Fox guest Mercedes Schlapp argued with a straight face that if PolitiFact wasn’t partisan, it would have found an equal number of “True” statements from Donald Trump as Hillary Clinton. “Objective” host Howard Kurtz didn’t point out that maybe Clinton is just more truthful.
The entire nine-minute discussion on MediaBuzz was geared to showcase Trump awesomeness and generally ignore how “straight-talker” Trump is such a liar that PolitiFact couldn’t single out just one for its 2015 Lie of the Year award.
Instead, Kurtz focused the discussion on how the media has underestimated Trump’s strength as a candidate. “Was this one of the worst media misjudgments ever?” Kurtz "asked."
As Schlapp and Daily Beast’s Michelle Cottle swooned over Trump’s media savvy and the media’s lack thereof, nobody mentioned Trump's bigotry, misogyny, ignorance about US nuclear capability, cozying up to a Russian dictator, his hatefulness toward a disabled reporter and, of course, nobody mentioned his utterly bogus and racist attempt – promoted by Fox – to cast doubt on President Obama’s citizenship. And, by the way, I’m still waiting for somebody to ask Birther Trump what happened to his big birther investigation in Hawaii he boasted about conducting.
Instead, supposedly independent reporter Cottle praised the “brilliant job” Trump has done “channeling” the “anger and fear” of Americans. Some would call Trump’s behavior demagoguery and hate mongering but nobody on this panel did.
Finally, at 8:29, Kurtz asked, “To what extent are media fact checkers?”
Still, nobody mentioned Trump’s latest “distinction.” But it was an opportunity for Schlapp to take a slap at PolitiFact. “In the case of Hillary Clinton, they gave her over 29 “True” comments,” Schlapp began. “How many did they give to Donald Trump, of “True” comments? Zero. So if they can’t find not one true comment that Donald Trump has made, I would call that biased.”
I think plenty of people would say that it’s proof of Trump’s dishonesty. But “fair and balanced” Kurtz didn’t. Still ignoring the Lie of the Year award, Kurtz highlighted Schlapp’s view, “So you think they are partisan,” he said.
“Absolutely,” Schlapp replied. “You’ve got to balance it out. Find the 29 statements on each side.”
In other words, to Schlapp, facts are not important. Lies are opinions that should be treated with equal weight. And supposedly objective arbiters Kurtz and Cottle didn’t utter a peep of objection.
Watch this reckless disregard for the truth above, from the December 27 MediaBuzz.
Crossposted at Newshounds.us