There is no telling what lies President Donald Trump will throw out there in the next 24 hours on the eve of this crucial midterm election.
The big one he is pushing is the imminent danger of a “caravan” of refugees heading toward the southern border of the United States. He claims it contains terrorists, gang members, drug dealers and murderers.
Veteran journalist and author Marvin Kalb, Toronto Star reporter Daniel Dale and I talked about the impact of such big political lies on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” with host Brian Stelter.
Kalb, a former network newsman and director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, knows something about presidents who lie. He was on President Richard Nixon’s infamous Enemies List. His current book is titled “Enemy of the People.”
He said several things that provided wise context to the dangerous moment in which we now live. But the one that struck me was his justification for the use of the word “lies” and the need for journalists to clearly call Trump out for telling them.
“At a certain point when the lies accumulate,” he said, “you realize that what you have worked very hard to do, namely get the story out to the American people, is simply misrepresented. And it’s wrong. And every now and then in the history of American journalism, journalists have to stand up.”
Dale, who is in the trenches every day trying to counter Trump’s lies, says he has never see anything like the level to which Trump has ratcheted up his lying on the eve of Tuesday’s vote.
“He has introduced a number of whoppers, complete fabrications that he had not been uttering before,” Dale said. “So, these are not simply the usual exaggerations about crowd sizes and so on. He’s making stuff up in the last couple of weeks in a way that I don’t think we’ve even seen from a serial liar, the president, before.”
I said I think the great danger is in us becoming exhausted in trying to deal with Trump’s blizzard of lies. If that he happens, he wins, and democracy loses.