The new rules for covering Trump

3. Don’t Fact-Check Everything He Says (Starve the Troll, Part II)

Not every Trump eruption deserves a full-dress fact-checking. As much as I admire the fact-checkers and read them obsessively, some of Trump’s crazier volleys can be sent right back into his side of the court without 27 paragraphs of rebuttal. For example, Trump’s classic campaign postulation, “Obama founded ISIS,” could have been returned to him with the questions where, how and when. Unless he has the goods, his declarations need not be taken seriously. Yesterday’s claim about fraudulent election results is another good example. Does Trump have any proof of voter fraud? If so he needs to present it, the coverage should say. It’s common enough that Trump claims contain their undoing, as Joe Hagan pointed out yesterday about his voter fraud tweet. “He generates a reason for a recount,” Hagan wrote, “while arguing against a recount.” Don’t blow Trump off in cases like this; blow him down.