strategic-culture | Even amidst a cacophony of nearly nonstop media fusillades against President Trump, the New York Times’ charge has stood out. After months of stories presenting Donald Trump as a sexual predator, business fraudster, puppet of Vladimir Putin, tax dodger, walking emolument disaster and whatever else it can dream up, the New York Times called Trump a liar in a prominent headline—proclaiming “Meeting with Top Lawmakers, Trump Repeats an Election Lie.”
Speaking in a closed door meeting with congressional leaders, Trump had apparently claimed that he would have won the popular vote were it not for the votes of millions of noncitizens. After escalating this bit of semi-private braggadocio into “a lie,” the Times justified itself three days later, explaining somberly that it had not made the charge lightly, but that it “ultimately chose more muscular terminology” instead of terms as “baseless” or “bogus” because, as editor Dean Baquet stated, Trump had made a similar assertion months ago in a tweet. “We should be letting people know in no uncertain terms that it’s untrue.” Times opinion columnists, who—with the notable exception of Ross Douthat—have for a year seemed to write about little else than how despicable Trump is, followed up, rolling around passionately with the L word. “Our president is a pathological liar. Say it. Write it. Never become inured to it,” wrote Charles Blow, in one instance among many.