Early in his speech last night, Donald Trump challenged the fact checkers:
I will present the facts plainly and honestly.
We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.
So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully crafted lies, and the media myths — the Democrats are holding their convention next week.
But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else.
You all knew that this was a lie before the words had even finished crossing his lips. It was followed by numerous more lies, distortions, manipulations of data and cherry-picking of data that the fact checkers have been having a field day with today. There are far too many to reproduce here, so I am providing links below.
Here’s the thing: this speech was seen on television, and few, if any of the television networks fact check what was said immediately after what was just aired, and never in the depth that the print media does. (Instead, they will take a snap poll to gauge viewers’ emotional response to the speech, totally meaningless information, because polls allow them to talk about something other than fact checking). Most Americans get their news from television and few bother to read newspapers, even fewer read magazines.
This is why politicians like Trump can get away with lying. Television does a horrible job of informing its viewers. You have to take the initiative to educate yourself to become an informed citizen. Most Americans will not.
Politifact.com: Fact-checking Donald Trump’s RNC speech.
FactCheck.org: FactChecking Trump’s Big Speech: In accepting his party’s nomination for president, Donald Trump said “here, at our convention, there will be no lies.” But we found plenty of instances where Trump twisted facts or made false claims.
New York Times: Fact-Checking the Truth That Donald Trump Promised: Many facts in Mr. Trump’s acceptance speech appear to be true, though he sometimes failed to offer the entire story or provide all of the context.
Washington Post: Fact-checking Donald Trump’s acceptance speech at the 2016 RNC: The dark portrait of America that Donald J. Trump sketched in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong.
USA Today: Fact check: Trump’s big acceptance speech: In accepting his party’s nomination for president, Donald Trump said “here, at our convention, there will be no lies.” But we found plenty of instances where Trump twisted facts or made false claims.
Time: Fact-Checking Donald Trump’s Acceptance Speech: Trump did a careful job of making sure the facts in his speech were cited to published sources, and the campaign published an annotated draft. But many of the facts, taken alone, failed to fully describe the nation’s condition.
POLITICO: Trump’s RNC address: Fact or fiction? The GOP nominee rolled out a series of frightening statistics about the state of the nation. They ranged from accurate to incomplete to outright false.
Bloomberg News: Trump Cherry-Picks Data, Stretches Truth in Speech: Fact Check.
UPDATE: Stephen Colbert of The Late Show on The Word: Trumpiness. Basically, the definition of Trumpiness is: “If he doesn’t ever have to mean what he says, that means he can say anything.”