Editor For Major Newspaper Promises: We Won’t Call Out Trump Lies

Gerard Baker
Gerard Baker

The editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, Gerard Baker, has publicly promised that his newspaper will continue refusing to use the word “lie” when reporting on lies by Donald Trump.

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press on the first day of the new year, Baker was asked by host Chuck Todd if he would use the word “lie” to refer to Trump’s words and actions, the editor refused.

“I’d be careful about using the word, ‘lie.’ ‘Lie’ implies much more than just saying something that’s false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead,” he said.

Baker then pointed out Trump’s lie during the presidential campaign in which he said that he saw “thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey after the 9/11 attacks, and said even though the reporting showed that what Trump claimed was completely untrue he would not be comfortable describing it as a lie.

“I think if you start ascribing a moral intent, as it were, to someone by saying that they’ve lied, I think you run the risk that you look like you are, like you’re not being objective.”

For a major newspaper editor to decide that calling out a lie by the incoming president is out of bounds is a major victory for Trump. As he takes control of the levers of power of the presidency, he can feel secure in the fact that no matter what he says, no matter how absurd or out of touch with reality it is, the Wall Street Journal (which has the same owner as Fox News Channel, Rupert Murdoch) will not call what he says a “lie.”

In 2014 the Wall Street Journal ranked second for circulation among all national newspapers, with a total daily average circulation of 2.3 million, behind USA Today and ahead of the New York Times.

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Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Clinton T-Shirts
Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Clinton T-Shirts

  • rebeccagavin

    I think he’s got a point. Words have precise meanings. There is no place in straight reporting for ascribing motives or making judgements about statements or events – that is for editorial content. Reporting that information is inaccurate is appropriate, I don’t see where he declines to do that.

  • sumsanity

    Anybody who is selling “Don’t blame me I voted for Hillary” is a special kind of stupid. Oliver Willis is just another leftist sock puppet. Hey Oliver, tell the left hand in your sock puppet brain to use toilet paper because you are full of shit.
    I saw the Chuck Todd interview. His meaning was clear. What he meant was you can’t tell the intent of a persons statements. Was the person just misinformed or did they truly intend to defraud the listener? As a Hillary Clinton mouthpiece surely you can see the hypocrisy of your conclusion. You do recall how FBI Director Comey let her off the hook by saying he couldn’t prove the “intent” of her lies. But no I guess you wouldn’t. Selective memory is standard operating procedure for liars.
    His other guest, David Baquet of the NY Times believed its fine to call someone a liar, as long as it isn’t Barrack Obama, the 2013 Champion Liar of the Year.

  • Chrystal Myghty

    Mr. Baker is eithe a damned coward or he is a racist, fascist, democracy-hating oligarch. Which is it, Mr. Baker?

    • Rex Visigothis

      Wait a minute. You took note of the title of the paper,” Wall Street” being two of the three words? And you were still ostensibly entertaining an alternative to the fascist/oligarch explanation?

  • dbtheonly

    Oliver, the WSJ is owned by NewsCorp, the parent of Fox “News”. It, with the NY Post, is the print arm of that empire.

    You’re surprised?

    • Rex Visigothis

      Pretty funny–I just had a back and forth with a friend calling him out for sharing this post as follows:
      Chris you have been taken in (again)….The “Major Newspaper” at issue is the Wall Street Journal–are you saying that you rushed here all breathless with the news that the Wall Street fukin’ Journal does not intend to position itself athwart the Fascist Project. Well, color me outraged! (and slightly annoyed that I followed what is essentially, click bait) I am moved to ask, did you click before you shared?
      Like · Reply · 27 mins
      Chris Maukonen
      Chris Maukonen Yes. To my own timeline ? I share what ever I damn well please.
      Like · Reply · 5 mins
      Rex Visigothis
      Rex Visigothis point well taken…
      Like · Reply · 1 · 4 mins
      Rex Visigothis
      Rex Visigothis on the case in chief , I should go to Willis’ page and ask HIM why he is all brreathless blah blah blah

      So I came over here to do just that and here you already are

      • dbtheonly

        The WSJ used to be conservative, now, after the buyout, it’s just another part of the RWMO.

        • Rex Visigothis

          Say what you will about Rupert, he at least has the good sense to spend whatever (doubtless tiny) fraction if his fortune needed to acquire access to top shelf pussy which, let us be frank (and this certainly he shares with the short fingered vulgarian) he could not even hope to grab (see what I did there?) absent serious cash poultices covering his oozing and pustulant nature.

          • Zipper666

            Well after the mail order Deng played away with HIs Tonyness and got thrown out, the best he could managed is the spavined hulk of Mick Jagger’s reject, so certainly not “top shelf” unless you equate that with “blown most of the musicians in England and the US”

          • Rex Visigothis

            Oh, sir, I can’t make out from your avatar, but I surmise from your colloquy that you don’t look much like Rupert, who, let us be frank, is nobody’s idea of a walk in the park, if you catch my meaning.

