‘Language Matters’: NPR’s Folkenflik Address How Media Should Handle Trump When He Lies

imageedit_251_7119684983-650x455During a segment on “Here and Now” at WBUR, Boston’s NPR station, David Folkenflik was asked about how the media should proceed when President-elect Donald Trump says demonstrably false things.

He cautioned journalists against labeling Trump a “liar” and turning off a portion of his base because that will result in that portion of the base not being informed. He also shared that reporters have long shied away from classifying statements as lies at all, as it implies an intent on behalf of the speaker — or tweeter — that they couldn’t possibly know.

“Language matters,” he said, pointing out that the New York Times didn’t refer to waterboarding as “torture” for a long time. “In words that are names I think we have to be a little more sparing,” he went on.

He also mentioned that there is no harm in journalists engaging with Trump’s tweets if it will yield something “fruitful” and prove that they are willing to hold him accountable.

Listen above via NPR.

[image: screengrab]

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