While it’s a popular meme that Hillary Clinton is a liar, the evidence just doesn’t support it. Clinton, according to Politifact, is one of the most honest candidates this cycle. Clinton isn’t a paragon of honesty — nobody is — but when 73% of your claims are “half true” or better, you’re on target.
But do you know who is a pathological liar?
Donald Trump. Spray-tan Hitler is possibly the single most dishonest candidate to ever run for office, and he shares this category with Richard Nixon. Even more dishonest than Trump, however, are his fans: people who line up behind him and devour everything he says, because not only are they happy Trump is lying to them, they’re more than happy to lie to themselves.
So what exactly do people who believe Agent Orange hook, line, and sinker do when they’re confronted by his blatantly dishonesties causing him to fail? Well, they float conspiracy theories that the debates were rigged in favor of Clinton — conspiracy theories like the one that CNN host Brian Stetler ripped apart on Sunday.
One of the most irritating things about Trump supporters is their completely unearned self-certainty. That’s true for all right-wingers, but Trump supporters seem to be especially impervious to logic. And Tim Graham, the executive editor of the conservative website Newsbusters, had that self-certainly on full display during Sunday’s showing of Reliable Sources, when he tried to convince the audience that Holt, and by extension, the rest of the media, was biased in favor of Clinton.
“If Lester Holt was refereeing a football game, he would have gotten thrown out of the stadium,” Graham said. He continued:
“I think the Saturday Night Live skit I would have done if I was running the show would be Lester Holt — it would sort of be like the end of Top Gun where he lands on the flight deck after beating the Russians and everybody applauds him.”
“Obviously, the whole news media before the debate was was telling Lester, ‘Truth squad Trump. He heard the lesson and he obviously did this in a way that was completely one-sided.”
Stetler fired back with the obvious statement, and, really, all that needs to be said in response to these lines of thought:
“It’s not Lester Holt’s fault when Donald Trump lies more than Clinton on the stage.”
Politifact bears this out, but Graham continued to insist otherwise, accusing Politifact of being “liberal” and that the website claims Clinton “never lies.”
Now, let’s do a little test here. Graham said that Politifact claims Clinton “never lies,” and yet, at the beginning of the article, I noted that Politifact had rated 73% of her claims at half-true or better. It’s reasonable to conclude, then, that 23% of Clinton’s statements have been “mostly false” or worse. That’s more than 1/5.
If Politifact said she “never lies” that’d be 0%, since that’s what “never” means. That it’s 23% shows Graham is full of shit and lying through his damn teeth.
Graham then went on to say, “The fact of the matter is, why is her trustworthy level so low? Because people have watched her over decades lie about everything.”
Actually, it’s because people have bought into right-wing lies. The right-wing’s been smearing the Clintons for more than 30 years at this point; true or not, some things have stuck. It’s like “Truthiness” is a concept he heard and thought, “I can’t believe someone enunciated my thinking so clearly” and not, “this is a great way to poke fun at self-certain idiots.”
CNN political analyst John Avlon jumped in to defend Politifact, calling it “as close as we’re going to get to an objective tallying” with regards to the candidate’s honesty. He went on:
“We know that Donald Trump is, at the end of the day, a hype man. He admits freely he engages in hyperbole. The problem is that crosses into demagoguery in a political context. Hillary Clinton has problems with honesty and trustworthy — we know that from polls — in part because for 25 years she’s been demonized by partisan media.”
“It is the job of journalists to insist on a fact-based debate. Increasingly, we are recognizing that it is also our job to call out lies and to call them lies and not default to this ‘on the one hand and the other’ moral relativism.”
I love that he employed that term, “moral relativism,” to describe right-wing partisanship; that’s exactly what they are. And, I’ll take it a step further: they’re not just moral relativists, they’re moral nihilists, as well. Morality doesn’t matter to them — it’s a stepping stone to power and nothing else.
Avlon finished by attacking Graham’s organization, saying, “You have explicit favor in your donors and your ideological agenda from day one. And that’s why your credibility fails.”
Not that right-wing lies ever had any credibility to being with.
Watch the video below:
Feature image via screen capture