Are Trump’s Lies Getting a Pass?

Donald Trump has a very controversial presence on social media

Anna Finley

Donald Trump has a very controversial presence on social media

Jessica Moyer, Sentry Staff Reporter

The insanity that is Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has more critics than one can count. His offensive and unprofessional comments are routine and his overused catch phrases are mocked daily. It would seem that his vulgar campaign would be scoffed at and his candidacy disregarded, so why is the presumptive nominee the front runner in many polls against Hillary Clinton? The answer is simple. People like the way the media often portrays Trump as someone who is not politically correct and says what he honestly thinks. The problem is, “saying what you really feel” is associated with telling the truth, something Trump rarely does. The media needs to bring more light to this issue, as it is the basis of their job.

The media is usually the first to call out liars, but Trump is rarely called out – not for the lies he tells, nor for the inconsistencies in his policies. When David Duke, former Ku Klux Klan leader, told listeners of his radio show to “get active” for Trump’s campaign, Trump refused to disavow him because he “didn’t know anything about him.” This is, in fact, untrue. Trump has actually mentioned David Duke in the past, specifically in a Bloomberg interview in August, 2015. Trump has not only said false things during his campaign, but he has also flip flopped on crucial policies, something that does not exactly spell a trustworthy candidate. In December, 2015, Trump called for a ban of all Muslims entering the US, but recently said that this statement was “just a suggestion.” It would seem an inconsistency this serious would be pounced on by the media, but it was not. These reporting tactics are concerning, especially when compared with the different tactics used when covering Trump’s most likely opponent in the general election.

Hillary Clinton, is routinely, if not daily, called out by the media for lying and for inconsistencies. According to a Washington Post-ABC News national poll, a whopping 57% of people believe Clinton is “dishonest and untrustworthy” even though studies show that what she says is usually a lot more truthful than what Trump says. Politifact, a website that rates the accuracy of claims by elected officials, did a “truth-o-meter” on the presidential candidates. It found that 42% of the 117 statements that Trump has made are false, while only 13% of the 174 statements Clinton has made are false. The question becomes why do people regard Clinton as dishonest, when it is clear Trump is in fact the bigger liar? This is because whether people like to admit it or not, the media plays a big role in people’s decision making. They are obviously not doing their job in portraying the candidates correctly.

Trump is seen by many as a guy who says what’s on his mind even if it is far-fetched, while Clinton is seen as a puppet of the democratic party who lies left and right. A video of Clinton changing her stance on many issues throughout the years has gone viral, but where is the video of Trump flip-flopping on his? The truth is, even though the media mentions Trump’s crazy personality and profane comments, voters are not dissuaded. Unfortunately, people like a politician who’s not so careful and diplomatic in the statements he makes, even if what he’s are saying may not sit right with them. Trump’s persona of getting to the point and not having a filter makes him seem trustworthy because it does not seem like any one is making him say those things, while it seems like Hillary’s filter is really her being controlled by big government and corporations.

Trump’s popularity can not only be traced back to the media’s coverage of him, but also to the values that America has. The negative attention Trump has received concerning his outrageous claims and unorthodox behavior is still attention. It has also catapulted his campaign. For most, a person who is confident and adamant about their opinions is (sadly) a more important attribute than having concrete ideas. If the media were to make clear that many of his claims are false, people might realize that radical ideas may seem good, but they are only possible when true facts back them up. Then, maybe, this election would look different.