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Trump and Biden Are Both Liars. Only Trump Gets Called Out
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The following phrase, and its variants, has become ubiquitous: “Donald Trump’s baseless charges of election fraud.” Mainstream news outlets have accelerated its use during the congressional hearings on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The phrase is accurate. Though American elections have historically been marred by fraud and outright subversion, no evidence has surfaced to suggest that any such improprieties occurred during the 2020 presidential election that were substantial enough to change the result. As far as we know, Joe Biden was legitimately elected.

But is it journalistically kosher?

Fairness, accuracy and integrity are the core of journalistic ethics. Those values are compromised when they are applied inconsistently, as do American news companies.

Republicans, conservatives and supporters of former President Donald Trump in particular have long complained that corporate media outlets have been harder on him than on other politicians or previous presidents. It’s hard to disagree. Journalists’ labeling of Trump’s allegations that the 2020 election was stolen as a lie is a case in point; it’s impossible to think of another American politician who has been so repeatedly editorialized against in nonopinion news stories or to have his claims — no matter how untrue — repeatedly denied in headlines.

Biden and fellow Democrats, for example, have taken to calling high gas prices “Putin’s gas hike.” This is just as false as Trump’s election BS. The Wall Street Journal notes that gas prices were “turbocharged by a rebounding economy after a pandemic-induced slowdown” well before Russia invaded Ukraine. Anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West, led by the U.S., exacerbated the problem. Whether or not Biden is responsible for \$5 gas, no one can credibly blame Vladimir Putin for the effects of sanctions Biden imposed against him.

You won’t see headlines describing Biden’s spin on gas prices as “baseless” or “false.” As they do when any politician other than Trump lies, the press acts as stenographers, dutifully passing on communiques regardless of their truthiness. “Biden blames Russia for gas prices,” reports Politico. “Biden slams ‘Putin’s price hike,'” says CNN. Calling out Trump for lying is great. Doing so is a reporter’s job. Why not Biden?

Willful inconsistency is the hallmark of how reporting becomes propaganda in the 21st century. As coverage of the Jan. 6 hearings keeps reminding us, Trump tried to steal the presidency. The same reporters had little to nothing to say about George W. Bush actually stealing the presidency; because Bush hates Trump, they treat the architect of torture, drones and Gitmo like an elder statesman. When the U.S. invades a foreign country, there’s almost no attempt to humanize civilian victims, but when the invading army belongs to a U.S. adversary, coverage of the human cost — even the cost to animals — is exhaustive.


The facile defense to this critique is that reporters are setting the record straight when they label Trump’s lies as such. Trouble is, there are so many lies being told by so many politicians of every conceivable ideological orientation that limiting fact checks to one individual, even a former president and possible future one for whom the truth appears to be a mortal enemy, looks exactly like what it is: choosing sides by giving your fellow partisans a free pass. Further, because the press’s anti-Trump bias is so over-the-top, there is a natural tendency to dismiss it.

I’m not arguing that journalists should stop writing that Trump is a liar. To the contrary, holding politicians accountable for untruths is long overdue. I’m saying they should do the same thing to other politicians as well.

Now that Russiagate has been thoroughly debunked, it would be nice to see news media say so. Instead of,”US is worried about Russia using new efforts to exploit divisions in 2022 midterms,” CNN could say, “US officials revive discredited claims on election ‘interference.'”

Instead of, “Iraq War role was a stain on Powell’s record — one he openly said he regretted,” The Washington Post could say, “A million dead Iraqis later, Powell regretted lying America into Iraq War.”

Surely the courageous journalists who call out “Trump’s election lie” for what it is can present other stories in an equally straightforward manner. ABC’s “Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee condemns Biden’s upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia” ought to be specific. After all, Khashoggi wasn’t passive-tense “slain.” In one of the most insane political assassinations in modern history, Khashoggi was viciously butchered in the Saudi consulate at the order of the Saudi crown prince. Biden isn’t merely going to Saudi Arabia; he’s planning to meet and shake hands with Khashoggi’s murderer. How about, “Fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi condemns Biden for upcoming visit with journalist’s murderer”?

Ted Rall (Twitter: @tedrall), the political cartoonist, columnist and graphic novelist, is the author of a new graphic novel about a journalist gone bad, “The Stringer.”

