“You know, I’ve been hearing all this talk about George Washington on the air today. I wonder if Washington would ever recognize himself. All this jazz about never telling a lie. No man could exist without ever telling a lie. He’d be shot by the time he’s 10 if he ever told the truth. And do you imagine what would happen if we did declare a National Nothing But The Truth Day? Kennedy gets on television and he tells the truth for 30 seconds. Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoo! We’d be in an atomic war 45 seconds later! Ha ha ha ha ha!”
— Jean Shepherd, WOR Radio New York, February 22, 1961
During the February 8, 2017 broadcast of The View, static among the panel ensued when liberal co-host Joy Behar called President Donald Trump and his senior adviser Kellyanne Conway out on the carpet for demonstrably lying and foisting the fibs upon credulous Trump supporters as “alternative facts.” Conway, in particular, has come under fire for her dishonesty. Especially her outrageous claim about Iraqi refugees committing a massacre in Bowling Green, Ohio, which reportedly prompted CNN’s decision to refuse her as a guest for a broadcast scheduled for February 5, 2017, citing “serious questions about her credibility.”
Conservative co-host Jedediah Bila dismissively shrugged off the Trump Administration’s lies, claiming that former President Barack Obama’s administration was also untruthful.
“Every White House does this. Susan Rice got on TV how many times and blamed a YouTube video for an attack. Barack Obama’s surrogates got on TV and said ‘if you like your plan you can keep it.’”
Co-host Sunny Hostin quickly pointed out the double standard the Republican party uses when responding to untruthful politicians.
“Didn’t they impeach President Clinton for perjury? They impeached him for lying. [Trump] is lying all the time.”
Joy Behar then interjected to note that Trump declared that the U.S. murder rate is “the highest it’s been in 47 years,” when in fact, the crime rate has dropped to a 33-year low.
Though Bila made the cynical assertion that “[Presidential administrations] all lie,” Hostin wasted no time striking back.
“That is a false equivalency and you know it.”
Though the average Trump supporter will holler up and down that former President Barack Obama is a liar and that Trump tells it like it is, a cursory glance at PolitiFact will show a different narrative. According to the Pulitzer-winning fact checking site, of all the statements made by Obama for which they have accounted, 21 percent are true, 27 percent are mostly true, another 27 percent are half true, 12 percent are mostly false, another 12 percent are mostly false and the remaining two percent fall into the “Pants on Fire” category. On the other hand, PolitiFact has noted that whereas four percent of the statements President Trump has made are true, 12 percent are mostly true and 14 percent are half true, 20 percent are mostly false, 33 percent are false and his “Pants on Fire” score is in the double digits at 17 percent, nearly nine times that of former President Obama.
It should also be noted that although Obama’s slip-ups with the truth generally were naive miscalculations, such as his claim that the U.S. has one of the largest Muslim populations; or exaggerations, like when he claimed that ads run endorsing his 2008 Republican rival Arizona Senator John McCain were “100 percent negative,” Trump’s lies are generally for the benefit of fear-mongering, such as the outrageous claim about the U.S. murder rate being the highest since 1970, or are the result of an abrupt and capricious shift in regard to an issue in the interest of political expediency, such as the time he stated that he was partial to the mandate within the Affordable Care Act that stipulates that everybody have health insurance, only to Tweet the next day,
“I will repeal all of #ObamaCare, including the mandate, period.”
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