Media’s increasing willingness to call out Trump’s lies

Quartz reports: The Huffington Post branded him a serial liar months ago. Now, the most traditional American media outlets have also abandoned journalistic diplomatese in their coverage of Republican candidate Donald Trump, and are reaching for new ways to flag the word “lie.”

In at least five articles in the New York Times on Sept. 17, including the lead story in the print edition, the words “lie,” “false,” “falsely claimed” and “untrue” appeared in headlines, lead paragraphs, and top sections of the paper’s Trump coverage. The day before, CNN’s Jake Tapper called Trump “the most prominent pusher of the birther lie,” the Associated Press reported that Trump “peddled another lie,” and a Washington Post headline declared, “It’s time for TV news to stop playing the stooge for Donald Trump.”

It’s a marked change in language, even for outlets that have aggressively reported on Trump’s appeals to violence and bigotry. And it’s especially startling coming from the ultra-traditional Times, which even in the new digital age remains a north star for much mainstream media coverage.

“I think our investigative work — see [the Sept. 17] story on Trump’s tax breaks — has always been hard hitting,” says Dean Baquet, the New York Times’ executive editor. “But we have decided to be more direct in calling things out when a candidate actually lies.” [Continue reading…]

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