October 5, 2022

"Calling presidents liars, even when they’re honest, is a great American tradition."

"Trump, the greatest liar in American political history, stands no chance of upending it."

That's the last paragraph of "Opinion Trump sued CNN for defamation. Here’s where his case falls apart" by Eric Wemple, in WaPo.

I can imagine Trump suing Wemple for calling him "the greatest liar in American political history." Lawsuits like that must fail in America, and Trump should be ashamed of himself for his impingement on freedom of speech. But of course he's the most shameless of all the ex-Presidents.

Fortunately, I'm too small to be harassed in court by Donald Trump or I would have restrained myself from making a fact-like statement about him that might not be precisely true. Maybe Bill Clinton is the most shameless of all the ex-Presidents. Should we have a court case on that topic?

66 comments:

rhhardin said...

It doesn't matter if it fails. Attention is drawn. The conclusion would be that the court declined to take that fact on.

gilbar said...

the greatest liar in American political history

isn't the WaPoo "the greatest liar in American political history"?

Lindsey said...

Discovery for this lawsuit will be fun.

rhhardin said...

What it's dancing round and the courts want to stay clear of is that news is not news but a fictional world that their viewers choose to live in as entertainment in their lives.

In fiction a fact is a narrative point not a correspondence. The claim of reality is what makes it fiction. It's the viewer choice.

narciso said...

How many times has cnn lied omitted or exaggerated how much time you got

Temujin said...

You can keep your doctor and your insurance.

It was the most secure election in history.

Jefferson's Revenge said...

I hope Trump wins, of course, but would much rather hear a plan from him on inflation, energy, Russia, crime, etc. You know, bullet points, a platform, policies to be implemented- stuff like that.

This is a different world than 2016 and requires more than just saying I will do what I did before. He never had to have an anti-inflationary policy, for example. What would economic policy look like under Trump? How does he handle Europe and Russia now?

I know he is not yet a candidate but he is sucking all of the air out of the room with his revenge porn. I would rather see his energy spent attacking D policies and, if he is not ready for his own details, just keep attacking D policies. Lord knows there are enough D failures to talk about. It's an unlimited supply.

rhhardin said...

Bringing to light that you're choosing fiction is worthwhile. Fine, but that's what it is.

Duke Dan said...

But at the moment aren’t they calling a private citizen a liar?

Ann Althouse said...

Some of you would like to rely on government to protect you from the real world. Your idea that courts could force the press to unslant itself is more delusional than the belief that the police could make it unnecessary for us to defend ourselves.

Lurker21 said...

Trump is not going to win his case, but does the media's relative immunity from libel suits make us a better country?

And isn't calling newspapers liars, especially when they are, another great American tradition?

Enigma said...

Althouse wrote: " Maybe Bill Clinton is most shameless of all the ex-Presidents. Should we have a court case on that topic?"


The people Jeffrey Epstein's black book have yet to be addressed. Clinton and Prince Andrew and Bill Gates may yet face...a slap on the wrist...a public flogging...a tar and feathering...a dunking chair...an iron maiden...or the rack?

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

In the current fact-free stream of unconsciousness emanating from Biden and his spokeskank it is increasingly difficult to compare their veracity to Trump. Trump is unique but his penchant for Barnum-like exaggeration is nothing like the intentional gaslighting of the Let’s Go Brandon administration. Keep talking about presidential shortcomings, DNC-Media, because it serves to keep your figurehead’s deficiencies “top of mind” as the curly locks liar at the lectern said.

Maynard said...

Someone should write a column demonstrating Trump's "lies" and comparing them to outrageous lies by Obama, both Clintons and Biden.

Kate said...

I'm w Jefferson's Revenge. The circus is very boring and counterproductive. The Dems have given Trump a smorgasbord to riff about, something he used to do magnificently. Move on, man.

Sally327 said...

"Shameless" is a Garth Brooks song. And a TV series on Showtime starring William H. Macy (who, along with his wife, was shameless in pursuing unconventional college admission opportunities for their daughter).

Shameless is like the word decency, as in "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

These are quaint concepts, shame and decency, I think. Only powerless, unimportant people can be shamed into acknowledging their own indecency.

I wonder what there is about Donald Trump's case that would make it so different from the case Sarah Palin filed and lost. Trump and Palin, now there's a ticket for 2024!

Mike Sylwester said...

