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‘I’d be Careful About Using the Word Lie’: WSJ Editor Uncomfortable Calling Falsehoods ‘Lies’

During an appearance on Meet the Press this morning, Wall Street Journal Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker expressed his discomfort with using the word “lie” in his paper’s coverage when dealing with false claims.

Speaking to host Chuck Todd, Baker was asked if he was willing to specifically call a falsehood a “lie,” which we’ve seen done by numerous media outlets in the aftermath of President-elect Donald Trump’s rise in national politics.

The WSJ editor made it known he wasn’t too keen on the idea.

“I’d be careful using the word ‘lie’,” Baker stated. “Lie implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead.”

He would then go on to describe one specific Trump falsehood from the campaign — the incoming POTUS’s claim that thousands of American Muslims were seen celebrating 9/11 on rooftops in New Jersey. Baker noted that it was his paper’s job to report on the claim, show that there was no evidence to back it up and then to let readers decide.

“I think if you start ascribing a moral intent, as it were, to someone by saying that they’ve lied,” Baker said. “I think you run the risk that you look like you are — like you’re not being objective.”

The editor also brought up Hillary Clinton, highlighting that she also had made some false claims during the campaign, and yet he explained that there could be those he state that there wasn’t as much of a concern for calling her out.

PolitiFact has found 69% of Trump’s public statements that they’ve researched to be at least Mostly False and only 4% to be True.

Watch the clip above, via NBC News.

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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