The Parthenon

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EDITORIAL: Woodward and Trump and the fight for truth

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With each day that passes, there seems to be some new, outlandish news coming out of The White House. Michael Wolf’s book, “Fire and Fury,” was the first to take a crack at the Trump administration, although the book has been widely questioned as an embellishment. Former Trump staffer, Omarosa Manigualt Newman has been touting her new book, “Unhinged: An Insider’s Account of the Trump White House,” which has caused quite a stir from someone known to be a dramatic attention-seeker.

But most recently, and most seriously, legendary reporter Bob Woodward, one of the main journalists behind uncovering the Watergate Scandal, ultimately resulting in the resignation of President Richard Nixon, wrote a book about Trump. Woodward has had a historic career in journalism, one that has been marked by many awards and accolades, including  the Pulitzer, and has written a multitude of best-selling books on many U.S. presidents. He has spent decades earning credibility, making a name for himself as a truth seeker and finder.

“If there’s a credibility gap, Woodward is usually on the right side of it,” wrote Jonathan Allen of NBC.

With the release of the book, President Trump has repeatedly called the reporting fraudulent, all a work of fiction. But in examining the two men’s track records, Woodward tells the truth, while Donald Trump does not.

“In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post,” wrote Susan B. Glasser of The New Yorker. “In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were ‘false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.’”

Trump and other critics claim that the book can’t be trusted due to the amount of anonymous sources quoted by Woodward. But the journalist has utilized anonymity hi entire career in order to get the truth from people who may not talk otherwise–remember Deep Throat, the source in the Watergate scandal?

“If information is true, if it can be verified, and if it’s really important, the newspaper needs to be willing to take the risk associated with using unidentified sources,” Woodward is quoted as saying. 

In this case, Woodward’s record trumps the president’s.

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