Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Ted Rall: Trump & Biden Both Liars, Only Trump Gets Called Out

 The following phrase, and its variants, has become ubiquitous: "Donald Trump's baseless charges of election fraud." Mainstream news outlets have accelerated its use during the congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

        The phrase is accurate. Though American elections have historically been marred by fraud and outright subversion, no evidence has surfaced to suggest that any such improprieties occurred during the 2020 presidential election that were substantial enough to change the result. As far as we know, Joe Biden was legitimately elected.

        But is it journalistically kosher?

        Fairness, accuracy and integrity are the core of journalistic ethics. Those values are compromised when they are applied inconsistently, as do American news companies.

        Republicans, conservatives and supporters of former President Donald Trump in particular have long complained that corporate media outlets have been harder on him than on other politicians or previous presidents. It's hard to disagree. Journalists' labeling of Trump's allegations that the 2020 election was stolen as a lie is a case in point; it's impossible to think of another American politician who has been so repeatedly editorialized against in nonopinion news stories or to have his claims -- no matter how untrue -- repeatedly denied in headlines.

        Biden and fellow Democrats, for example, have taken to calling high gas prices "Putin's gas hike." This is just as false as Trump's election BS. The Wall Street Journal notes that gas prices were "turbocharged by a rebounding economy after a pandemic-induced slowdown" well before Russia invaded Ukraine. Anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West, led by the U.S., exacerbated the problem. Whether or not Biden is responsible for $5 gas, no one can credibly blame Vladimir Putin for the effects of sanctions Biden imposed against him.

        You won't see headlines describing Biden's spin on gas prices as "baseless" or "false." As they do when any politician other than Trump lies, the press acts as stenographers, dutifully passing on communiques regardless of their truthiness. "Biden blames Russia for gas prices," reports Politico. "Biden slams 'Putin's price hike,'" says CNN. Calling out Trump for lying is great. Doing so is a reporter's job. Why not Biden?

        Willful inconsistency is the hallmark of how reporting becomes propaganda in the 21st century. As coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings keeps reminding us, Trump tried to steal the presidency. The same reporters had little to nothing to say about George W. Bush actually stealing the presidency; because Bush hates Trump, they treat the architect of torture, drones and Gitmo like an elder statesman. When the U.S. invades a foreign country, there's almost no attempt to humanize civilian victims, but when the invading army belongs to a U.S. adversary, coverage of the human cost -- even the cost to animals -- is exhaustive.

        The facile defense to this critique is that reporters are setting the record straight when they label Trump's lies as such. Trouble is, there are so many lies being told by so many politicians of every conceivable ideological orientation that limiting fact checks to one individual, even a former president and possible future one for whom the truth appears to be a mortal enemy, looks exactly like what it is: choosing sides by giving your fellow partisans a free pass. Further, because the press's anti-Trump bias is so over-the-top, there is a natural tendency to dismiss it.

        I'm not arguing that journalists should stop writing that Trump is a liar. To the contrary, holding politicians accountable for untruths is long overdue. I'm saying they should do the same thing to other politicians as well.

        Now that Russiagate has been thoroughly debunked, it would be nice to see news media say so. Instead of,"US is worried about Russia using new efforts to exploit divisions in 2022 midterms," CNN could say, "US officials revive discredited claims on election 'interference.'"

        Instead of, "Iraq War role was a stain on Powell's record -- one he openly said he regretted," The Washington Post could say, "A million dead Iraqis later, Powell regretted lying America into Iraq War."

        Surely the courageous journalists who call out "Trump's election lie" for what it is can present other stories in an equally straightforward manner. ABC's "Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee condemns Biden's upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia" ought to be specific. After all, Khashoggi wasn't passive-tense "slain." In one of the most insane political assassinations in modern history, Khashoggi was viciously butchered in the Saudi consulate at the order of the Saudi crown prince. Biden isn't merely going to Saudi Arabia; he's planning to meet and shake hands with Khashoggi's murderer. How about, "Fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi condemns Biden for upcoming visit with journalist's murderer"? 

        Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of a new graphic novel about a journalist gone bad, "The Stringer." Order one today. You can support Ted's hard-hitting political cartoons and columns and see his work first by sponsoring his work on Patreon.



Anonymous said...

Why don't you get your head out of your ass and watch the film 2000 mules and then you will see it was wide spead election fraud. Of course if anyone has any degree of critical thinking skills they would not need the film to point it out.

Anonymous said...

Thoroughly and utterly FACT-CHECKED and DEBUNKED by every possible reputable source!

Anonymous said...

And you believe the “fact checkers”?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Every single legal challenge was dismissed. How’s that for a fact check?

Anonymous said...

People are saying that Trump is the Michael Jordan of lying. He is an all timer, his record of lying will never be broken. The man lies every second of every day, he even lies to himself in his dreams. I’ve never seen someone so committed to anything the way Trump commits himself to his lies.

Anonymous said...

10:09 - Please provide list of "reputable sources" and related links please. BTW - have YOU watched 2000 mules so you can judge for yourself or do you just drink the Kool aid?

Anonymous said...

There's more than Trump and the question of the election's integrity in the article. Why aren't the other parts being discussed?

Anonymous said...

Nobody has time to read all those words. We just discuss the first comment. That’s why it is important to be the first comment.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the courts could have put an end to the question of electoral integrity, by simply hearing the case. That would have been too much like right, I guess.

Anonymous said...

7:38, each dismissal was procedural. Not one considered the merits or evidence. courts are very adept at sidestepping hot buttons. None wanted to be the first court to conduct a real hearing with real testimony and real evidence

Anonymous said...

Any man who ascends to the presidency especially in this era of constant media coverage is going to be an adept liar. And most presidents have been. Mr. Trump however is a lot more. He places himself above the institution itself. That is, he does not care about the presidency or the future of our electoral system if he does not win. He is the first president (or candidate) to announce BEFORE the election that the election is a fraud if he does not win. In American history there have been plenty of questionable presidential elections but none of the other losing candidates attacked the process like Trump. He attacked his own appointees, Vice President, and cabinet members who did not advance his effort to overturn the electoral process. By now the American people should recognize the danger to the future of our fragile democracy this man represents even if he is a better
administrator than the idiot we presently have. There are some people on both sides of the political spectrum who crave the destruction of America and a "new" form of government but I'm not ready to scrap the whole thing for one man.

County Cletus said...

Of course they are both liars one is a 47 year representative the other was a businessman. 2000 mules as a very convincing very convincing documentary. The difference between the two men his brain pan. One was a good presidentAnd run this country as a business while the other runs this country as a personal bank account.

Anonymous said...

It is sort of funny and sort of sad. The same people who came up with the Russian hoax have come up with the Jan 6 story. Haven't you people ever heard the story about the boy who cried wolf?

People blame Trump for getting mad about having an election stolen from him. Do they think if they were in his shoes they might look at as little different?

I am over 70 years old and there has never been an honest election in my lifetime. I can remember my father taking me to the court house for the election returns. Politicians were buying votes and people were selling votes. The price then was a pint of whiskey.

Watch the movie 2000 mules with an open mind. By the way does anyone remember what the fact checkers said about the Russian hoax, Hunter's laptop, and Joe's daughter's diary?

Anonymous said...

Fact Checkers! It does what it told! Believe us or you’re a bigot! I don’t trust any part of the government, R or D, but I wish the media and other liberal loonies would go hard as they did on Trump on Biden. You know that bumbling idiot would have a mental breakdown and have to be whisked away.

Anonymous said...

