By December 17, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

The Growing Pinocchio Nose: Donald Trump Exaggerations

President-elect Trump has frequently erred in the accuracy of his statements.

President-elect Trump has frequently erred in the accuracy of his statements.

Pinnocchio is the fictional character whose nose grew in length each time he told a lie, and he told a lot of lies. The Washington Post (Post) announces annually the “Biggest Pinocchios” of the year. President-elect Donald Trump sets a record this year with five of the “biggest Pinocchio” ratings. The previous record was three of the highest Pinocchio ratings.

Before a person is given a Pinocchio rating for a statement, the facts supporting the statement are   thoroughly checked.  If the statement is found to be inaccurate, the following scale is used to evaluate the level of inaccuracy. One Pinocchio: Some facts are shaded in the statement; two Pinocchios: Statement contains significant omissions and/or exaggerations; three Pinocchios: There are significant factual errors and/or obvious contradictions in the statement; four Pinocchios: Statement is a whopper (big lie).

Two examples of Mr. Trump’s level four Pinocchios are: 1) stating that the nation’s unemployment rate was 42% when it was actually 5%, (he included retirees and students in his calculation), and 2) stating, in reference to Secretary Clinton’s e-mail investigation, that “This is bigger than Watergate.” In the Watergate scandal, 48 people were found guilty while there have been no convictions or guilty pleas surrounding the Clinton e-mail investigation.

According to the Post, Mr. Trump consistently makes false claims and doubles-down on them even when they are proved to be wrong. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump earned 59 level four Pinocchio ratings. Since he won the election, he has garnered four more.

The Post concludes that there is little indication that Mr. Trump’s Pinocchio pattern will change during his presidency.

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