Democracy Dies in Darkness!

Kevin said...

Some of you would like to rely on government to protect you from the real world.

And those people are called Democrats.

Gusty Winds (Elon Musk Fanboy) said...

Blogger Ann Althouse said...
Some of you would like to rely on government to protect you from the real world. Your idea that courts could force the press to unslant itself is more delusional than the belief that the police could make it unnecessary for us to defend ourselves.

You're absolutely right. It is delusional to think that the media will ever unslant itself. It's like wishing the FBI and DOJ could be uncorrupted, or that our courts and judges could operate unbiased. These are realities of what America has become.

These Democrat/Liberal entities count on the courts and "lawfare" to prosecute and jail their political opponents. Fuck the courts. They're corrupt too. They don't even protect people from violent criminals anymore.

Trump is just fighting fire with fire. All he's doing is showing his supporters he's willing to fight these assholes. Good enough... Better than a coward like Mike Pence or pussy hatted milquetoast Mitt Romney.

Kevin said...

Trump will only be the biggest liar in political history until the next Republican nominee comes into focus.

PT Barnum knew the game.

Howard said...

It's a fundraising plot, like everything thing else Donald does.

But He loves you. He loves you, and He needs money! He always needs money! He's all-powerful, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, somehow just can't handle money!

Marcus Bressler said...

Some pundits have written that the lawsuit is being filed simply for publicity and fundraising. Even if it has zero chances of going forward, we do like DJT calling out CNN and their ilk. It's his money.

MarcusB THEOLDMAN

Mike Sylwester said...

It's obvious to me that Trump sincerely believes the 2020 election was stolen from him.

The journalists who keep saying that he is "lying" about that should be challenged to prove in court that Trump, in fact, does not believe so.

Static Ping said...

I am certain Trump thinks he is in a no-lose situation here. And to be fair, CNN has lied about him repeatedly. Not that this is particularly unusual, as CNN's relationship with the truth in recent years is dubious at best. They lie about Democrats, too, but to their benefit. It is a surprisingly low truth organization given they are supposed to be in the news business.

From a technical perspective, "the greatest liar in American political history" is one of those statements that could be analyzed to exhaustion. If a person lies a lot but none of the lies are particularly important, does that make the person a bigger liar than someone who only has one lie but the lie is hugely important? Would two distinct lies be higher rated than one lie that is repeated every day over and over again? How do proxies figure into all of this? What if the person's party is based entirely on a lie but they think it the truth? Is hyperbole a lie? If the person says something that is not true, but no one reasonable could interpret it as being a lie, does it count? This could be debated endlessly.

Not that I expect that sort of debate at CNN. To add my own bomb throwing to the mix, I've seen dogs humping inanimate objects put more thought into their actions than anything broadcast on CNN during the Trump administration.

Hunter Biden's tax payer funded Hooker said...

Trump won until the left shut down the vote counting... and we had to wait for Biden's totals to mount.

wendybar said...

Kevin said...
Some of you would like to rely on government to protect you from the real world.

And those people are called Democrats.

10/5/22, 9:06 AM


DING, DING, DING...WE HAVE A WINNER!!!!

wendybar said...

Some of us would like a media and a justice system that was fair to both sides, that isn't used to intimidate one side when the other side is corrupt.

Big Mike said...

FWIW I’m with Kate and Jefferson’s Revenge. Except that Donald Trump isn’t merely “sucking all of the air out of the room with his revenge porn.” If my Inbox is any indication he’s trying to suck up campaign donations that are needed by Republican candidates for the House and Senate and state races.

Joe Smith said...

Speaking of Bill Clinton, how is that skeletal sexual harasser still worshipped by the democrat party and the world-wide 'elite'?

He totally skated on the whole 'me too' thing.

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...
Some of you would like to rely on government to protect you from the real world. Your idea that courts could force the press to unslant itself is more delusional than the belief that the police could make it unnecessary for us to defend ourselves."

I agree. The courts aren't going to protect us from the real world. However besides having fun ( albeit expensive fun)he if is successful in not getting this case dismissed he will benefit from the discovery and will no doubt leak it. A very, very long shot is that he might get the Supreme Court to trim the Sullivan ruling. But that is more like fantasy football than anything else.

Vance said...

Shall we compare with the endorsed Democrat candidate for Senate in the state of Utah, Evan McMullin?

