The Trumps Demand Accountability For The Press While Refusing To Correct Their Own Endless Roster Of Lies

Donald Trump, Jr. says a lot of stupid shit. For example, he has twice confessed to accusations of conspiring with Russian operatives and Wikileaks by inexplicably posting on Twitter documentary evidence of his contacts with both the operatives and, we assume, Julian Assange. Duh.

Junior also tweeted out a “bombshell” Gateway Pundit article claiming that Roy Moore victim Beverly Young Nelson forged Moore’s handwritten yearbook message to her 40 years ago. It turns out, Fox News Channel, which ran with the Gateway Pundit story, had to issue a public correction about the story, deleting the usage and variations of the word “forgery.” 

All told, Nelson simply added a date and location under Moore’s signature. Meanwhile, as Junior’s tweet was retweeted 7,400 times and liked 15,000 times, Junior was busily scolding CNN with accusations of “fake news” for botching the date on which Junior received an email from a donor providing decryption access to Wikileaks’ trove of stolen DNC documents.

Of course, he’s not bright enough to know when he’s participating in a fuck-up. And if he knew, he wouldn’t care. The same goes for Junior’s increasingly dangerous Dad in the White House. Junior and Senior spent the weekend excoriating the news media for several errors similar to the Fox News mixup, but, naturally, Don and Donald never mentioned that one.

We’ll start with the president’s tweets, from most recent to oldest.

Dave Weigel posted the photo on Twitter and deleted it 20 minutes later. Now, the photo happens to depict Trump entering the arena at the start of the Pensacola, Florida rally. Trump’s photos show a full house, but the images were snapped during the rally — presumably later in the evening. Still, Weigel did the right thing.

Trump Senior also lashed out against ABC News reporter Brian Ross for misreporting a detail of the Mike Flynn Russia story last week. Ross reported that Trump ordered Flynn to contact Russian officials during both the campaign and the transition. Turns out, the order came during the transition and not the campaign. Ross and ABC News corrected the story, of course. 

CNN also had to retract the details of a Trump-Russia story. The reporters screwed up the timeline of events and, once again, retracted and corrected the story.

Here are Junior’s dumbshit tweets, for the record:

I’ve spent many years lamenting the news media’s drive to post stories too hastily and, in the process, missing many important details in the push to be first. Yes, there’s a problem with the rise of digital news, social media and the competition for online traffic, and it needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Likewise, I’m not letting the traditional press off the hook for the above mistakes. All of us need to be extra careful to be accurate in the Trump age, given Biff’s favorite “fake news” catchphrase and all the damage it’s creating. 

That said, shit happens. Mistakes happen. Corrections were made. Brian Ross was suspended. Dave Weigel took the heat like a pro. 

On the other hand, Trump and Trump Junior have yet to offer a single retraction or correction of any of their dozens upon dozens of deliberate lies, half-truths or innuendos. They’re both serial liars, but the president is perhaps the most prolific of any politician on that level in modern American history. 

The Washington Post compiled a list of 1,628 lies by the president alone. No retractions, no resignations, no corrections. He just keeps repeating the same falsehoods, over and over and over, even after he’s been debunked by experts the world over. Why? Because he thinks if he keeps repeating the same lies, they’ll eventually be true. For his easily-misled disciples, this is already true. For the rest of us, it continues to be a source of endless frustration as the non-stop bombardment continues minute-by-minute. So fast and limitless are his lies, it’s difficult to pinpoint and debunk all of them as they ricochet off our skulls.

Trump’s “fake news” strategy is intensely sinister. He’s shielding himself from being held accountable for his own lies by projecting his penchant for falsehoods onto the news media. In essence, he’s demonizing the news while manufacturing his own bogus reality. At the same time, he’s expecting accountability that’s he refuses to apply to himself and his daily roster of falsehoods.

At the end of the day, the press diligently corrects its fuck-ups. Trump and his boy? Clearly not man enough to do the same. Sad.

Bob Cesca is the host of the Bob Cesca Show podcast, a twice weekly political talk show. He’s also a contributor to Salon.com. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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