The right way to fact-check President Trump

During the election, media organizations were forced to create new and inventive ways to communicate Donald Trump’s new and inventive relationship with the truth. Here’s one famous example:

Such efforts went over so well that some people have clamored for the networks to deploy such correctives on a more regular basis:

(I question if those are brackets. They are not.) [These are.]

But punchy rejoinders are not necessarily appropriate for every medium. What works for CNN on television may not work for the New York Times in print. So different organizations have come up with their own approaches. What follows is how one online publication (Grist) decided to fact-check what Trump had to say about energy just last month. Feel free to skim for the gist (of Grist):


This takedown is a wonderfully-researched and comprehensive effort, but so long as Grist is going to insist on interrupting Trump, we all know there’s only one way to do it right. Here’s a revised sample for you to enjoy:

Trump: Our energy companies are a disaster right now. Coal. The coal business is — you know, there is such a thing as clean coal [Wrong]. Our miners are out of work — now they’re just attacking energy companies like I’ve never seen them attack anything before.

They want everything to be wind and solar. Unfortunately, it’s not working on large-scale [Wrong]. It’s just not working [Wrong]. Solar is very, very expensive [Wrong]. Wind is very, very expensive [Wrong], and it only works when it’s windy [Wrong].

. . .


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