The election this year was the most contentious the United States has witnessed in quite some time. Both sides lobbed pointed criticism and at times direct insults at each other incessantly while creating a large divide in the country. The behavior of the candidates began to spill out beyond the debate floors and town halls, soon media begin to take part in the fray. Journalists began questioning the motives of other news agencies and stories broke of media outlets printing falsehoods disguised as facts.
As the election has come and gone, it would have appeared the vitriol would begin to fade as well as a country began to reunite itself. But it appears the division continues to persist and may do so for some time to come.
Such is the case following a Meet The Press featuring the Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief, Gerard Baker, seemingly came to the defense of president-elect, Donald Trump. Baker cautioned against calling the president-elect a liar, as he reasoned a liar does so with intent to mislead whereas Donald Trump does so out of ignorance of the specific facts. Baker stated that a “‘lie’ implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead.”
Though his defense of the president-elect’s behavior did not bode over very well with seasoned journalist Dan Rather.
Rather took to social media to denounce the claim that Donald Trump is not guilty of lying simply because he lacks the intent to mislead people.
He called out Baker’s reworking of the truth by writing “A lie, is a lie, is a lie.”
The journalist went on to call for news agencies, reporters, and journalist to be more wary of the president-elect’s speeches and put forth the responsibility for all to fact check any statements he may make before printing them as facts.
Rather concluded with a request to the public to leverage their power in an attempt to maintain a level of honesty within the media.
As the days draw closer and closer to the shift in administrations, it will be interesting to note if and when the great division that has come about from the election can be bridged.