|Why does Trump lie? Maybe it's because the media has encouraged him to.|
We know several facts about Donald Trump, one being that he lies nearly constantly. If his mouth is open, there's a better than even chance bullshit is coming out.
Another fact we know: If a mainstream media fact checker says Trump is lying, his fans respond with "Oh, that's the Washington Post, they're in the tank for the liberals. You can't trust them."
Donald Trump said it himself: He utilizes "truthful hyperbole." Stephen Colbert gave it a name: truthiness. While that's, on one level, hilarious, on another level, it's insane. Trump, however, doesn't care. He believes that if it isn't true, well, it ought to be. So, he stretches the truth. For Trump, truth is pliant.
Example: "58 percent of black youth are unemployed!" Er, Trump, that's if you include all black high-school students (by that measure, 50 percent of white youth is unemployed). Trump's answer? "No, it's true!"
Journalists are then a bit overwhelmed by his gall. Their jaw drops, they twitch a bit, then offer a wry smile and a shake of the head.
Deep in Donald Trump's heart he believes he's telling the truth because it's mostly true, or, well, it should be true. Why? Because it proves his point. Black youth are worse off, right?
He calls this truthful hyperbole. Psychologists call it pathological lying, but hey. Whatever. Trump thinks, hell, I'm up in the polls.
We get the liar we deserve. I'm frightened to death that we deserve Donald Trump.
There is hope, though. There's a steady -- hopefully growing! -- stream of journalists and media outlets that are bringing the Trump "big lies" to the fore. He delayed this moment by not employing Hitler's "Big Lie technique" (yes, Hitler came up with it in Mein Kampf) but by utilizing a steady stream of small to medium lies, leading Paul Krugman to declare Trump, in his column today, to be "The Big Liar."
Some, like Krugman, are hopeful that Matt Lauer's shameful performance at the Commander-in-Chief Forum may finally break the fever, as Krugman suggests.
Signs of that are here, here, here, and here.