            In that context, Jeri Hall ain’t chopped liver, and, I will go further, and say that even if you don’t look like a wrinkled prune with an asshole puckering where half the face should be when you hit 80, when you DO hit 80, you will fuck Jeri Hall with enthusiasm.

            Jus’ sayin’

          • Zipper666

            I’m only 7 years away from 80 so I take your point. But, seriously Ms Hall is severely handled goods. I’m sure she gives great head (every single morning to Mick according to legend) but she’s at an age where tall Texas blondes need to tone down the makeup and cleavage. Instead, no doubt at Rupe’s insistence she continues to parade the red carpet as a pale ghost of what was hot.
            Maybe they play nude charades?

          • Rex Visigothis

            My eyes, MY EYES! THE BURNING…..

  • sumsanity

    You Lamb Chops are pathetic. Nobody is as racist or bigoted as the righteously indignant left. They’ve got it ALL figured out. So much so that there is NO room for debate. THAT’S WHY YOU LOST SNOWFLAKES.
    As a former leftist liberal I know they were wrong. And before you default to the leftist lack of logic conclusion; “Then you must be a conservative.” It does not follow. It just means I’m objective and unbiased. I criticize bad policy no matter the source. You flakes should try it someday, if you ever acquire the courage.

    • ldpw

      Yep, I said it right the first time. You are an idiot.

      • dbtheonly

        I’m objective and unbiased. You clowns who don’t agree with me are racist, bigoted, lamb chop, SNOWFLAKES.

        I remember Jesus telling a story, something about motes in eyes.

        • John Carollo

          Wrong.

          • dbtheonly

            You show your blatant bias. You cowardly refuse to challenge your assumptions.

    • ldpw

      Yep, I said it right the first time. You are an idiot.

  • JanMutcher

    So then why didn’t Chuck Todd ask him how he planned on informing his readers when something Trump said is not true? Seems to me he could lose a lot of readers if he doesnt.

  • Pictorignotus

    Another fascist enabler.

  • trumpsuckers more worried about being sued by the orange child and ratings than truth…
    every news source is the same – hands out asking for money if we want to know what is going on – and then they spin it

    This Orange Turd is going to destroy the country but they have a nice off-shore account so they do not care

  • Veritaslaevo

    “We don’t know it’s a lie. Mr. Trump may have not completely meant to mislead.” LOL

    • dbtheonly

      Or he may not know the difference.

      • AlexisB

        Oh you can bet that trump knows exactly what he’s doing.

        • dbtheonly

          I think I’ll take the other side of that one. His “Administration” is looking decidedly second rate. And it hasn’t even started yet.

          So, define some terms and let’s settle on some specifics.

    • Michael McGinnis

      Psychopathic liars often believe what they say & narcissists can’t accept/recognize that they are wrong

    • Rex Visigothis

      if only…this speaks of a person capable of entertaining intention…I worry that he is just simply fuckin’ nuts, and that the puzzled query “who said that” when you quote him a position of less than twelve hours vintage isn’t a disingenuous tactic but a dementia symptom.

  • Jason Jehosephat

    Do other reputable media sources use the word “lie” to describe someone’s remarks? They’ll say that something is false, that it’s incorrect, that it’s misinformed, but I don’t think they use the word “lie”.

  • Lance Lyons

    I would like to know how he intends on delivering factual information to the American people or is just selling magazine subscriptions and collecting cash all that matters? What is he going to call a trump lie? A truth?

  • Wall Street Journal = Rupert Murdoch Propaganda mill

    Faux News = the only network that sued in court for their “right to lie and deliberately deceive” viewers during news broadcasts.

  • Skye Temple

    Best political dancing I’ve seen in a while…WSJ is just an extension of Fox fake news. It is not the conservative dignified outlet it once was…Murdoch has seen to that…just another biased rag.

  • Biologyteacher100

    The Wall Street Journal has no credibility. As a scientist, I understand that their coverage of climate science is staight out lies. Why should I trust them in economics or politics if they consistently mislead on science.?

  • Michael McGinnis

    If Trump isn’t a “liar” then nobody is. Might as well retire the word.

  • Veronica Moton

    Am I missing something here??? Journalist have called everyone since Nixons Administration a “lie”, and now Trump is exempt???? What’s really going on?? They need to do their JOB, we’re depending on it!!! #speakoutloudtalk

  • The cold wind of fascism is blowing, and the chill is already being felt in journalism.. you’ll be relegated to the dust bin of history soon enough, WSJ, if you just pander to the demagogue. Don’t let totalitarianism turn your paper into a rag.

  • Warren Lauzon

    One more reason to not subscribe and to use ad blockers on the WSJ site.

  • marecek21

    But you can call it an “untrue assertion”, or is that not “objective” either?

    “Remember, Jerry, it’s not a lie, if you believe it.”
    George Costanza, Seinfeld

  • Dan
  • bjm

    What next? My Furor.