Strait-laced legacy media companies, wedded to balance and objectivity, have never been good at calling a lie what it is. But now the New York Times is starting to point out lies in their news coverage of Donald Trump.
As Quartz flagged on Tuesday, at least five stories in the Grey Lady’s Sept. 17 edition, including its lead print story, contained the words “lie,” “false” and “untrue” in headlines, first paragraphs and top sections in stories about the GOP nominee.
The shift came as Trump at last put to rest the pet conspiracy theory that took his political aspirations mainstream, declaring that “Obama was born in the United States. Period” while fueling another myth: that Hillary Clinton and her 2008 campaign started the birther movement.
Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times, told the site the birther issue represents “outright lying. And he lied over a long period. It is a real word and we will use it when warranted.”
He also said the Times’ investigative work “has always been hard hitting,” citing a Sept. 17 story on Trump’s tax breaks, but said “we have decided to be more direct in calling things out when a candidate actually lies.”