Early Returns

Media Manipulation and Fact Checking

Jonathan Bernstein's morning links.

1. At the Monkey Cage, a pre-debate item from John Sides is still worth reading.

2. Also at the Monkey Cage: Rebecca Kreitzer and Candis Watts Smith on “contraception deserts.”

3. Jonathan Ladd at Vox on Donald Trump’s strength in manipulating the media. I’d narrow this down: I think his main skill is that he’s extremely good at playing the game of “Hey, look at me!” The problem? In the general election, it’s only a marginal benefit. I agree with Ladd that Trump has benefited from some media norms, but I see little evidence that anything subtle is going on for Trump. But the “look at me!” part of it does appear to be a real skill.

4. Nate Cohn at the Upshot on what the polls were saying heading into the first debate.

5. I think Chris Cillizza at the Fix is basically correct about Trump and fact checkers. Certainly the fact-checking specialists have done just fine with Trump. It’s been harder for regular coverage to make clear how often Trump gets facts wrong and how different that is from the ways normal politicians fudge facts, and they’ve come up short sometimes. The truth is that some want fact checking to do more than it really can.

6. Brian Stelter at CNN on the “weekend America's newspapers called Donald Trump a liar.” Extraordinary. What effect it will have, if any, remains to be seen.

7. And my Bloomberg View colleague Timothy L. O'Brien on Trump and other people’s money.

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