Donald Trump and The Post-Truth Era

In Articles by mmckinley7 Comments

Amidst a Game-of-Thrones battle scene of reporters positioning to ask Donald Trump a question after the Miami Republican debate, I heard him tell a lie.

When asked about reports that his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski forcibly pulled Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields by the arm when she asked the GOP frontrunner a question, Trump said, “Nothing happened. This was, in my opinion, made up.”

This, according to an eyewitness account from Ben Terris of the Washington Post, is a lie.

“His campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, roughly grabbed the arm of a Breitbart reporter who tried to ask another question as the candidate made his exit,” Terris said.

Trump also said, “the Secret Service said they knew nothing about it.” That also defies logic since there is secret service swarming around Donald Trump at all times.

And The Daily Beast reported Lewandowski admitted to manhandling Fields to one of his BFFs from media ally—Breitbart News.

But, you know, this is the stuff of make believe, in Donald Trump’s post-truth America.

Like so many of Trump’s lies, and subsequent violent rhetoric and provocations, the churn-and-burn political news cycle will march on with his lies floating in the air, disappearing like pixie dust.

At best, journalists will tepidly challenge him before moving on to the next story, at worst—seemingly the new normal—not even bother.

It’s the post-factual America the bloated ego of a reality-TV-star-turned-autocratic-fire breather has created.

It makes sense to a certain degree. As BuzzFeed’s McKayCoppins told me in an interview last night, the cable news sites and digital networks can’t help themselves with going soft on the Donald. After all, he is showering them with a tsunami of soft dollar bills garnished by his ratings prowess.

So that’s why Donald Trump repeatedly lying about being against the Iraq War before it started was never really challenged by the media, or even other candidates, that to a lesser degree, lie a lot themselves.

That’s why when the smoking gun from 2002 showing Trump telling Howard Stern he’s for war with Iraq, it wasn’t banner breaking news and a disqualification akin to Romney 47% fame.

This is why Trump blatantly lying about seeing “thousands of thousands” of American Muslims cheering on a New Jersey rooftop on 9/11, the media goes into a short-term tizzy for a day or two, and after Donald doses them with some good ole fashioned Donald deflection and deceit, the cameras move on to the next outrageous verbal Trumpbomb he detonates.

And of course, this is why the man who burst onto the political scene by race baiting—and lying—about President Obama’s birthplace, is now able to run for president, simply saying, “I don’t like to talk about” that subject anymore.

When does telling lie after lie once again become more than a blip on the radar. When do cable news executives click out of their Scottrade accounts and realize giving a lying demagogue this platform is the antitheses to journalism and fact gathering.

Borrowing from Ted Cruz’s hysterical calls to take our country back…

When can we take our truth back?

Follow Jordan @JordanChariton; Watch him


  1. i keep wondering if there is some positive way to get the attention of the mainstream public that still depends on mainstream media for information…. and let them know in a soundbite that only 6 corporations that are ALL about profit own all their media, and “news” is now actually entertainment for ratings…. alongside a list of links for responsible online sites that put out actual journalism… literally INVITE peeps into different conversations that are factually based? Maybe a national billboard campaign or something…. any ideas out there? I’m 62… a lot of folks in every age group are still stuck in cable, and i think a lot of them just don’t realize they have incredible choices available to them, or unlike me, unwilling to spend the time looking and looking for themselves…?

  2. I halfway agree with kapar72. While I think this type of journalism is a far cry from the absolute debacle that is mainstream media outlets, this type of article could definitely be much better. And I don’t mean your writing, I mean the depth and scope of the topic in question, and whether you really go beyond the superficie and into the comparative and evaluative. I also know that this election cycle is keeping you very busy, so as always, take any criticism (from me at least), with due acknowledgement of your limitation of circumstance. Keep it up, strive for journalistic excellence, you are one of those we put our hope in a beacon for the next generation of TRUE journalists, press, and media professionals. Thank you.

    1. Great article, It IS a post truth era! The truth is, it is hard to figure out what is true. It takes an effort, and we are lazy. We could always make more effort and some of us make more efforts than others. That said, Trump has demonstrated how little we care about the truth. Not just the millions of his supporters, who are going with their gut and suspend their logic, but millions of fellow Republicans and media executives who are letting him off the hook. Of course Hillary lies, she is a politician. Like any successful politician, she says what it takes to get elected. That is the system we the people set up. Trump is going much further. He is clearly saying that only gut feelings matter, and the hell with facts. Dibarty.

  3. I agree with the points you make in your article Jordan but it is completely irresponsible journalism on your part to write an article on this topic and not also mention the multitude of lies that Hillary has been caught in. So how about if you start the revolution in honest reporting by giving us the whole story instead of just the half that runs down the republicans.

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