Only Democrats talk about “democracy” as if it were some sacred ideology. This nation is a Constitutional Republic. There are constant attacks eroding at the republic, going back to when state legislators stopped picking Senators. An act which is a foundation of the Republic. You demonic leftists don’t get it. This isn’t about Trump the man. This is about MAGA the idea! The traitorous democrats were successful in removing the man. However, you are going absolutely mad with frustration in failed attempts to root out of the MAGA ideology. No matter how hard you try, more and more free thinking patriots are joining the MAGA militia. And your little kangaroo-court show-trial, is just accelerating the democrats demise!

Kingfish said...


Bill Clinton far surpassed Trump and Biden when it came to lying. Actually, both Clintons.

Anonymous said...

You beat me to it, Kingfish. I was just going to say I see your Trump and raise you a Bill Clinton.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me all Presidents get " called out".

I can't get over KF, that you put lying about have adulterous sex under oath and lying about the election being stolen are the same.

I don't remember any President who wanted to lead armed supporters he knew were armed ( he ordered the magnetmeters removed when he saw the crowd was too small for his speech so he knew many who came were armed and with what sorts of arms...he could SEE them!) to the Capitol to prevent Pence from certifying the election with violence if necessary.

No other President has suggested hanging his VP was " deserved".
Obviously, none of you are watching those in Trump's administration give SWORN testimony.

Even your boy Hannity and Ingraham knew this was a insurrection and urged Trump to stop with the rhetoric ( texts from them).

We have never, in all of history, had a President that told lies that were dangerous rather than ordinary self-serving political exaggerations or excuses.

Many of you ( who aren't neo-Nazis or insane) will be very sorry one day. Just as were the " good" Germans who wanted the trains to run on time and to end inflation.

Shame on you for having so little appreciation for our Constitution and the rule of law.

Anonymous said...

11:28 So you too have seen many dishonest elections in your 70+ years. How many did you see overturned? Why not? Maybe because even the liars and thieves that politicians surely are, recognize that it's the only game in town and they respect the survival of the process. Or maybe they were just scared. Well we know Trump is not scared... Whatever makes you feel better.

Anonymous said...

Trump wipes the floor with both the Clintons. If there was a Mount Rushmore of liars, Trump is front and center. The man lies in his sleep, he doesn’t even have to think about it. No lie is too little or too big for Donald, he rises to every occasion.

Anonymous said...

It is very hard to catch slow Joe in many lies. The little voice in his head is the one telling the lies, Joe is just repeating them. We all know that without the voice in his ear and the crib notes Joe would just stand there mumbling until someone could come up and lead him away.

Anonymous said...

"I can't get over KF, that you put lying about have adulterous sex under oath and lying about the election being stolen are the same."

Maybe, it's the under oath part. Of course, you have no integrity, therefore you see no difference.

Anonymous said...

"neo-Nazis" this clown has lost the discussion. The first one to call the other a nazi is a loser. You may sit down.

Anonymous said...

Trump is an obvious unanimous selection on the 1st ballot hall of fame of liars. Even his most reality-challenged supporters can’t argue his great love for lies.

Kingfish said...

Oh really? Just perjury and sex? Let's refresh your memory.

The Lippo Group. Remember that scandal?
Chinese stole our nuclear secrets.
White House Travel Office? Framed the employees, indicted them to give contract to Bloodworths
Selling pardons. Marck Right anyone?
Selling the Lincoln Bedroom

and that's just for starters. Don't forget Whitewater. He wasn't indicted on that one but the Arkansas Governor did go to jail as did others. Hillary's cattle futures? Patently illegal. Juanita Broderick. Wiley. Do I need to keep going?

Anonymous said...

Time to watch 2000 Mules!

Anonymous said...

Y'all talk about "under oath" and "sworn" testimony like it means a damn thing.

Anonymous said...

It’s hard to classify Trump as a liar. He is so far removed from reality that I don’t think he has any notion of truth or fiction. Do crazy people tell lies or are they so delusional that their rants can’t be taken as a statement of fact? A reasonable person knows that every word out of his mouth should be judged as nothing more than the ramblings of a dumb lunatic.

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If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

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