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Wed Jan 9, 2019, 08:53 AM

Donald Trump outdoes himself: Even more racist lies than critics feared

It was a given Trump would spin racist lies during his prime-time speech. But it was even worse than that


All the major networks and cable news channels decided to give Donald Trump eight minutes of uninterrupted airtime to justify shutting down the government as blackmail to get his border wall. This was, needless to say, a controversial decision. While network leadership offered lame excuses, responsible journalists pointed out that giving a known liar a massive audience to spin his racist lies without the threat of fact-checking was a violation of everything journalism is meant to stand for.

James Fallows of the Atlantic, while lambasting the networks for giving Trump airtime, offered the networks one way to mediate the damage: "A commitment to real-time, onscreen fact-checking is at this point the most feasible goal for a speech mere hours away."

Unsurprisingly, that did not happen, which was too bad, because, as predicted, Trump's speech reportedly written by his slimy aide Stephen Miller was a densely packed suitcase of lies. Miller's lurid racism was all over the speech, which focused heavily on the grotesque details of crimes committed by a few undocumented immigrants, ignoring the fact that native-born Americans commit crime at higher rates. Trump openly conflated the refugees seeking legal political asylum at the border with "illegal" immigrants, an overt lie that paints an entire group of people as criminal based on their ethnic background.

He lied about the effect immigrants have on the economy, blaming them for lower wages and lost job opportunities. But, of course, unemployment is at a record low, something Trump is happy to talk about when he's not trying to whip Americans into a racist frenzy.

In other words, the speech was exactly as bad as critics said it would be: Packed full of lies and almost stunningly grotesque in its racism and its dehumanizing portrayal of immigrants who clearly only offend Trump by not being white enough in his eyes.


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