Adapting to Donald Trump’s Lies: The Daily Show

Breaking news from the only place we get breaking news anymore, Donald Trump's Twitter. REPORTER: Overnight, President-elect Donald Trump unleashing a Twitter tirade, retweeting attacks on a journalist after Trump claimed voter fraud but provided no proof of voter misconduct. Trump has shared tweets from supporters who are hitting our senior Washington correspondent Jeff Zeleny. One of Trump's retweets is from a 16-year-old calling Zeleny pathetic. Yeah, Zeleny! You're pathetic. I mean, not as pathetic as a future president so desperate for validation that he's like, "See? This teenage boy says I'm right." But, still, pathetic. Yeah. But, seriously, uh, congrats to that teenage boy.

Yeah. He's just been named secretary of state. Fantastic. And, uh, this-this whole thing with Trump leads me to a question. Have you ever argued with a toddler? Because if you have, if you have, you probably lost that argument or you killed the toddler. Either way, you didn't win the argument, because you can't win an argument against a toddler. Toddlers will say the most outlandish (bleep). And the more you argue with them, the more they become entrenched in their views. A toddler will just say anything. They'll just be like, "My daddy is the strongest man in the world!" And you'll be like, "No, he's not." Be like, "Yeah, he is." It's like, "No, he's not." "Yeah, he is. My dad is the strongest. Prove it!" You're like, "What do you mean? I c..

. I can't prove it." And he's like, "I told you." Now, now, the reason I'm telling you this is because, over the course of this election season, we've come to realize that there's a good chance that President-elect Trump might have the mind of a toddler. And-and if you think about it, it makes sense. You know, he loves the same things that toddlers do. They like building things, they love attention, always grabbing things they're not supposed to. -(laughter, applause) -And… they love riding escalators. "Whee! Look, Mommy! Whee!" By the way, by the way, I-I bet that's-that's the same thing with elevators. You know that whenever Trump gets into an elevator, he's like, "I push!" And then presses all the numbers. "Aah!" Now, now, throughout the presidential campaign, the media tried to figure out how to deal with Trump's lies. Then they realized that Trump might actually win. So, uh, then they started doing their jobs.

So, on Trump's claim that Clinton or her staffers deliberately destroyed subpoenaed e-mails, CNN's Reality Check Team finds that false. He talked about bombs on the floor at the San Bernardino apartment, uh, where that attack happened last year. There were no bombs seen on the floor. -Nobody saw that. -REPORTER: Trump did make a number of false statements in the speech. REPORTER 2: Trump's claim is false. REPORTER 3: Trump spent an entire day repeating a false claim that President Obama literally is the founder of ISIS. You knew Trump's lies had reached big league when CNN started fact-checking him in their headlines. Look at that at the end. That's a real headline.

"Trump calls Obama founder of ISIS (he's not)." It's almost like CNN was like, "Hey, we can't even wait for you to watch the whole show. "You need to know this is bull(bleep) right now. Right now. Don't even watch." And-and here's the problem that everyone realized about Donald Trump almost too late: facts mean nothing to him. Donald Trump has no relationship to facts. None. Like, no relationship. Not even, like, a distant cousin. He has no… He has a better relationship with Tiffany than he does with facts. And that's saying something. Trump has no relationship with… If Trump went on, he would not find any facts. Or black people. None. And here th…

here's why this is important, right? Historically, every politician the news has ever dealt with, they all have one thing in common: they're all amazing in bed, right? No, that's not true. That's not true. They all have one thing in common. In some way, shape, or form, they all use facts. Even if they lie, politicians' lies are based on facts. They base their lies on facts because they're aware that human beings like facts, so you're supposed to use them. For example, for example, all right. I want you all to do this at home and in the studio. I want you to imagine the slimiest, most spineless, conniving politician you can. Just think of that person. The politician you're thinking of is Ted Cruz. -(laughter) -Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. -Thank you. Thank you. -(applause and cheering) I'll be here all week. Thank you.

Thank you. Yes, it's Ted Cruz, the Texas senator who is an inveterate liar. And it's so bad that even his birth certificate says "Lyin' Ted" on it. -(laughter) -Now here's an example of how he lies. The computer models predicted that the earth would warm dramatically. There's one little problem. The satellites that actually measure the temperature– that have recorded no significant warming whatsoever for the last 18 years. -(speaking gibberish) -(laughter) You see what he did there? It's hard to see. But we all know that global warming is on the rise, and has been for many decades. We know this because scientists have told us. But Ted Cruz– and this is where he's brilliant– he took the scientists' data, and then he just used the cherry-picked section from the specific satellite data set that makes it look like global warming is not actually an issue, when, in fact, we know that it is. It's almost like someone saying, "Man, I'm so good this year.