• Category: Ideology • Tags: American Media, Donald Trump, Joe Biden 
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  1. Durruti says:

    I’m not arguing that journalists should stop writing that Trump is a liar. To the contrary, holding politicians accountable for untruths is long overdue. I’m saying they should do the same thing to other politicians as well.

    So true. The official ‘President’ Biden, is not only a Liar, and a Puppet, he has serious medical issues.

    America is controlled by Powers behind the Throne.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  2. The problem is such lying is the very foundation of the nation. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are crated equal …” Jefferson himself did not believe that and in his Notes on Virginia wrote that blacks were inferior to whites. Chief Justice Taney in his Dredd Scott majority wrote that no one believed the promise in the Declaration that all men were created equal. That was simply never a proposition accepted in the early American government.

    Why don’t we teach it was a lie? Why don’t we teach the founders believed zero in the Declaration of Independence. It was a fraud. It was a send up.

    Therein lies the essential problem. American politics has always been about lies and untruths.

  3. Notsofast says:

    “journalistically kosher” really ted? are you coming here for a good hiding? are you going to beat around the hornets nest and wonder why you get stung?

  4. Durruti says:
    @Harry Huntington

    Therein lies the essential problem. American politics has always been about lies and untruths.

    In History, there is truth, untruth, emotion, and direction. There are those leaders who open the door to Freedom, and those who close it. No one is perfect, but you must watch what they are doing to the DOOR.

    Thomas Jefferson opened that door. He was never a Liar. He told the truth as he best understood it. Yes, he called the Native Americans “savages.” And Washington said the days of the Native Americans were numbered. They were not as perfect as you and I. But who is?

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal… governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles…

    Jefferson designed America. He, the first Revolutionist, was a product of his time (aren’t we all?). His “all men are created equal” raised questions that opened the door, questions that made people ask Are all men created equal, or only Caucasians/White men?

    And what about women?

    In writing, attempting to understand History, or the problems of our time, one must be humble, and respect others, who, while they are not as good as us, have been setting us on a positive path of LIBERTY.

    Once we disrespect our Founders (criticism is necessary, disrespect is to misdirect). Jefferson, Tom Paine, Patrick Henry, the Adams, even land speculator/thief George Washington, are part of our Heritage. We must guard their memories, their Statues, and attempt to open that door further. We must love our Country, and heal it when it is ill.

    Presently, we are an Occupied Nation. Our last Constitutional President was murdered. Then his brother. Then Martin L King, Malcolm X, and Lennon. We Americans are Slaves. We have had our Honor beaten, assassinated, brainwashed, and drugged out of us. Look who they placed as our ‘Pretend President.’ At least Zelenski can dance, and play the piano.

    Our Road Back is Long and Hard. And we cannot walk it without Jefferson.

    *Jefferson was the first Revolutionary. Pearse, Guevara, Lumumba, Campos, Zapata, Debs, and others, followed his path.

    Dr. Peter J. Antonsen – nom de guerre, Durruti

  5. Mac_ says:

    ‘ Fairness, accuracy and integrity are the core of journalistic ethics.’

    Ted ? there is so much wrong with that sentence perhaps Ted decided to take up swigging hard cider while writing his column.
    The words fairness or integrity or ethics don’t really go with the word ‘journalist’, or I suppose should separate mass media, so by that I mean mass media. Otherwise anyone can be journalist, from hard cider swigging Ted who has a column on a truth oriented website, to people with small websites, or even those who comment such as myself journaling Ted’s possible cider thing, or making a newsletter, etc. To separate ‘them’ from us it’s helpful to remember how the schemers began, which was by using paper, payprus or hemp they scribbled on and claimed to be religion, then goverment, then to claim what money was, then later as ‘news’papers, which, picking the word ‘new’ to describe propaganda and world scheming was quite a trick.

    The con was to make a way for the cons claiming to be ‘govrmnt’ to dictate to people without being so direct that people would kill them, so they concocted the ‘media’ con, then ‘new’spapers, then came electricty then ‘tv’, then everyone’s nose in a phone, though, people are talking more now, so we should do that more. In any event the angle of ‘media’ steering to feminize to go with the dictating has been effective, note the last decade how many media are females in ‘sleeveless’ shirts, same time tyrany increases. Though occasionally hint something is wrong such as argue about snowden, which was putting in people’s face, same time dumb down, same time keep people watching or listening or reading, knowing what mass media is makes easier to separate ‘them’ from the rest of us, and from the few real people writers. Besides they weren’t nice to you Ted though you were once unwittingly in their vampire closet, so should separate more.

