“Our job as journalists is to report, to find facts, and establish their authenticity and share them with everybody,” Michael Orestes, senior vice president of news, said on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” “It’s really important that people understand that these aren’t our opinions. … These are things we’ve established through our journalism, through our reporting … and I think the minute you start branding things with a word like ‘lie,’ you push people away from you.”
Other news organizations, like the New York Times, did use that term, and NPR acknowledged that there was some debate within its newsroom.
While reporting on Trump’s visit to CIA headquarters on Saturday, in which the president said that the media created the riff between himself and intelligence agencies, NPR News’ Mary Louise Kelly said the claim was “probably not true,” but refrained from using the word “lie.”
She pointed to the Oxford English Dictionary definition of lie — a false statement made with intent to deceive. “Without the ability to peer into Donald Trump’s head, I can’t tell you what his intent was,” she said.