There once was a time when Donald J. Trump would spout an untruth that the media would virtually ignore it.
I cannot remember the precise reason why the newly minted presidential candidate was getting a pass from the media. I just recall that the media didn’t hang the “lie” word on his prevarications.
Maybe it had something to do with the media refusing to take his candidacy as seriously as they should have in those early days. The media viewed Trump’s candidacy as a sideshow, a joke, a publicity stunt.
Then as the one-time reality TV celebrity began winning primaries and knocking off the 16 other Republican Party primary opponents — all of whom were more qualified than Trump — the media began taking notice.
These days, now that Trump is president of the United States — the media have caught on with the reality of this individual. He is a liar. His lying is pathological. He cannot tell the truth.
He has lied continually. He speaks, sound comes out of his mouth, his lips move — and he lies.
As I listen to the TV commentary and read the media reports about the untruths he tells, I keep hearing the words “lie,” “lying” and “liar” attached to the message he delivers and to the man who delivers it.
His most recent spate of lies occurred on the White House driveway. Trump sauntered toward media representatives and appeared to launch into a spontaneous media availability. It wasn’t spontaneous by any stretch of the imagination.
For nearly an hour, the president lied to our face. He told untruths about all manner of things relating to the Justice Department’s inspector general report on James Comey and the Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy, on Paul Manafort’s role in the 2016 Trump campaign and all kinds of other matters.
The media have taken specific note of his lying. They are telling us the truth about Trump’s lies.
Unless it’s happened beyond my earshot, I haven’t heard the president’s defenders actually call him a man who tells the truth.
So, here we are. The man few of us took seriously enough to deserve the title of “liar” has emerged as the Liar in Chief.
But … some of us still insist he is “telling it like it is.”