For months, we have been stressing the importance of calling now-President Donald Trump's lies "lies," and efforts like ours have begun to pay off. After initially publishing a more euphemistic headline, The New York Times called out a Trump lie, and more significantly, their staff highlighted that fact with pride.
Unpopularly-elected President Donald Trump continued to demonstrate his insecurity over the crisis of legitimacy that hangs over his presidency by repeating the lie that millions of undocumented immigrants cast votes for Hillary Clinton. The New York Times covered the remarks, made at a White House reception for congressional leaders, using the headline "Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting With Lawmakers:"
Several people familiar with the closed-door meeting Monday night, who asked to remain anonymous in discussing a private conversation, said Mr. Trump used the opportunity to brag about his victory.
As part of that conversation, Mr. Trump asserted that between three million and five million unauthorized immigrants voted for Mrs. Clinton. That is similar to a Twitter message he posted in late November that said he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”
NYT going with the L word on this one: "Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote in Meeting" https://t.co/zO6tzNOww1
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 24, 2017
This self-congratulation may seem a bit out of line on its face, since this is really the minimum requirement of the job. And it is especially galling given the paper's role in baselessly destroying Clinton's character, their false implication that the FBI had found little on the Trump/Russia investigation that is reportedly ongoing, and the recent admission by the Times' Public Editor that they were too "timid" in reporting on the Trump team's Russia connections.
And as it turns out, the Times' bout of courage was slow to come. The body of the story does not actually contain the word "lie," and the original headline did not, either:
President Trump again falsely claimed that illegal immigrants had cost him the popular votehttps://t.co/FdlDFfhD7A
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 24, 2017
Notwithstanding the merits of crediting The New York Times for finally doing its job, this is yet another sign that resistance to Trump is working.
The millions of women who marched on Saturday, as well as the millions more people who voted for Clinton, have succeeded in exposing Trump's massive insecurity. Calling out the Trump administration's overt threats to the free press has succeeded in forcing a change of strategy from the Trump press shop. And now, unyielding resistance to Trump's mendacity and demands for more forceful press coverage has succeeded in making it a badge of honor to call out the administration's lies clearly and concisely.
Resistance and pressure, on Trump and on the media, are making a difference in significant ways.