Well we’ve hurtled past another milestone in the life of the United States of America. One year on from the Donald Trump inauguration and despite the predictions we’ve survived!
North Koreans will be particularly happy having been threatened with complete annihilation in an explosive war of words between their despotic leader Kim Jong-Un and the President of the US who’ve traded unprecedented public insults in a world where we rely heavily on intellectual discussion and diplomacy behind closed doors.
Happily Muslims living in America have not been thrown in to concentration camps as wildly predicted by some although, sadly, millions of other Muslims have been stopped from entering the US for nothing more than their country of birth!
There has been an industrial-sized slaughter of truth and facts all of which have been sacrificed on the altar of the new religion that is Trumpism. It’s a faith which despises fact-checkers, experts and media organisations and despite their collective protests the largely barmy army which backs Trump couldn’t care less.
This is a pity. For if they subscribed to either the Washington Post or the New York Times they would recognise they’ve been lied to. I’m not holding up these newspapers as bastions of undiluted truth – in fact NYT and WP apologised to readers some years ago after being too gullible and not rigorously checking statements released by the White House about Weapons of Mass Destruction in the run up to the Iraq war in 2003.
And to a certain extent, here’s the real problem – a legacy of whopping lies which have tumbled forth from various US Administrations, run with by an unsuspecting media – the public at large has switched off from the mainstream media and is fed up of listening to experts whose views, on occasions, appear to change depending on the paymaster.
Some political analysts blame the Richard Nixon years for making lies and deceit acceptable and then there was randy POTUS Bill Clinton who told porkies to the nation about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky … but more recently we can also look at the George W. Bush Administration which promised to bring honour and integrity back to the White House. Instead, it could be argued, he dispensed with accountability.
So here we are today living in a world where ordinary citizens are buried under a mound of lies, deception and propaganda from Pyongyang to Paris, London, New York and Washington. Donald Trump is right about one thing: fake news is everywhere!
Trump is no doubt capitalising on this climate as the tally of untruths, misinformation and deceptions coming from the US president is unprecedented. Maybe the Oval office is being forensically examined by the media like never before simply because of the mound of distortions and deceit which has come to light in recent decades. With this backdrop it’s probably difficult to tell if Trump is the best or the worst of a bad lot which went before!
However, here we are today with a more rigorous media which is finally doing the job previously been done by citizen journalists and bloggers around the world. Unlike the gullible media which went before, the NYT and WP are now starting to challenge all information coming for the US Administration aided and abetted by merging global online media like WTX News.
So let’s looks at the Trump whoppers – here are what we believe are the Big Five Lies so far in his first year ..
1. “Obamacare has been repealed in this bill.” — Trump, December 20, 2017
This is a nonsense and probably the biggest provable lie should anyone care to check.
2. “We have signed more legislation than anybody. We broke the record of Harry Truman.” — Trump on Wednesday, December 27th 2017
This sentence has a long distance relationship with the truth, so long in fact it got lost on the way! Easily accessed archives reveal that by the end of December Trump had signed just 94 bills into law, fewer than any president since Truman.
3. “If you look at President Obama and other presidents, most of them didn’t make calls.” — Trump, October 16th, 2017
Trump was stating previous presidents had not telephoned grieving families of fallen US soldiers. While Obama maintained his dignified silence (so far) his former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes responded: “This is an outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards.”
4. “We’re the highest taxed nation in the developed world, and I think the undeveloped world too.” — Trump, September 26, 2017
It’s an emphatic statement, but like many of Trump’s table-thumping statements, it’s simply not true. The Washington Post has been fact-checking Trump (some would say almost obsessively) and says he’s made this claim at least 55 times in his first year. The highly-respected Pew Research Center says Americans pay below average tax compared to other developed countries.
5. “The overall audience was, I think, the biggest ever to watch an inauguration address, which was a great thing.” — Trump, January 26th
The standard for fake news was set very high within days of Trump’s arrival in Washington. The largest ever audience turning up for the inauguration of a US president did not gather for Trump and, certainly, all evidence suggests the biggest crowds rocked up for President Barack Obama. Despite that, Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer (remember him?) stated emphatically: “That was the largest audience to witness an inauguration, period.”
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