Television news has long used graphics at the bottom of the screen to identify the people and places in their stories – but with the 2016 presidential race, two networks lately have been injecting analysis into them during their news reporting.
It started in June when Donald Trump denied having said Japan should have nuclear weapons. CNN inserted this snarky line in their chyron:
TRUMP: I NEVER SAID JAPAN SHOULD HAVE NUKES (HE DID)
Last week, when Eric Trump claimed his father had apologized to the Khan family over remarks he made about them after they spoke at the Democratic National Convention, CNN went with:
TRUMP’S SON: FATHER APOLOGIZED TO KHANS (HE HASN’T)
Last week, MSNBC followed its cable rival in having fun with parentheses.
When Trump claimed he had seen video of $400 million being sent to Iran by the Obama administration around the time they were releasing American hostages, MSNBC put out:
TRUMP SAYS HE WATCHED (NONEXISTENT) VIDEO OF IRAN RECEIVING CASH
On Thursday, after Trump described Obama and Hillary Clinton as founder and co-founders of ISIS -- similar to remarks President Obama made in 2015, when he laid the rise of ISIS at the feet of President Bush -- CNN wrote on its graphic:
TRUMP CALLS OBAMA FOUNDER OF ISIS (HE'S NOT)
OH CNN, YOU SO SNARKY pic.twitter.com/j6V5FbZLcZ— David Rutz (@DavidRutz) August 11, 2016
While fact-checking may or may not be a legitimate new use of the chyron, what is noticeable is a distinct absence of chyron fact-checking for various claims made by Clinton.
For instance, Clinton recently told Fox News' Chris Wallace that FBI Director James Comey had called her answers about her private email use as secretary of state “truthful” – he did not make such a sweeping statement.
Last month, she claimed GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence had “slashed” education spending as governor of Indiana – he had not. For this howler, Clinton received a "false" from Politifact.
The CNN and MSNBC chyrons, however, did not deploy their parentheses for those statements.