As Trump visits El Paso and Dayton today, journalists should remember some of the hard-learned lessons of the last four years, and apply them.
Don’t just quote his words. Trump’s words are meaningless without context. Their true meaning only emerges when one compares what he says when he’s reading a speech with what he says when he’s speaking contemporaneously, with what he tweets, with what he has said and tweeted before, with what his actions say – all in the context of his history of lies and misstatements and reversals. His grammar is also a tell. He does not deserve the benefit of the doubt, because the true meaning is often the opposite of the apparent meaning. Stenography in this case is misinformation. Readers and viewers deserve better.