Americans Agree That Trump Is a Liar. Do They Realize He Is Also a Sociopath?
President Donald Trump sits for a radio interview in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Photo: AP/Susan Walsh
Mainstream media have no problem calling out Trump’s falsehoods. But they need to do more.
Donald Trump has said so many despicable things over the past few decades, especially since he entered politics, that it is hard to choose his most contemptible remark. But two of Trump’s recent comments, one falsely criticizing President Obama for failing to console families of fallen soldiers, and the other, making an unwittingly callous call to the widow of a fallen American soldier in an effort to score political points, surely rank among his most appalling.
Trump’s remarks, and the resulting news media coverage, reveals as much about evolving journalistic norms as it does about the president’s mental health. Since Trump’s election, Americans have seen a dramatic shift in the way the news media cover a president. They have been more willing to call out his never-ending falsehoods. Rather than simply report what Trump says, or balance his comments with remarks from his critics, the media have increasingly questioned the veracity of president’s statements.
Facing criticism for his lack of a response to the deaths of four soldiers killed in combat in Niger in early October, a reporter asked Trump at a Monday press conference why he had not publicly spoken about the issue. Trump, a man who had used his privilege and family connections to avoid military service during Vietnam, responded that he had written the families personal letters and would call them at “some point,” even though it’s “a very difficult thing” to do.