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.