Thursday, September 22, 2016

So he can lie with impunity?

For next week's Presidential debate, the Clinton campaign has suggested that the assembled media and the moderator (Lester Holt) do something unusual -- check to see if the candidates, notably the Republican candidate, are telling the truth.  And if they aren't telling the truth, tell them that they aren't telling the truth.

Clinton campaign prods media to hold Trump accountable for his debate lies

One of the campaigns is asking the media in unusually pointed terms to hold the opposition accountable against a simple, minimal baseline standard: the truth.

This turn of events both embodies and reflects one of the things that makes this election so unique: Donald Trump has conquered exciting and truly unprecedented new frontiers when it comes to the frequency, effortlessness, audacity, and recidivism of his lying.
Not surprisingly, the Republican candidate doesn't think this is a good idea.

'We don't want another Candy Crowley': Trump says Lester Holt should not be a debate 'fact-checker' – and accuses Hillary of putting 'Bobby Knight-type' pressure on the refs

(Regarding that latter part:  most of us do want the refs to call the fouls when they see em, don't we?)

"'I really don't think you want that,' Trump said of a more active moderator. 'That was a very pivotal moment in that debate. And it really threw the debate off and it was unfair. So I don't think you want that. No, I think you have to have somebody that's just — let them argue it out.' "
But here's the problem with THAT -- if it just turns into an argument, then there's little way for the watching public to really know who;s correct and who isn't -- and bluster can get past a lot of lies and inaccuracies.  We know that's the Donald's modus operandi -- and if Hillary tries to argue with him on a factual basis and the fact are on her side, Donald is likely to a) accuse her of being unfair, b) try to change the subject, c) attack her personally, and d) keep claiming he's right.  Rather than his supporters (and more importantly, the small number of voters who for some reason haven't made up their minds yet) being shown he's an empty gasbag when it comes to facts and rationality, they'll eat this up like chocolate ice cream.

What I really wish is that there was a fact-checking scorecard shown like the scores of a sporting event on TV.   Let Lester Holt moderate - but show the folks at home how many Pinocchios each candidate has generated in the course of the debate, as it's happening.  While Hillary might get a few -- it's hard to be 100% correct -- I think Donald could easily go for a century, i.e., at least one hundred Pinocchios.  Maybe that would have an impact.

For example, this might be The Donald's "score" after the first three questions:

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