Puffing About Puffing?

As you may recall, it has been asserted in this space that “puffing sucks.

Now, a long article in the New York Times entitled, Donald Trump’s Deals Rely on Being Creative With the Truth, documents a long series of instances (including many negotiations) which it euphemistically calls being “creative” with the truth.  (Query: if this characterization was in a negotiation, would it be puffing?)

Referring to various claims about his statements, Mr. Trump said, “I call it truthful hyperbole.  It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion.”

The article states that “Mr. Trump argued that the script [in the Trump University case] might fall under the legal concept of ‘puffery.’”

The plaintiffs claim that it falls under the legal concept of “fraud.”

Stay tuned for what the judge says – if the parties don’t negotiate a settlement.


Update (7/17/16, 10:36 am CT):  The NYT homepage revised the headline but the article itself has the headline indicated above.  They may ultimately change it in both places.

The new headline reads:  “Trump:  A Deal Master or Truth Challenged?”

Query:  does this change resolve the journalistic issue of accuracy?


Update (7/17/16, 11:17 am CT).  The NYT homepage headline now reads “Trump’s Creativity With the Truth.”  The article’s headline remains as originally described above.  I have no idea what the editors are thinking about this — perhaps it’s just a matter of space constraints.

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