    On trump and biden puppets, mass media does what works for the plans, so, agree with article shows convenient switching. Otherwise the pirate tone of having the word liar in the article title is good. I think we should use the word liars a lot more.


    • Replies:
  6. ruralguy says:

    How do you know the 2020 election allegations are lies? Many lawsuits were filed after the election. They were all dismissed as lacking standing or jurisdiction or the doctrine of laches applied, or other dismissals — all without any review at all of the allegations.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  7. George 1 says:

    The election fraud was never really investigated. The people in charge of those elections saw to that. The “votes” were just recounted in most jurisdictions and said to be within the realm of the reasonable.

    There were very few cases of the counted votes and voters being scrutinized for legality. Where those types of investigations were started they began to show massive fraud and so they were shut down.

    People can believe what they want but I will never believe that Biden got 84 million legitimate votes.

  8. @Harry Huntington

    The Declaration was a manifesto to recruit fighters for the rebel cause. Compare its tone to the Declaration of the “Causes and Necessities of Taking Up Arms” issued by the Continental Congress the previous autumn. Not that many Americans were interested in throwing over a limited constitutional monarch appointed by god to rule them in favor of some radical new ideas about “freedom” espoused by atheist French philosophers. It’s been estimated that support for the cause was about the same as southerners’ attitude toward the Confederacy – a third for it, a third against it, a third indifferent. Fully ten percent of Americans fled the new country after independence was achieved, and so much of that victory was the result of the opposition party in Parliament sabotaging the unpopular war effort in order to take power. And all but erased from most history books are the protests of Continental Army veterans who burned copies of the 1787 Constitution, denouncing it as a betrayal of what they though that had fought for. So, yes, the lies have been nonstop, right from the start.

    • Agree: Kratoklastes
  9. Meebs says:

    Ah, Ted Rall. Another false underdog wielding a stilleto for The Man.

    • Agree: Bro43rd
  10. Though American elections have historically been marred by fraud and outright subversion, no evidence has surfaced to suggest that any such improprieties occurred during the 2020 presidential election that were substantial enough to change the result.

    So the message is that fraud is OK as long as fraud doesn’t affect the outcome.
    The fact that the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Judicial Branch) allowed the Executive Branch to unilaterally alter the rules set by the Legislative Branch should have been enough for an honest Legislative Branch to have refused to certify the election.
    The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that the Executive Branch illegally changed the rules set by the Legislative Branch. That constitutes fraud.
    The banishing of observers in Michigan was illegal and constitutes fraud.
    The audit in Arizona showed massive irregularities (fraud) at all levels.
    The closure in Atlanta and the video showing thousands of ballots being counted constitutes fraud.
    Election Day ends at midnight.
    Trump is no prize. His biggest sin was ripping the mask of US foreign policy to reveal its ugly face. He had to go.

    • Agree: Verymuchalive
  11. Easyrhino says:

    Does anyone seriously believe Dementia Joe Biden, who’d be lucky to get 50 people to show up at town hall while on the campaign trail, got 12,000,000 more votes than Obama?

    • Agree: Bro43rd
  12. Hitmarck says:

    Trump does not get called out, all critique at Trump is in general meant to gaslight away from his j-ish billionaires backing him.

  13. Cris M. says:

    Well the media more or less lives on supposed elections or ‘wa dc’ facade as it makes so many ways to push division, and division is the center of all their other agendas. Dividing others while being a group, keeps their power and begets more power.

    It should have been obvious he was pushed against more than others by media, as article notes, though I think trump followers ignored in arrogance assuming his being supposed president gave them some sort of power, but by now people know better it’s false image.

    Though the media angling was plain, in my opinion that’s less about trump and more about media showing off they can bash whoever they want and people won’t do anything, about anything. Supposed media has never been neutral, no such thing. Should be our own media anyway, that’s what mouths and hands are for, basic.

  14. Dan III says:


    The only thing more important is the removal of biden, his cabinet and his appointees.

    Enough of the Ukraine distraction.


  15. TG says:

    Sure they both lie, but on the other hand, so what.

