The New York Times is keeping track . . . Yes, Trump has told almost six times as many “lies or falsehoods” in ten months as Obama in eight years.[i] That means Trump is on record to tell 960 lies over an eight-year period compared to Obama at 18. Thus, Trump is over 5,000 percent more dishonest than Obama. For reasons that will become apparent, I expect that to be an understatement.
The Washington Post has a far higher number of Trump lies during his first year in office coming in at 2,145. The reason for the inflated number being that the Washington Post aggregates falsehoods that are repeated, such as the following about stock market performance, repeated 95 times and counting:
“And had the other side gotten in, the market would have gone down 50 percent from where it was—50 percent from where it was. Remember that. It was stagnant, and it was going down.”[ii]
It is a bit unfair comparing one of the biggest shits that has ever walked on the planet to a Nobel Peace Prize winner, except that that little shit became president. But in order to be extremely fair, I will take the middle ground between the 2012 Der Spiegel, 2013 PolitiFact number and the 2017/2018 New York Times number. I will stick with the Der Spiegel number, even though we know that truthfulness has plummeted since the 2012–2015 period, as will become more evident as I pile on the data.
We have known for quite a long time that those people who rely exclusively on Fox News for political news are actually less informed than people who do not watch any news.[iii] I was able to prove this in Chapter 17 of Stupidparty Math v Myth and I then expanded on that premise in a subsequent blog.[iv] But now because of the explosive growth of lies, the growth of alt-right news, and the importance of vacuous clickbait news to drive the revenue streams on an ever more vast and diverse array of “news” sources—accompanied by proportionate reductions in the attention spans of the audience—we have perhaps gotten to the point where it’s possible that the more you listen to all the noise, the less informed you get.