January 20, 2021

President Joe Biden used the words “truth,” “facts” and “lies” nine times in his inaugural address to highlight the crisis of disinformation and misinformation as an attack on the fundamentals of America’s democracy and national character. The word “truth” was used five times, “lies” was used three times, and “facts” was used once.

The president used both “truth” and “lies” to allude to the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot, saying:

“Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and responsibility, as citizens, as Americans, and especially as leaders, leaders who have pledged to honor our Constitution and protect our nation, to defend the truth and defeat the lies.”

He also listed attacks on the truth as one of many crises facing the United States along with attacks on democracy, COVID-19, income inequality, systematic racism and climate change.

In referencing “facts,” Biden called for an end to what he called a “culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.”

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.
Donate
Harrison Mantas is a reporter for the International Fact-Checking Network covering the wide world of misinformation. He previously worked in Arizona and Washington D.C. for…
More by Harrison Mantas

More News

Back to News