According to Trump’s latest tweet, the networks have agreed to give him airtime tomorrow as requested:
I am pleased to inform you that I will Address the Nation on the Humanitarian and National Security crisis on our Southern Border. Tuesday night at 9:00 P.M. Eastern.
Maybe he’s lying — I haven’t seen confirmation from a credible source. But assuming it’s true, the networks have a responsibility here to fact-check the orange fart cloud in real time. Time to air a rebuttal by Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or whomever the Democrats assign the task should be granted automatically, but it’s not enough.
Here’s a fact: Trump lies all the time. The volume of lies is unprecedented, and he lies as much or more about the border situation than any other topic. The networks know this. It’s not debatable. Even Fox News called out Sarah Huckabee Sanders for telling a big fat whopper about terrorists coming across the southern border yesterday (they’re not).
It’s not a bold prediction to say Trump will repeat the same debunked lies he uploaded into Huckabee Sanders’ brain-pan to deliver on Fox News. They’re the same lies he’s tweeted scores of times, the same lies mouthed by other administration toadies, like Kirstjen Nielsen.
I think it’s a bad move for the networks to give Trump a platform to repeat his lies, but I understand they’re in a difficult position. They refused airtime to President Obama for an address on immigration, but they weren’t running government shutdown clocks on every news network at the time.
So, if they’re going to give Trump a megaphone, they need to have journalists on hand to fact-check the lying fraud in real-time, in a chyron at the bottom of the screen, while he’s telling the lies. Daniel Dale of the Toronto Star fact-checks Trump speeches on Twitter live. He says it’s not that hard because Trump tells the same lies over and over.
As we’ve discussed here before, our Beltway media outlets haven’t adjusted to the fire-hose volume of lies coming out of this administration, and their failure to adapt is unacceptable. A fact-check chyron would be a good start.