Is Forbes editor right to warn companies not to hire Trump 'fabulists'?


Fact Box

  • According to Merriam-Webster, a fabulist is a creator or writer of fables, or more simply, a liar. 
  • After the riot at Capitol Hill, Forbes Chief Content Officer Randall Lane, wrote an article calling for “truth reckoning” and “repercussions” for liars on Trump’s team. 
  • He warned companies considering hiring Trump’s spokespeople like Kayleigh McEnany, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and others, saying, “Hire any of Trump’s fellow fabulists above, and Forbes will assume that everything your company or firm talks about is a lie.” 
  • On January 22, 2017, during a Meet the Press interview, Trump’s counselor, Conway, defended White House press secretary, Sean Spicer’s comments about the size of Trump’s inauguration saying they were “alternative facts.”

Andrew (Yes)

Never before has an administration lied, spun narratives, or fabricated facts as frequently as the Trump Administration. His press secretaries played a key role in this, beginning almost immediately with Sean Spicer lying about the president's inauguration crowd's size. Forbes Magazine's Chief Content Officer is right to advise companies not to hire high profile' fabulists' coming out of the administration because these people have major credibility issues. It is quite common in hiring interviews to ask potential employees questions about integrity, bias, or ethics. The individuals mentioned in the Forbes article have all publicly failed these questions and should not be hired based on their performances in the Trump administration.

These individuals deserve to face punishment for their roles in the near-constant stream of misinformation coming from the Trump Administration as this very information lead to the capitol insurrection. Words have consequences, and while it may be too late to mitigate the damages caused by the Trump administration, it's only natural that these former Trump administration mouthpieces face the consequences of their actions. In their roles at the White House, Kayleigh McEnany, Kellyanne Conway, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, and Sean Spicer were the faces and voices of the Trump Administration. Kellyanne Conway went so far as to coin the term 'alternative facts.' These individuals would have had many opportunities to correct misinformation, stand up for the truth, or leave their positions in protest; none of them chose to and must now face the consequences for their inactions. Forbes is right to call for these individuals to be punished by not being hired by reputable companies.

Bill (No)

Forbes editor Randall Lane was condescending and flippant in referring to Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany as a propaganda prodigy. But he didn't stop at name-calling; instead, he urged the business world to blackball McEnany and her colleagues who serve in the Trump administration. Lane effectively threatened to bring the power of the 'world's biggest business media brand' to bear on any potential corporate suitors who don't heed his warning. Lane's offensive bid to prevent McEnany and her colleagues from earning a living and supporting their families (after serving their country) is the latest ugly example of the media abandoning its scruples and impartiality.

By going for a cheap laugh at McEnany's expense by claiming that she makes 'smiling falsehood an art form,' Lane exposes himself as a naïve and unserious journalist. He makes only a passing acknowledgment that part of the White House staff's job is to 'spin' without explaining why this is necessary. Press secretaries are on the front line standing between the media and the administration. They are likely privy to sensitive information that they need to protect for national security reasons. This is why military operations aren't announced in advance—lives are at stake.

Lane's tone-deaf virtue-signaling at McEnany and her colleagues exhibits the kind of bias that has resulted in the media being held in its lowest public esteem ever. A recent survey by the Knight Foundation concluded that the public feels that the media has failed in its obligation to provide unfiltered news. A recent Gallup poll finds that 82% of Americans believe the news media plays fast and loose with the facts. Lane and Forbes should be ashamed.

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