TV news channels have finally figured out how to call Donald Trump a liar, and it's glorious

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During the 2014 NBA Finals, DJ Khaled appeared on ESPN to talk shop. A few nights earlier, the air conditioning went out during a game between Khaled's hometown Miami Heat and the San Antonio Spurs. After his team lost the game, Khaled shared a conspiracy theory, saying that the Spurs killed the A/C on purpose, and that it was all part of a master plan.

When asked from where he got that information, Khaled cited a source that would get him dragged through Twitter the entire following day: "THE STREETS."

It was a ridiculous assertion, and the pushback was deserved and hilarious. But it's just DJ Khaled. It's not like he was running for president.


But what happens when a man who is running for president is using the DJ Khaled playbook? What if "the streets" are being cited as a source for serious matters of national security and for fact-checkable smears of political opponents? What if it's not exactly appropriate or "professional" to just laugh off a stupid claim and move on?

That's the reality of what Donald Trump's presidential campaign has become. Accordingly, television and print news has had to adapt, and learn to fact check him on the fly. And on TV especially, the result is worth taking a minute to praise.


If there's one good thing that has come from this election, it might very well be that the cable news caption people have finally found their mojo, and that the networks are letting them push back on blatant untruths. There's a growing sense that we may be entering an era of "post-factual" politics, where the truth has less sway on public opinion than the "feelings" that people have about certain issues.


It's no wonder that riffs on the Trumpism "Many people are saying" have been trending all week, mocking his rocky relationship with reality. As my colleague Andrew Joyce summed it up after Trump (untruthfully) called President Obama the "founder of ISIS," Trump's relationship with facts seems to be: "If I say it and people cheer, then it is good." And therefore, it must somehow be true.

Just because you feel  that something is happening doesn't mean it's actually happening. And if you assert that it is based solely on your feelings you should be called out on it. The fact that cable news—a place famous for "leaving it there" and moving on even if "it" is completely untrue—is calling Trump out is unprecedented.


So rock on, you caption people. Keep telling us the truth while we yell at our screens. The world is depending on you.

Daniel Rivero is a producer/reporter for Fusion who focuses on police and justice issues. He also skateboards, does a bunch of arts related things on his off time, and likes Cuban coffee.

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