The Club for Growth ran an ad attacking McMullin (who is a NeverTrumper claiming to be conservative, but his only conservative position seems to be he needs money). In the ad, they show McMullin calling Republicans racist and bigots in an appearance on CNN several years ago. McMullin claims this is misleading, saying he only called a "segment of the base" racist and bigots.

And now he's suing the Club for Growth... and also all the local media stations, to get them to stop running the ad.

CNN is leaping to McMullin's defense here. Which would seem to be a problem for their defense against Trump. Notably, almost all of the leftists trying to say Trump is wrong are cheering McMullin on in a blatant attempt to censor the news stations for daring to run an attack ad against him.

It's one thing to sue for defamation. It's quite another to ask the Courts to censor political ads to protect a leftist candidate.

Christopher B said...

Lawfare has traditionally been eschewed by conservatives. Not any more.

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

A lie is in the ear of the listener, as opposed to the eye of the beholder, since we don't listen with our eyes, at least not yet.

What sounds like an irrefutable truth to one listener, can and most of the time does sound like a lie to another listener.

In this case, having "your truth" is a true statement.

gahrie said...

Your idea that courts could force the press to unslant itself is more delusional

Actually, most of us want the slanted sources to simply go out of business, which is why we object to you supporting them so much.

rcocean said...

Some sort of action should be taken. Trump isn't POTUS anymore. He's a private citizen. And calling him "The greatest liar of all time" or whatever, is slander (or is it libel?)

Is there any point, in saying that Trump was one of our most honest Presidents. More than any other POTUS since Reagan, Trump said what he meant and meant what he said. He didn't lie about the Iraq war (like Bush), he didn't lie about raising taxes (like Bush 41), he didn't lie about having sex in the white house or 100 other things that Clinton lied about. He didn't lie about Opposing Gay marriage like Obama. And endlessly slander half of America like Biden.

People keep forgetting, because they want to forget, that Trump tried to work with the D's when he was first elected. Poor naive Trump. They decided to slander, attack, and insult him 24/7/365 for over 6 years now. And whats sad is you still have "moderates" who blame trump for it. If only he'd respond to slander with a smile on his face, and cheery good humor, then the Democrats would stop. Except they wouldn't. Ever.

Lem Former Twitter Aficionado said...

unslant a coelacanth

Big Mike said...

Fortunately, I'm too small to be harassed in court by Donald Trump

Or so we all hope, Professor.

rcocean said...

I'm always astounded how republicans just don't care about their candidates lying. McCain could pose as Opposing Amnesty in 2008, and talk about "Just build the dang fence" in 2010 and they didn't seem to care.

Romney could pose as "severely conservative" and against Amnesty, and then drop the mask after he lost, and no one cares. Some people were upset at Bush's "No new taxes lie" but just as many defended him. Same with Bush 43, no blowback from R's after all his lies.

If you reward liars, you get more liars.

wildswan said...

It's the Cretan liar case. CNN could say "The Untrusted Name in News" and then say what it liked but it can't say it is trustworthy and then provably only present half the story. Or can it?
It is the claim by biased media to be unbiased, e.g., CNN's various slogans such as: “The Most Trusted Name in News” "Facts first", "The worldwide leader in news" allied with deliberately presenting only one side's fact-set, only Dem talk, that makes this case possible.
If CNN wants to say "we're all in for the Dems and everyone knows it", well, OK. "The Most Trusted Name on the Dem Side of the Info Wars" followed by "Trump is a liar" or "How Can We Spin this for The Dems" followed by "Walls Close in on Trump." OK. If CNN openly said - "we present the Dem side of the political argument, that and only that", then their various statements such as "Trump is a liar" would just be healthy political bashing as it existed in the past. "Facts First" followed by "Trump is a liar" without presenting Trump's side - well, I wonder. I'm not sure that this is the same situation as existed in the past when openly partisan media presented their partisan case.

It matters because war and politics are well understood to have an information or, perhaps, a propaganda angle. The right at present is at a disadvantage in info struggles because it has been excluded from newsrooms while at the same time those newsrooms claim to be factual and unbiased. One reason Trump has supporters is that here as elsewhere he exposed an existing piece of hypocrisy which is of national concern. Half the country has no voice for its concerns in the "unbiased media." Is this protected by the First Amendment?
Moreover mistaken policies promoted by Dems are not exposed by the media and corrected but rather covered up. For example, as a result of police "reform" by the Dem leadership in Milwaukee the murder rate increased and increased solely in the black community (not covered by the Journal Sentinel) and the Black Caucus in Wisconsin supports the "reform." (covered by the Journal Sentinel). Is that kind of reporting protected by the First Amendment? Is it good for our community?

