clever correction -- a live broadcast is almost impossible to fact-check in real time, why do news networks continue to broadcast them? The fact is, they shouldn't. Neither cable nor broadcast news should run Trump's campaign speeches live. The fact is that Donald Trump specifically uses what should be a mundane campaign regularity to spew nonsense and bullshit, knowing that the captive audience of cable news viewers will be forced to take every word out of his mouth somewhat seriously because no one is sitting there correcting him point-by-point. Most of them will never go back and read the post-factum write-ups that set the record straight and call out Trump for being the king of crap. So with that in mind, his campaign speeches are really nothing more than opportunities to play journalists and Americans for suckers. So why let him get away with it?
The easy answer, of course, is that Trump is a presumptive nominee for president and tradition dictates that you run the speeches of the presumptive nominees for president. But there's nothing traditional about Trump. He's an anomaly, a man with no moral or ethical compass who will say anything, regardless of whether it's true, and who's gaming the system in the name of his own unrelenting thirst to satisfy his own ego. News outlets know it. A whole lot of Americans know it. So why play along? Sure, there's no precedent here, but then again there's no precedent for a candidate as wholly unfit for public office as Donald Trump. There's no precedent for any of this, certainly not in the modern times. Don't feed this man's ego and, more importantly, don't be his unwitting co-conspirator. Don't indirectly sanction his lies. Cut him off at the knees so you don't have to go back and correct what was just aired uninterrupted on your own damn network. For God's sake, give a dozen AP writers something more productive to do with their time.