    Here is the difference between Trump and Biden:

    Trump was an egotistical child who foolishly surrounded himself with enemies and spent his first two years in office as Paul Ryan’s ‘boy, but he at least tried to close the border and he didn’t actually declare war on the American working class.

    Biden is a sock-puppet, but is the front-man for a ruling elite that is moving to completely open the border and turn this country into an overpopulated third-world hell so the rich can make more money.

    I don’t care how many flaws Trump has, I don’t care if he lies 50 times before breakfast, I will vote for the man, hell I will campaign for the man.

    DeSantis? He talks pretty, but apparently the billionaires are throwing money at him. Color me skeptical.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  16. Muggles says:

    The mainstream media of course uses a double standard. It is clear to anyone who pays even the slightest attention.

    Jettisoning pre-Woke journalistic standards, they (AP, etc.) routinely write as “fact” or in headlines, something like “Trump lied about election fraud” or “Hearings expose Trump lies…” etc.

    Now Trump be guilty of wishful thinking or as many do (esp here on Unz) make a grain or two of truth into a mountain of allegations which cannot bear that weight, but he is no more a liar than nearly all politicians.

    He is a salesman and that’s what they do: exaggerate, dissemble, ignore or minimize inconvenient facts, present one sided accounts, change the subject, etc. All politicos do that as well.

    Here’s the rub: the AP and holy Narrative Bringers continue to wail about Trump and his claims about the 2020 election. They ignore actual fraud or “funny business” and pretend that Dem ballot stuffing couldn’t have occurred.

    The fact is, no one – even Trump – expects any of that to matter. It is moot. M-O-O-T, as the lawyers say. Trump doesn’t claim that “he’s the real President” or hawk bumper stickers saying “He’s not my President.”

    But someone did. Guess who?

    St. Hillary Clinton. She engineered a \$100 million dollar congressional witch hunt aided by the media and the armed wing of the Democrat Party, the FBI.

    It is now uncontested truth that she bought and paid for a foreign cut-out (using intelligence lingo) via the UK MI-5 to fabricate a “dossier” of faked silly rumors and fabricated tips. Used a big connected Dem Law Firm who conveniently had FBI credentials and and FBI outpost in their own private offices. Paid several thousands to create this Black OP.

    Hillary & Co. (and Dems, and Media Narrators) spent years claiming that somehow the Russians elected Trump. When that was thoroughly disproven they sulked off to arrest and harass anyone who ever worked for Trump on fabricated claims of non cooperation, etc. No one outside the Hillary Cult believes this, but of course no one very apologized. Instead they awarded themselves Pulitzer Prizes for “journalistic excellence.” That is now the modern version of the Stalin Prize.

    Nor was the foreign sourced smear campaign ever charged or legally persecuted with election interference.

    So Trump is grumpy about a close loss. So what?

    The double standard is clear.

    And the Narrative Bringers wonder why no one believes a word they say. Oligarchs have to fund legacy media since no one pays for it.

    Nutty “Q-Anon” seems to have more believers than St. Hillary & Co.

    Who are the liars?

  17. @Durruti

    Ted Rall:

    Whether or not Biden is responsible for \$5 gas, no one can credibly blame Vladimir Putin for the effects of sanctions Biden imposed against him.

    If it weren’t for Biden and his handlers, there would be no Ukraine war, because it would have been over in three days.

    Now that Russiagate has been thoroughly debunked, it would be nice to see news media say so.

    At least Ted Rall still has his sense of humor.

  18. @ruralguy

    How do you know the 2020 election allegations are lies?

    Because “lies” are what we call anything that the owners of the MSM don’t like. That’s essentially the definition of the word now.

    While I personally have very little idea how many of the allegations are accurate, I do know that if (many years hence) some Georgia poll worker were to confess on her deathbed, the MSM would never carry the story.

  19. @Mac_

    Journalist are REQUIRED TO LIE by their ethics codes

    Especially they MUST cover up all “minority” crime

    Yes that is in writing in the ethics code
    Read more about it

  20. @Harry Huntington

    The belief that blacks were inferior was a concept that predated our founders and continued with a very high percentage of people through to the modern era. Ol so called slave liberator Abe Lincoln was very vocal in his stance about who was superior and who was inferior. What, exactly, would have given anyone any reason to go against the perception ? Was there any evidence to base some equality on ? People based beliefs on their reality, not dreamy concepts.

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