It’s part of the sport of electoral politics that we want our side to win, and thus we each and all will do whatever we can to ensure victory. More often than not, “doing whatever” means facts, evidence, and reality are all taking a back seat to encouraged fears and reinforced beliefs which too often bear—at best—tenuous connections to the real world.
As I write this draft several weeks before posting it here, The Huffington Post reported it had done the following after an Anderson Cooper-moderated town hall meeting with Donald Trump at the end of March:
… assigned five and a half reporters to look into a roughly 12,000-word transcript of Trump’s town hall event on CNN the night before. It took us hours, but in all, we found 71 separate instances in which Trump made a claim that was inaccurate, misleading or deeply questionable. That’s basically one falsehood every 169 words (counting the words uttered by moderator Anderson Cooper), or 1.16 falsehoods every minute (the town hall lasted an hour, including commercial breaks).