Charles Blow tells it like it is


We need more of this kind of truth-telling:

Donald Trump is a proven liar. He lies often and effortlessly. He lies about the profound and the trivial. He lies to avoid guilt and invite glory. He lies when his pride is injured and when his pomposity is challenged.

Indeed, one of the greatest threats Trump poses is that he corrupts and corrodes the absoluteness of truth, facts and science.

This is the straight talk you don’t usually get in our cautious, conservative, cozy-with-evil media: you get “euphemisms like “unsubstantiated,” or “unproven,” or “baseless.”” This has to stop.

We all have to adjust to this unprecedented assault on the truth and stand ready to vigilantly defend against it, because without truth, what’s left? Our president is a pathological liar. Say it. Write it. Never become inured to it. And dispense with the terms of art to describe it. A lie by any other name portends the same.

Our president is a LIAR. Say it loud.


  1. johnson catman says

    The Orange One will be calling The New York Times a bunch of losers in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

  2. Nemo says

    I’ll have to settle for saying “Trump is a liar”, because I’m still refusing to call him the p-word. My own little delusion, perhaps.

  3. cubist says

    I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: The Angry Cheeto does not care whether the things he says are true or false. The Cheeto is a bullshitter, end of discussion; he cares about whether or not his listeners are manipulated into behaving the way he wants them to. ‘Truth’ simply is not on the Cheeto’s radar.

  4. johnrockoford says

    I really don’t think the orange douchebag is a liar. I think he’s incapable of distinguishing fact from self-satisfying fiction. And that’s far worse than being a liar. The man is delusional. You can ostensibly argue with a liar, knowing that you both know what the truth is but one of you is pretending not to know. But the orange douchebag seems to believe his own BS with transcendental certainly. That is so dangerous in so many ways, far more dangerous than having to deal with a neo-Nixonian liar. I’d prefer if the media started calling him delusional rather than merely a liar.

  5. jacksprocket says

    So if he’s delusional and has no concept of reality, what about the shower of shit* surrounding him? “Alternative truth” my arse- it’s Newspeak.

    *Apologies in advance. That could be construed as insulting to shit.

  6. Marshall says

    Since this post is all about being truthful, I’m going to amend this to “Trump is a stupid liar.”

  7. marcoli says

    Donald Trump is a LLiarrr. I write it and say it like he says the word, with extra emphasis on certain letters.
    That felt good.

  8. says

    Blow has always been willing to tell it like it is. What we need is not more op-ed columnists like him, but honest reporting on the news pages and TV.

  9. johnrockoford says

    PZ, you’re a Minnesotan. Last night I had the misfortune to listen to Minnesota Public Radio. A faux NPR liberal called Kerri Miller spent an hour with two insipid guests trying to tell America that those of us who cannot understand how any sentient human being with a conscience and a modicum of decency and empathy could have voted for the orange douchebag are really intolerant of diversity. That’s our problem, see? We are hurting the fee-fees of Trump supporters by making assumptions about them. We need to be open to them, and listen to them. I had enough whisky to finish listening to the whole travesty. This is the ultimate in false equivalencies. To be against torture, racism, sexism, fascism, etc. is to be as intolerant as those who are actually intolerant. You can hear the whole thing at

  10. johnrockoford says

    @5: what about the shower of shit* surrounding him?

    He’s certainly enabled by liars and sycophants (like, pretty much all of the Republican leadership and many in the media). But this whole thing reminds me more of a cult than anything else. According to a PPP poll his base supporters believe all the BS he’s spouting. And like most cult leaders, even if they came to it by lying, they eventually became as delusional as their followers. (Poll:

  11. blf says

    Cross-posted from Discuss: Moments of Political Madness, albeit with added emboldening

    Macomb v media: voters who read little news think Trump had a great first week:

    In a Michigan county that helped get Donald Trump elected, people are actively choosing to ignore news they don’t want to hear — or not receiving news at all

    [… T]he split perception of Trump’s first week in office could not be more worlds apart. On the one hand, there is Trump as seen through the lens of the coastal mainstream media that has called him out with historic bluntness, epitomized by the lead story of the New York Times: Trump Repeats Lie About Popular Vote.

    Then there is how residents of Macomb County, an overwhelmingly white working-class suburb of Detroit, see their new commander-in-chief. It is as if all the raging controversy of the week had somehow washed off him on the 600-mile journey from Washington to Michigan, leaving a cleansed and beatific Trump committed to creating jobs and putting America first.


    Jeff Payne knows all about the low esteem in which newspapers are held locally. He is managing editor of the Macomb Daily, and he has found that criticism of Trump’s falsehoods in the media tend to be far outweighed among his readers by distrust of the messenger.

    “You can give readers 50 facts that show that Trump is wrong, but when he portrays us in the media industry as the bad guys, that seems to outweigh all those facts.”