Mike said...

The cheating husbands of America--every time they get a Lewinsky--offer thanks to Bill Clinton. Honey, I did not have sex with that woman.

Humperdink said...

Did anyone else notice that in the last few months CNN is disposing of their evening "anchors" one at a time. Gee, why would that be?

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...

Some of you would like to rely on government to protect you from the real world. Your idea that courts could force the press to unslant itself is more delusional than the belief that the police could make it unnecessary for us to defend ourselves.


The problem there is you think the courts are unslanted and that the system is unslanted.

The problem is that you think democrats/GOPe regime toadies are something they are not. They are not reasonable decent people.

They are totalitarian shitheads who participate in insect politics.

Trump is fighting back in his way. You all better hope he wins and the media/progressive shitheads back off.

The only way to deal with a dangerous insect is to crush it.

iowan2 said...

Biden wins the 'most lies by a President. Half a dozen lies every ten minutes of his speeches. We learned Monday he was raised Porto Rican. that was just one of his whoppers.

Lurker21 said...

Washington DC, very much including the media, is used to political lies, and accepts them as the truth. It's the exaggerations of salesmen and show business that bother the capital city. It's curious, though: Biden's "identifictions" aren't so very different from Trump's, but they escape the Post's notice.

cubanbob said...

Not that they will but if the Republicans were to win the trifecta in 2024 they should start by unbundling cable. Pick and choose what you want even if it is only internet service. No networks stations if that is what the subscriber wants. No Fox, CNN, MSNBC etc if that is what the subscriber wants. Just chose the channels you want to pay for. I never watch network news unless it's for a weather event and for that I can buy a small TV with an antenna.

Also as noted above thread, Republicans can stop lying to their voters by campaigning on one thing and voting for the opposite when in office. That is if they really want to be in control of the government. I know the Democrats do,they almost always vote on how they campaign. It's the one form of honesty the Democrats demonstrate. I have to give them that.

Dave Begley said...

This lawsuit is another reason why I don't want Trump to run. Too much drama. Too much bad judgment by him. Give me Ron.

Rollo said...

Bush 43 and Cheney are largely despised by the GOP base now, though they weren't 20 years ago.

With Bush 41 it was different. Which was more hypocritical, defending him for "lying" about raising taxes or attacking him for doing something Reagan wouldn't have done when Reagan would have done it and gotten away with it? Bush richly deserved criticism for not controlling spending and for making (and calling special attention to) promises he couldn't keep. Another politician, though, would have gotten away with raising taxes after saying he wouldn't.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Carter is the most shameless - his support of dictatorial elections in other nations, while being critical of US elections when Democrats don't win, wins him that prize.

JaimeRoberto said...

I don't see how Trump wins this lawsuit, but I'm curious how one would quantify who is the biggest liar. WaPo had their database, but when I looked into it the data was mostly BS. Many "lies" were differences in opinion. Many other "lies" were double, triple or even septuple counted if Trump made the same statement in different settings. If I recall correctly, Trump's assertion that vaccines would be ready by the end of 2020 was called a lie, even though it turned out to be true. And of course there is no corresponding database for Biden to which we can compare.

This of course doesn't mean that Trump is completely honest. He's a BSer. But I don't think he's more of a BSer than your average politician.

Earnest Prole said...

Trump would never lie but if he did it’s awesome but shame on you for pointing it out.

Robert Cook said...

"Some sort of action should be taken. Trump isn't POTUS anymore. He's a private citizen. And calling him "The greatest liar of all time" or whatever, is slander (or is it libel?)"

Is he, really? He continues to make public appearances, drawing crowds, and asking for contributions for his SAVE AMERICA PAC. He may not any longer be the president, but he is still a public person who is soliciting the public for money. This makes scrutiny and criticism of his current life's activities and public statements fair game. (Also, are those calling him "the greatest liar of all time" referring to his statements while president or statements made about his presidency, or about his current "non-public" post-president life?)

Rabel said...