This entire year, I haven't had any junk food!" And you're like, "Oh, wow! "That's really impre… Wait. -It's only January 2nd!" -(laughter) "Well, that's not the point." But you see, what Cruz did was he made a lie based on a fact. Now until Donald Trump, this is how politicians lied. That's why fact-shaming worked. It's almost like Terminator. Think of Terminators, right? Most politicians are like the original Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger. They have a skeleton of truth and a skin of lies. And if you shoot enough facts at the lies, the facts rip away the flesh and expose the truth. But Trump– he's the upgrade. (laughter) You come at Trump with your facts, and every time, he does this.

(laughter) By the way, that guy's also in Trump's cabinet. (laughter) Now, the media has never had to deal with someone who is impervious to facts, and, uh, clearly it shows. What do you do as a journalist? How much time and energy and space should we be devoting to the demonstrably false claims that the president-elect makes? Do we overreact to every tweet, every flutter from Donald Trump? You know, frankly, I don't know what our job here is a journalist these days, because, I mean, are we gonna just do Donald Trump's tweet of the day? (laughter, applause) Well, that… that poor man! (laughter) He's having an existential crisis on air! "I mean, what is a journalist anymore? "What… what is life? "What is tweets? I.

.. I'm going to Thailand." (laughter) You know what my theory is? I believe that Donald Trump has created his own universe, and from within that universe, he takes a made-up idea, throws it at us in the real world, and whether we can prove him wrong or not– it doesn't matter. We've lost, because now, we're in his universe. For example, last night, Trump tweeted that anyone burning the American flag should lose their citizenship. And then, the news and Twitter and everyone was swallowed up by flag-burning arguments. "Oh, the Constitution! You can't do it! The Constitution!" But you see, once again, Trump wins. It doesn't matter what he says. He could tweet anything.

He could tweet that goblins are faster than unicorns. And the next day, the news would lose their minds. For 24 hours, it's all they'd be talking about. CNN would bring out a hologram unicorn. Don Lemon would host a panel where people would argue about goblins, and then, after all that effort, Trump would just tweet about how the news is bad at journalism, because they can't prove their claims. Claims that no one could prove because Trump invented them. Think about it. You can just do it. You can be like, "Oh, goblins, unicorns. Goblins are faster." And the people are like, "That's not true." "Prove it." "Ah…" "You see? You're wrong." And Trump does this to the news all the time. He said Cruz's dad killed JFK. Then what happened? -People spent weeks studying old pictures.

-(laughter) He said thousands of people in New Jersey cheered on 9/11. So reporters went around New Jersey asking, "Hey, did you cheer on 9/11? Did you cheer? "Who cheered on 9/11? Who likes 9/11? "Wait. You do? "No, I didn't say 7-11. I said 9/11! Come on, man!" (laughter, applause) That facts aren't the same anymore. And don't get me wrong. I'm not saying facts don't matter. But we've got to be smart about how we use them against Donald Trump– because he's changed the rules. He's completely changed the rules of engagement. It's the same way Americans changed the rules of engagement back when they were fighting the British. Yeah, and the British didn't adapt, and that's why they lost. They, too, were like, "This is the way we've done it "since the beginning of time! "We can't fight like this. "They won't tell us when they're coming, "they won't break for tea, and they're hiding! "How can you fight a war when you're hiding? "This is ridiculous! We will not fight like.

.. "Ah, I'm dead. I'm dead. "I'm dead. I've lost. I'm dead." The truth is, the news also needs to adapt. Here's an option. One thing the news could try is treating Trump like the toddler he is. You don't argue with a toddler if you want to win. Don't amplify the toddler's voice, because you'll just get trapped in the toddler's world. Rather, just keep asking the toddler to elaborate. Because logic is the downfall of every toddler. Well, that and shoelaces. But logic, mostly. Yeah. You don't fight. The toddler says, "My dad's the strongest man in the world!" And you're like, "Oh, yeah? What makes you say that?" "Well, the other day, uh…

he put something on the top shelf." Is that tall or strong? "That's tall." Have you got another example? "The other day he picked'd me up." Have you seen anyone else picked'd their kid up? "Yeah." Still think your dad's the strongest? -"No." -(laughter) "I don't think I should be president." -That's all you got to do. -(applause, whooping) Just ask the toddler to elaborate. And look, don't get me wrong, don't get me wrong. You're not gonna convince Trump he's wrong. But that's not the point. The point is to gently demoralize the toddler and smother his tantrums. And as a bonus, you could stop him from delegitimizing the press. That's a bonus.

So here's the thing. Next time Trump tweets something completely ridiculous, instead of fact-checking him, just say, "Oh, wow, Donald, really? "Vote-rigging? "That's amazing! "Show me where it happened, big guy, and we'll investigate." And he'll be like, "I don't know." See, that way, the news can spend its energy on stories it can actually prove, like how Trump is nominating a health secretary who wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act and millions of people could lose their health insurance, or how Trump's chief of staff says that Trump thinks climate change is a bunch of bunk, which means we'll probably all be underwater in 50 years. You know, the things that we should be focusing on. So, news, report on the stuff that actually affects the real world, and then if Donald Trump tweets some crazy claim from his universe,.