Washington Post editor: Trump wants press 'to be perceived as the opposition party'

Washington Post editor: Trump wants press 'to be perceived as the opposition party'

The Washington Post’s executive editor said that journalists are responsible for holding officials, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump passes Pence a dangerous buck Overnight Health Care — Presented by American Health Care Association — Trump taps Pence to lead coronavirus response | Trump accuses Pelosi of trying to create panic | CDC confirms case of 'unknown' origin | Schumer wants .5 billion in emergency funds Trump nods at reputation as germaphobe during coronavirus briefing: 'I try to bail out as much as possible' after sneezes MORE, accountable even if the public “may be numb” to false statements. 

NBC News’ Chuck ToddCharles (Chuck) David ToddTrailing Democrats tout strength with black voters ahead of South Carolina Clyburn says Democrats spent 'too much time on Bloomberg' in Nevada debate The Democratic nominee won't be democratically chosen MORE cited a statistic from the newspaper that found the president has made more than 15,000 false or misleading statements over his presidency. The “Meet the Press” moderator then asked if executive editor Marty Baron was concerned that “at 15,000, aren’t people numb to it?”

“Well, they might be numb to it, and that’s concerning,” Baron said. “But we still have the responsibility for determining what’s true and what’s false and in particular holding our government officials accountable for what they say.”

The moderator also cited a CBS poll that 91 percent of the president’s supporters depend on him for accurate information, which Baron said he thinks is “the way the president would like to have it.”  

“He wants us to be perceived as the opposition party, and so people will dismiss anything we have to say,” Baron added. 

The New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet also told Todd on Sunday that reporters need to “very aggressively sort out fact from fiction,” and newsrooms have been reconstructed to prioritize this more. 

“One of the jobs of the news media is to sort through all of the BS … to come to some sort of understanding of what’s actually happening in the world,” he said. 

Todd commented that both newspapers have beefed up their efforts to fact check statements over the past few years, and Baquet noted the complex fact-checking systems “didn’t exist three or four years ago.”

This Sunday’s show of “Meet the Press” entitled “Alternative Facts” focused on disinformation, deep fakes and partisan news outlets and how they’ve shaped politics.