Photo by NBC. Truth-o-meter by Politifact. Combination by Luna (Hey, I’m no artist).

All hail the Trump-o-Meter

Mathew Lowry
Sep 17, 2016 · 2 min read

Surely this would be easy to do?

As Dan Gillmor pointed out recently:

NBC News’ Matt Lauer… allowed Trump to lie repeatedly without making much attempt to set the record straight
- Fighting Politicians’ War on Truth

Gillmor’s solution was for TV news channels to put all their broadcasted interviews and debates on a 10 minute delay, allowing the channel to kill the sound whenever their experts spot the politician lying. He freely admits that no major TV outlet would entertain these ideas, because ratings.

But why not simply embed some version of Politifact’s truth-o-meter on the screen, pulling up the relevant scores whenever an editor spots a (previously determined) bogus claim? You wouldn’t even need the time delay.

This might actually be more compelling TV (so, ratings), and might even discourage candidates from fibbing in the first place. Although, let’s face it, that’s unlikely.

Still, ratings.

Mathew Lowry

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Piloting innovative online communications since 1995. Fascinated by the intersection of media, technology, society and science.