    In Macomb County [… i]t’s not that people are living in their own media bubbles so much as they are actively choosing to ignore news that they do not want to hear, or even more alarmingly, receiving no news at all.


  12. says

    cubist @3 has hit the nail on the head.

    Everything out of Il Douchebag’s mouth has a single purpose: Self-aggrandizement. Be it by his simple-minded preening, or by attacking those with the temerity to report on the world as it actually is, not as Emperor Shitstain wishes it to be.

    Facts are irrelevant if the sole motivation is ego maintenance.

    Some have called this gaslighting, but the Empty-Headed Orangutan at the helm doesn’t have the attention span, or mental capacity to intentionally gaslight anybody (though his aides certainly do).

  13. raven says

    I’ve about concluded that it is deeper than Trump is a liar.

    He seems to live in a fantasy world.
    This theory has high predictive and explanatory power.

  14. says

    If you watch Faux news, or even CNN at times, which I do only to understand the enemy, and in short bursts because then I get nauseous and need to throw up, you’ll find that the right wing media are sticking to the talking points that he is keeping his campaign promises and that everything he’s doing is just great, because in their stupid, vapid minds, it is.

    His base doesn’t believe in LGBT rights, global warming, reproductive rights or the rights of women any more than he does. They are fine with trade wars with Mexico and China. All they see is him creating jobs like he said he would, and “putting america first” like he said he would.

    They don’t hear the lies or know about the child like temper tantrums because their “trusted” news sources don’t talk about them. As an example, the Sean Hannity interview with Rancid Priebus was all about how busy the cabinet is and what wonderful things they accomplishing, stroking themselves about how all the Whiterthanever House reporters, who are all secretly conservative, agree that they’ve never seen such an efficient display of getting things done before in any administration. It’s sickening.

  15. cartomancer says

    I was sickened this morning by my own country’s supine Thatcher-wannabe and her speech to the US Republican party. I mean, I know she’s dyed-in-the-wool Tory scum of the first order (and a particularly zealous hatchet-woman as Home Secretary when it comes to immigration), but the extent to which she tried to ingratiate herself with your Nasty Party made me heave.

    Though I do note that even she tried to appeal to the party first and Trump himself hardly at all.

  16. feministhomemaker says

    I posted this piece by Charles Blow on my Facebook page. I felt the same relief to read his clear writing, finally.

  17. blf says

    Cross-posted from Germans Aren’t Buying Chevy, Not Fair! (Affinity@FtB), albeit edited & expanded…

    Last year there was an article in the New York Times, What Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand About ‘the Deal’, postulating teh trum-prat’s entire worldview is that of a what is known as a “rent-seeker“:

    [… R]ent-seeking involves seeking to increase one’s share of existing wealth without creating new wealth. Rent-seeking results in reduced economic efficiency through poor allocation of resources, reduced actual wealth creation, lost government revenue, increased income inequality, and (potentially) national decline.

    Attempts at capture of regulatory agencies to gain a coercive monopoly can result in advantages for the rent seeker in the market while imposing disadvantages on (incorrupt) competitors. […]

    At the risk of confirmation bias, the above definition seems to describe teh trum-prat and his dalekcracy almost perfectly, plus some of what many of us are probably concerned will be the result.

    From the article itself (Match-2016):

    In recent weeks, hearing Trump talk, I’ve realized that his economic worldview is entirely coherent. It makes sense. He is not just a rent-seeker himself; his whole worldview is based on a rent-seeking vision of the economy, in which there’s a fixed amount of wealth that can only be redistributed, never grow. It is a world­view that makes perfect sense for the son of a New York real estate tycoon who grew up to be one, too. Everything he has gotten — as he proudly brags — came from cutting deals. Accepting the notion of a zero-sum world, he set out to grab more than his share. And his policies would push the American economy to conform with that worldview.

    Many economists and political scientists now think that the United States economy has shifted, over the past few decades, toward one in which a higher proportion of the economy comes from so-called rents: Wall Street’s maneuvering through the regulatory process, ‘‘free-trade’’ deals whose thousands of pages of rules wind up prescribing winners and losers. The left, right and center of the economics profession all agree that reducing rent-seeking behavior, and improving overall growth, is essential if we want to ‘‘make America great again.’’

    But this descent into a rentier economy would only accelerate with a mentality like Trump’s in the White House. The native-born population of the United States is aging rapidly; without immigrants the nation would quickly face a disastrous level of debt. Middle-class workers may be struggling now in a changing economy, but a clampdown on global trade would only make that worse. Any health care reform that revolved around the president’s ability to ‘‘deal’’ would inherently be one more prone to corruption. In a rentier state, every ambitious person knows that the way to become rich and powerful is to grab the sources of wealth and hold onto them, by force if necessary. It’s no accident that, around the world, rentier states tend to be run by unelected dictators — the ultimate dealmakers in chief.

  18. says

    johnson @1:

    The Orange One will be calling The New York Times a bunch of losers in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . .

    Trump already sent Steve Bannon to talk to the New York Times. Bannon told them to keep their mouths shut.

    “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Steve Bannon told The New York Times yesterday. “I want you to quote this. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

    “The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Bannon added. “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign. … That’s why you have no power. You were humiliated.”

    In other words, Trump’s top advisors think like he does. None of them have any respect for journalists, nor for freedom of the press. They also seem to be extraordinarily sensitive to what they perceive as slights, (though Trump tops the list when it comes to that trait). They are authoritarians, and they are deluded.

    The “kneel before Trump” approach to the media will continue.

  19. mrcharlie says

    I’ve seen all these arguments before, although the ‘rent-seeking’ article is one of the clearest about his economic world view. I’ve seen that behavior in small children, grabbing all the toys and saying these are mine now, so I have a better idea of where I’d peg the emotional age of the Orange Menace. I can’t listen to him on any media. I read transcripts of the drivel that flows out of his ‘wherever’. He’s a fabulist, saying whatever he needs to say in any particular moment. No permanence, no memory, no coherence and if contradicted angry denial and attacks.

    Which is better though, a cunning manipulator with a well-crafted plan supported by bald-faced lies or a delusional narcissistic sociopath unable to recognize his own falsehoods as lies. Knowing that in either case an intense man or woman with superhuman restraint and dedication to America is following the OM around with the nuclear launch codes.

    Scarily I think that sociopath is the more likely assessment, since he apparently has no impulse control. Remember, missiles can be in the air in less than 15 minutes at his command, and he appears to be at least as unhinged as the Martin Sheen was in “The Dead Zone” and I’m afraid were watching the vision where he’d won the election. Please let me be wrong.

    It’s been a tough time. But we can overcome these assholes, last Saturday’s march turnout was encouraging,

  20. chigau (ever-elliptical) says

    mrcharlie #21
    I’ve been thinking of The Dead Zone since Trump started winning.

  21. davidc1 says

    I call him the snatch snatcher ,my own take on the pussy grabber .
    Talking of that if someone had told the press about what he had said without releasing the tape ,he would have said it was a lie.
    It seems he has made an enemy of the media ,they were to blame for him getting his big pinky botty in the white house ,it is only fair that they help to make sure he only stays there four years.

  22. busterggi says

    Trump is the bestest liar ever!

    hah, he’ll take that as a compliment & brag about it.

  23. unclefrogy says

    from the use of the phrase alternative facts the other day and the idea that was being used a while back of how they were determining reality I get the feeling that the reactionaries and the born again followers of the gospel of st. ronny do believe there is such a thing as objective reality. All that matters or is real is subjective experience.
    Objective reality seems like it is the vary bedrock of the modern view of the world and history. How do you deal with people like that?

    uncle frogy

  24. unclefrogy says

    typo that was supposed to be do not believe there is such a thing objective reality (or objective truth either)
    uncle frogy

  25. blf says

    uncle froggy, In the spirit of the whole “post-truth” nonsense, both the original @25 and revision @26 are teh trvth — the question is, Which of them is the “alternative fact”?

  26. DanDare says

    The reasons for his behaviour are less important than the simple fact that he tells outright lies with impunity.

    He makes lies as evidence to support his other lies.

    His supporters do not have successful truth seeking mechanisms and that represents the biggest problem of all.

  27. wzrd1 says

    There is only one problem with thinking that the Traitor in Chief is delusional is, every time he’s come out wih a howler, the press pays attention to that, ignoring what he’s shifting about with the other hand.

  28. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    This is the world we live in. Where a Donald Trump was elected president of the most powerful nation in the world.

  29. Don Quijote says

    It occurred to me that if people were to refer to him simply as Mr. Trump and not President Trump it might send him so apoplectic he might explode.

  30. blf says

    Some more on the observation that teh trum-prat’s entire wordview is that of a rent-seeker (see @17), from Paul Krugman, also writing in the New York Times, Making the Rust Belt Rustier (added emboldening):

    [… H]e appears serious about his eagerness to reverse America’s 80-year-long commitment to expanding world trade. On Thursday the White House said it was considering a 20 percent tariff on all imports from Mexico; doing so wouldn’t just pull the U.S. out of NAFTA, it would violate all our trading agreements.

    Why does he want this? Because he sees international trade the way he sees everything else: as a struggle for dominance, in which you only win at somebody else’s expense.

    His Inaugural Address made that perfectly clear: For many decades we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry. […]

    Unfortunately, as just about any economist could tell him — but probably not within his three-minute attention span — it doesn’t work that way. […]

    Indeed. That’s rent-seeking in zero-sum world, where there is no such thing as innovation, generally rising standards (for living, health & healthier environment, peace, &tc), …; the quote from the coronation babbling is telling, despite teh trum-prat’s profound tendency to lie. He is lying here, but the lie is confirming an economic-, if not world-view, which is utterly deranged and damaging.