President Biden in his inaugural address didn’t spell things out. We assume he wasn’t just charging powerful elected officials and other obvious interested parties.
“There is truth and then there are lies -- lies told for power and profit. Each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, especially as leaders. Leaders who pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies,” Biden noted in his inaugural address.
The former President did much lying, according to many. The Washington Post Fact Checker's ongoing database of false or misleading claims made by Trump in office stands at more than 30,500.
Now, let's get into the fuzzier side.
“We used to call it spin,” says David Corn, Washington Bureau Chief of Mother Jones and on-air MSNBC analyst speaking on the news network recently. “There was a certain type of spin that was accepted. Trump burst through that ... Every president wants to push his version of the truth.”
And then there’s the media, which might deliver that “spin,” and hopefully can correct and clarify those missives, while noting the facts and the truth.
“How do you get Fox News to stop putting on people forwarding conspiracy theories? Even for the January 6 insurrection, you had people on the air saying it was Antifa,” says Corn.
In response to these assertions, the FBI debunked the claim that Antifa -- a left-wing political movement -- had any connection to the insurrection. FBI Assistant Director Steven D’Antuono told reporters recently: “We have no indication of that, at this time.”
The media does respond to errors. They make corrections and clarifications.
After the election, Newsmax, Fox News Channel and One America News aired some seemingly unusual segments citing “clarifications,” and "no evidence” declarations of widespread voting fraud regarding two voting machine companies they had previously assailed: Dominion Voting Systems and SmartMatic.
The clarifications were in response to threatening letters for “malicious and misleading false claims” by the voting companies and forthcoming big-time defamation lawsuits headed to those TV news networks.
Why was this done? Because neither TV nor reputable news organizations want to profit or gain power from stuff that isn’t true. Right?