Within hours of the release of Donald Trump’s first television campaign ad, the shameful liberals at PolitiFact gave Trump one of their dreaded “Pants on Fire” ratings. The charge relates to a split-second portion of the video which plays stock footage while the narrator says, “He’ll stop illegal immigration by building a wall on our southern border that Mexico will pay for.”
Apparently believing that viewers would assume that the footage – which shows legions of people scaling a wall – was taken at the Mexican border, the truth detectives at PolitiFact went to work.
“Trump’s television ad purports to show Mexicans swarming over ‘our southern border.’ However, the footage used to support this point actually shows African migrants streaming over a border fence between Morocco and the Spanish enclave of Melilla, more than 5,000 miles away. We rate the claim Pants on Fire,” PolitiFact said.
Trump’s campaign struck back quickly, first with the characteristic bluntness we’ve come to expect (No s**t!), and then with a formal statement that said the footage was intentionally chosen “to demonstrate the severe impact of an open border and the very real threat Americans face if we do not immediately build a wall and stop illegal immigration.”
All in all, “no s**t” was really the only response PolitiFact’s report deserved. Anyone inclined to see this as a big problem for Trump was already against him. He made no “claim” about the footage for fact-checkers to prove wrong. If PolitiFact thinks even a single voter was fooled into supporting Trump by this footage, they must have extraordinary contempt for the average American’s intelligence. Which, when you consider the site’s unwarranted reputation, might be understandable. If anyone knows the ease with which you can fool most of the people most of the time, it would be them.
The left is getting desperate. All of the media’s usual tactics have failed. The harder they try to take Trump down, the higher his poll numbers climb. And yet, amazingly, they don’t appear to understand the correlation. They refuse to believe they have lost the influential power they wielded for decades. So they keep sharpening their axes, arrogantly certain that the next blow will fell this stubborn tree.
If Trump can survive this onslaught all the way to November, it will be strong evidence that the relationship between America and the mainstream news media has changed. Trump has surely benefited from the relentless coverage itself, but his supporters are immune to the equally-relentless editorializing. This is bad news for the Washington establishment in both parties, and it is especially bad news for Hillary Clinton.
It is good news, though, for democracy.