“‘PBS Newshour’ anchor and managing editor Judy Woodruff defended the broadcast network program’s unwillingness to call President Trump a ‘liar’ when they catch him saying something that’s blatantly false,” James Hibberd reports for EW.com in a piece on Woodruff’s appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour.
Hibberd notes that while Woodruff conceded covering Trump poses its challenges, the show is not comfortable using the word “lie.”
“I understand it’s a term that’s used a lot now in news coverage; our view is that lying is not a term we can use lightly,” Woodruff is quoted saying. “When you use the term ‘lie’ you’re saying whatever was said was said with intention. We can’t know what’s in someone mind, so we’re much more comfortable with when somebody says something that cannot be borne out by the facts, we say what they said was ‘inaccurate’ or ‘false.’”
Woodruff added: “I will tell you, the first time I had to say on the air the president said something that was not accurate, I got a lump in my throat. It’s not something journalists are accustomed to doing. This is a different time. That said, we have to be very, very careful how we talk about what the president said because he’s still the president.”