Falsehoods or Lies? Twitter Debate Rages Over NYT’s Maggie Haberman Not Using ‘Lie’ to Call Out Trump
A Tweet from New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman on Saturday has sent social media into an uproar.
Trump told two demonstrable falsehoods this AM, one about his administration’s policy of separating undocumented immigrant kids inclu infants from their parents, which he tried to claim wasn’t his own policy. The other was falsely claiming his own aide didn’t give a bg briefing.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 26, 2018
Media Twitter absolutely erupted over Haberman’s post — with many critics blasting the Times reporter for using the term “demonstrable falsehoods” to call out President Donald Trump instead of “lies.” Reaction seems to be split down the middle — with many backing Haberman, and many others criticizing her. Here’s a sampling of the reaction:
Lie – not falsehood – https://t.co/NFrRbGj5Rk
— John Cusack (@johncusack) May 27, 2018
Keep beating up on the press when they screw up. The left should do it more not less. @maggieNYT is using a modern version of Bush’s argument that opposing him helps the terrorists. And it’s shameful.
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 27, 2018
This rationalization is really a stretch. If it’s a lie, it should be called a lie. https://t.co/XrF010T5fF
— Adam Jentleson (@AJentleson) May 27, 2018
Maggie Haberman as a child:
“Demonstrable falsehood, demonstrable falsehood, pants on combustable birchwood!”
— Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) May 27, 2018
*whispers* the real problem with maggie haberman is that she’s essentially been on the palace intrigue gossip beat this whole time without ever substantively challenging Trump’s agenda
— Natalie Shure (@nataliesurely) May 27, 2018
Lies. That’s what they are. Lies. He lies every single day. About everything. About important things. About trivial things. He lies about lying. Donald Trump is a pathological liar. https://t.co/xCbaXhPsQ8
— andy lassner (@andylassner) May 27, 2018
people on Twitter who make @maggieNYT the object of their frustrations over Trump: you are wrong.
Maggie’s an honest, diligent journalist doing valuable work every day. the things that make you mad have nothing to do with her.
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) May 27, 2018
I think some criticism on left of colleagues like @maggieNYT is rooted in the frustration of not having any actual power in Washington right now, and few concrete ways of stopping or opposing Trump.
— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) May 27, 2018
I’m someone who uses “lie” a lot for Trump claims. I also think Maggie’s points in this fight are indisputably true.
Two things are true at once: 1) Trump is a serial liar; 2) Reporters can’t call *all* his false claims lies; sometimes he’s confused or ignorant, not intentional. https://t.co/VuDiytJxks
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) May 27, 2018
With respect and appreciation for the passion on all sides – reporters don’t “send messages” – that’s not their job – they cover the story – Maggie + her colleagues are national treasures + often our best and only source of information about DT. Back off and enjoy the weekend. https://t.co/HK6wNuRqVw
— Nicolle Wallace (@NicolleDWallace) May 27, 2018
I actually agree with @maggieNYT here. It’s easier to prove that something is a “demonstrable falsehood” than a lie, and it’s also less accusatory & hysterical, which is better/sharper for reporting IMO. https://t.co/CQmHcwEKWx
— Rebecca Fishbein (@bfishbfish) May 27, 2018
— Steven Mazie (@stevenmazie) May 27, 2018
Haberman is standing behind her use of “demonstrable falsehoods” in the Saturday tweet:
I have written stories about his lies, falsehoods, whoppers, half-truths, salesman-like stretches. The reality is that what he does can be hard to label because, as anyone who has worked for him will tell you in candor, he often thinks whatever he says is what’s real. https://t.co/0gJbgzgbjK
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) May 27, 2018
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