Tell Me True

I have written in previous posts about how very difficult it is to get accurate and believable information.  Depending on the writer’s point of view, news accounts of the very same event can be 180 degrees apart.  This is especially true of reporting on the hot button issues of the day.

A man for whom I have great respect recently wrote that “according to the Washington Post, as of 9 October, his 993rd day in office, President Trump has made 13,435 false or misleading claims. That’s an average of almost 22 claims a day since the Post last updated its records 65 days before that report.” 

He further opined “And Trump coaxed a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 election. He proposed to profit himself (later withdrew the proposal as a result of protests) by using his estate in Florida as the next G-7 meeting location. He pulled U.S. troops out of Syria to allow Turkey to invade and attack our allies, the Kurds. He refuses to release his tax returns for public review. He continues to profit from foreigners seeking to gain his support by staying in his hotels around the world. What a disgusting record!  When will we say his sins are enough? The impeachment effort is moving through the House. In my view, it can’t achieve results fast enough.”

The person who wrote this is a good, intelligent, compassionate man. If all he wrote is really true the President is a truly despicable man and a terrible President.  But is it true?  Some of accusations against him are certainly true, but the accuracy of other allegations is debatable.

What are the sources?  The Washington Post is virulent in its dislike and distrust of President Trump.  This attitude is reflected in its opinion pieces and even infects supposedly straight news articles.  I have seen examples of this skewed reporting in that newspaper on many occasions.  The Post writes that Trump averages false or misleading claims 22 times per day.  I wager that  Post editors and reporters exceed that number on a regular basis..  

The New York Times and other liberal-leaning news organizations are even more opposed to President Trump than the Post, and the objectivity and accuracy of their reporting is highly questionable.

Then you have your Trump supporters.  Fox News anchors attempt to be objective, but commentators like Carlson, Hannity, and Ingraham are all-out in backing the President and attacking the Democratic opposition.  As with the liberal opposition, their factual claims may be challenged.

There are other sources of news:  public radio stations, private radio commentators, political opinion blogs, etc.

Out of all of this cacophony of news and opinion, it’s up to the poor observer or listener to discern the truth.  May the Good Lord help him!

I know many excellent men and women like my respected friend, good citizens all, who dislike the President intensely and are anxious to see him out of office. Their opinion is based on Trump’s obvious character defects as well as the constant stream of negative reporting from the mainstream press.   

As for me, my own opinion has remained consistent throughout this recent furor over impeachment. Trump is an absolute rascal, but I have seen no evidence that he is guilty of treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.  Failing that, he should not be impeached.

A petty and unpleasant President is not necessarily a bad President, nor is a good and decent man always a good President. 

Trump’s greatest strength is his opposition.

Let the people make their choice in 2020.  



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