Believers: Donald Trump supporters attend the inauguration ‘freedom ball’ in Washington last month. Doesn’t it look uncannily as though some of them are performing the Nazi salute? [Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.]

Absolutely right, Nick Cohen in The Guardian. Most harmful are the journalists you mention who insist on giving these liars a fair hearing in the name of balance.

We don’t need balance. We need facts.

Facts beat lies.

Uncover the facts and you lay the liar bare in all their embarrassing hideousness.

So get fact-checking, mass-media hacks. And don’t leave anybody off your list just because you like their politics.

Compulsive liars shouldn’t frighten you. They can harm no one, if no one listens to them. Compulsive believers, on the other hand: they should terrify you. Believers are the liars’ enablers. Their votes give the demagogue his power. Their trust turns the charlatan into the president. Their credulity ensures that the propaganda of half-calculating and half-mad fanatics has the power to change the world.

Compulsive believers are not just rednecks. They include figures as elevated as the British prime minister and her cabinet… So English Conservative politicians must crush their doubts and believe with a desperate compulsion that the alleged “pragmatism” of Donald Trump will triumph over his undoubted extremism, a belief that to date has as much basis in fact as creationism.

Mainstream journalists are almost as credulous… unable to cope with the fantastic lies of the new authoritarian movements. When confronted with men who lie so instinctively they believe their lies as they tell them, they can only insist on a fair hearing for the sake of “balance”. Their acceptance signals to the audience the unbelievable is worthy of belief.

Source: Trump’s lies are not the problem. It’s the millions who swallow them who really matter | Nick Cohen | Opinion | The Guardian

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