The New York Times, which promised to do a better job at unbiased reporting after the election, actually reported with a straight face that President Obama only lied 18 times in his entire presidency. Take a second to recover from laughter (or outrage).
David Leonhardt, Ian Prasad Philbrick, and Stuart A. Thompson considered it a challenge when they heard from Trump supporters who after reading the NYT's list of lies of President Trump said: “Yes, but if you made a similar list for previous presidents, it would be just as bad.”
“We’ve set out to make that list,” the authors stated. “Here, you will find our attempt at a comprehensive catalog of the falsehoods that Barack Obama told while he was president.”
The NYT writers promised they “applied the same conservative standard to Obama and Trump, counting only demonstrably and substantially false statements.”
Their result: Obama, 18 lies in 8 years, while Trump told 103 in just 10 months! Don’t believe them? Just check out that handy colorful chart above. You'll see.
In his first 10 months in office, he has told 103 separate untruths, many of them repeatedly. Obama told 18 over his entire eight-year tenure. That’s an average of about two a year for Obama and about 124 a year for Trump.
The writers inform us that Trump’s lies were only counted once, and not the ones he repeated:
If we had used a less strict standard, Trump would look even worse by comparison. He makes misleading statements and mild exaggerations – about economic statistics, his political opponents and many other subjects – far more often than Obama. We left out any statement that could be plausibly defended even if many people would disagree with the president's interpretation. We also left out modest quantitative errors, such as Trump's frequent imprecision with numbers.
The article even went back to George W. Bush, although fact-checkers weren’t as busy with him as they were with Obama and now Trump. In its conclusion, “Trump is different” in that he continues to tell a lie even after proven otherwise.
“When [Obama and Bush] became aware that they had been saying something untrue, they stopped doing it,” the writers claimed. For example, Obama never repeated the “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” line and Bush “changed the way he spoke about Iraq’s weapons capabilities.”
The writers further protected Obama:
As for Obama: His falsehoods tended to be attempts to make his own policies look better or to overstate a problem he was trying to solve. In a few cases, they seemed to be careless exaggerations he avoided repeating.
Over all, Obama rarely told demonstrable untruths as president. And he appears to have become more careful over time. We counted six straight-up falsehoods in his first year in office. Across his entire second four-year term, we counted the same number, six, only one of which came in his final year in office.
In all, we found 18 different bald untruths from Obama during his presidency.
Trump is trying to make truth irrelevant. It is extremely damaging to democracy, and it’s not an accident. It’s core to his political strategy.
In fact, Trump tells falsehoods about Obama and his administration more often than Obama told falsehoods about all subjects.
So, when the “professionals” can’t seem to — or better, don’t want to — mine for the lies that passed the nicotine-stained lips of Barack Obama, the little guy does it. Here’s a site considered “well sourced” of 1,366 examples of Obama’s lies while president.
Meanwhile, the NYT could only find 18?!? Weird for an unbiased news source who swears it’s trying to move outside the bubble and see how the rest of America views Washington.
Perhaps the Times should have checked out Jack Cashill’s book of Obama lies, You Lie. Obama’s lies were about issues of war and peace, such as his comment that ISIS was a mere JV team, or that al-Qaeda was on the run, while almost all of Trump’s “lies” are either simple exaggerations or carelessly assembled facts and only qualify as lies in the demented minds of Trump haters.