"Trump filed suit against CNN on Monday, alleging that it has strived 'to defame [Trump] in the minds of its viewers and readers for the purpose of defeating him politically.'”

That quote from the lawsuit is absolute truth and what CNN did is miles away from "making a fact-like statement about him that might not be precisely true."

JK Brown said...

They use lawfare against him. No reason Trump shouldn't use lawfare against CNN or such. It would be different if he went after individuals or small bloggers. But CNN sought to profit from knowing lies and should have to defend themselves in a public forum. Sure the case likely will fail, but as Democrats and bureaucrats have taught us, having a case based on good legal principles is not a requirement to use the process against individuals.

Schools, universities, media, prosecutors go after people all the time for things protected by free speech and few say boo except that maybe it will be thrown out after generating legal fees for the accused. Why protect the institutions who do this to individuals. They have lawyers on staff, let them earn those fees.

hombre said...

Democrats commitment to psychological projection, among other things, prevents them from acknowledging the difference between a bullshitter and a liar. Is the "big lie" that the 2020 election was rigged any greater than the lie that 2020 was the "cleanest" or "fairest" election ever? The evidence favors Trump. The latter claims are based on wishful thinking.

How about Hillary claiming 2016 was "stolen?" How about the Russia collusion hoax? How about, "If you like your doctor (health plan) you can keep ...." How about the Jan. 6th "armed insurrection" lie, or the Bhengazi lies. Or the greatest whopper, "The border is secure." Or, "I didn't have sexual relations with that woman."

What lie has Trump the bullshitter told to match these lies from Dem politicians? Nevertheless, I think his lawsuit is a loser.

veni vidi vici said...

In the real world outside of a courtroom though, Trump would beat Wemple's ass in that suit merely by pointing to Joe Biden's public statements since being inaugurated.

Michael K said...

Blogger Howard said...

It's a fundraising plot, like everything thing else Donald does.


Easy to tell Howard is a Democrat. It's what they do and they assume everyone else does it.

Leland said...

force the press to unslant itself

I think the desire is to force the press into bankruptcy. The desire is a bit of tit for tat.

GRW3 said...

I would assume his lawyers will be going after CNN's continued promoting of "facts" about DJT that have been proven to be false. That would establish malice.

Brian said...

Trump wins by losing. The quicker the loss in the courts, the more he wins.

Readering said...

Florida law required Trump to lay out his accusations in July. So CNN has had lots of time to tee up its response. But probably what happens is the case is sent to NY.

Dave Begley said...

The biggest liar? Biden. He claimed to not be involved and know nothing about Hunter's business. He got paid by Hunter.

Biden is our most corrupt and dishonest President. Nixon is not even close.

M said...

Bill Clinton is a violent rapists. He is definitely the most shameless president of my lifetime.

boatbuilder said...

Trump is probably going to ultimately "lose" the lawsuit. I'm pretty sure he knows that.

The process is the punishment. He's publicizing CNN's bias (although you'd have to be deaf, dumb and blind not to know about it; apparently there are a huge number of deaf, dumb and blind people out there).

And maybe with the suit pending, they have to "keep it honest." I.E., back it off and try to limit the more outrageous lies and slander. Maybe. Maybe it will backfire and they will just ramp it up.

The thing about Trump is that he puts it out there. Those libs in the next thread will need more medication.

Fustigator said...

sometimes you just need to punch people in the fucking face...repeatedly to get them to stop doing what they are doing.

I would elect Trump again just to watch him punch democrats and liberals in the fucking face over and over again.

Bring on the civil war.

Robert Cook said...

"sometimes you just need to punch people in the fucking face...repeatedly to get them to stop doing what they are doing.

"I would elect Trump again just to watch him punch democrats and liberals in the fucking face over and over again.

"Bring on the civil war."


Hey! I was informed by the seething commentariat here that all the violence comes from the left!

wildswan said...

Is CNN is greatest liar of all time? Do we mean the size of lie or quantity of lies? By quantity, do we mean number of lies or repetition of the same lie or world-wide dissemination of lies?
1. Saying CNN is the most trusted name in news - Could be Biggest Lie.
2. Largest Quantity of Lies In All Senses. CNN could be the winner here due to CNN's uncritical acceptance of rumors and FBI briefing about Trump followed by mind-numbing repetitions and
3. CNN "news" i.e., unchecked rumors, was spread the farthest due to its airport presence.