I have expressed concern over Donald Trump’s facile transmogrification of the criticism against his birtherism into a controversy about Hillary Clinton, an innocent bystander in the business. Instead of a flood of articles reminding the public of Trump’s execrable birther smear campaign, we see a flood of articles on whether Hillary Clinton started the birther movement, a patently absurd proposition.
Ron Elving of National Public Radio published a commentary on this subject in the aftermath Trump’s sudden reversal on his signature birther conspiracy theory. He is calling for the media to go beyond simply reporting what a candidate says, to include more rigorous fact checking.
… In addition to stories labeled "fact checking" — something that had been between a cottage industry and a sub-genre of journalism — reporters have moved to fact check in real time on air and online.
Elving advocates journalists reporting that something is a lie when they know it is. He says that Donald Trump has crossed a red line. I think that happened years ago.