Does Biden lie more than Trump? Maybe. Plus: New CDC guidelines. Is PBS most fair & balanced?

By Gary Abernathy

Biden might lie more than Trump, percentage-wise

I don’t know for sure if any media organization is officially tracking the lies of President Joe Biden the way they did Donald Trump, but they should be. CNN did a piece in late February claiming that Biden lies less than Trump, “but he’s not perfect.” No kidding. But it reads to me like they will just occasionally be fact-checking Biden, as opposed to keeping a running count of every false or misleading statement.

By some counts, Trump ended up in the tens of thousands of lies, but that was when you counted the same alleged “lie” every time he said it, and the lists I saw included a lot of statements that were more opinions that statements of facts. Fine. But applying those same standards to Biden would be interesting.

For example, take Biden’s remarks when the Senate passed the behemoth stimulus bill last weekend. You can find the transcript at this link. Just a cursory look identifies the following lies, using the standards by which Trump was accused of lying.

  •         Biden said lawmakers have seldom worked harder “to deliver such a consequential piece of legislation that was so urgently needed as the American Rescue Plan.” By nearly all measures, the economy is recovering on its own. The stimulus package might be helpful in some ways, but it also dramatically increases the national debt. Either way, Biden is lying when he says it is “urgently needed.”

  •         “For over a year, the American people were told they were on their own.” This is a lie. Over the past year, Congress passed, and Trump signed into law, at least $4 billion in stimulus money, including checks sent directly to Americans just as the latest stimulus package will do.

  •         “As of last night, 519,064 lives lost to the virus.” This is misleading. As has been documented, when people die who have covid, their death is attributed to covid. But in many cases, the cause of death was actually due to an underlying condition.

  •         Biden said the stimulus checks of $1,400 per person will mean “the mortgage can get paid.  That means the child can stay in community college.  That means maintaining the health insurance you have.” No doubt these one-time payments will help make a dent in perhaps one of those items, for one month. But the idea that the payments will solve those problems anywhere near the degree to which Biden suggests, rather than just delay the inevitable, is misleading at best.  

We literally could go on and on. Those examples are just from the first part of Biden’s remarks. Those are the standards by which Trump was judged.

One reason Biden might seem to lie less than Trump is that Biden so seldom says anything at all, while Trump never stopped talking or tweeting. It would be interesting to count not just the number of lies Biden tells, but to also gauge the percentage of lies per person. For example, if Trump said 20 things a day, and five of them were lies, that would mean Trump lied 25 percent of the time. If Biden says just four things a day but two of them are lies, that means Biden lies 50 percent of the time. By that measure, Biden would be a bigger liar than Trump. Could well be.

CDC guidelines change, and Netflix recommends shows

The Centers for Disease Control recently issued updated guidelines telling us all what we can and cannot do in regard to covid-19 – things like visiting relatives, going out to public places, etc. – and most people I know paid no attention because they haven’t been paying attention anyway.

Most people I know – not everyone, for sure, but most people – have been visiting grandparents (because the grandparents want them to visit), gathering where they want to gather, and pretty much doing everything they can to live a normal life. Getting notified that the CDC has new guidelines is a lot like getting an email from Netflix on its recommended viewing this month: “We’ve added something new you might like.” That’s nice.

How irresponsible, some people are thinking. Why, ignoring the CDC is why covid is more out of control than it should be – because of thoughtless people like you and the people you know!

In fact, the real thoughtlessness has been shaming family members into avoiding each other, putting millions of Americans out of work or out of business, keeping kids out of school, using the pandemic as an excuse to dive headfirst into socialism with up to $6 trillion in total new spending over the past year, and otherwise pretending like the Constitution is a set of suggestions.

Just for fun, go back to the beginning and review the CDC’s guidelines as they were periodically updated. Track how wrong they were – well, wrong, compared to what they say now. Here’s a Washington Post story with examples. Who knows when they were right and when they were wrong. “The science changes,” people say. Yes, it does, which is why people should be informed of what the science says this week, and then make their own decisions, understanding it will change again and again.

PBS has become our most balanced TV news outlet

Before MSNBC and CNN came along, conservatives pointed to PBS as the liberal bogeyman of the television media world. That has changed over the years. I’ve long contended that PBS has become our most balanced and fair TV media outlet, compared to the play-only-to-the-base philosophies of Fox News, MSNBC and CNN.

Now comes an article from Columbia Journalism Review making the same point. It’s worth reading, and you can check it out at this link.

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