The Wall Street Journal does not refer to President-elect Donald Trump's "challengeable" and "questionable" statements as "lies," no matter how false, because doing so would imply "moral intent" and runs the risk of looking biased, the paper's Editor-in-Chief Gerard Baker said Sunday.
"I would be careful about using the word lie," Baker told NBC's "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd. "Lie implies much more than just saying something that's false. It implies a deliberate intent to mislead."
The editor added Hillary Clinton's statements were not judged as harshly as some evaluated Trump's statements during the campaign.
"People say Hillary Clinton said a lot of things that were false," Baker told Todd. "I don't recall the press being so concerned about saying that she lied in headlines or stories like that."
It is not necessarily the editor's position to make moral judgments or "offer their commentary" on what is said, according to Baker.
"I think it's then up to the reader to make up their own mind to say, ‘This is what Donald Trump says. This is what a reliable, trustworthy news organization reports. And you know what? I don't think that’s true,'" Baker added.
"I think if you start ascribing a moral intent as it were to someone by saying that they lied, I think you run the risk that you look like you are not being objective."
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