Judy Woodruff, right, anchor and managing editor of "PBS Newshour," takes part in a panel discussion with the show's executive producer Sara Just during the 2018 Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Woodruff: Got lump in throat telling of Trump inaccuracy

July 31, 2018 - 2:05 pm

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Veteran journalist Judy Woodruff says it affected her when she mentioned on air that President Donald Trump had said something that wasn't accurate.

"The first time I had to say on the air the president had said something that we needed to point out was not accurate, I got a lump in my throat," she told a TV critics meeting on Tuesday. "It's not something that journalists are accustomed to doing."

"PBS NewsHour," the nightly broadcast anchored by managing editor Woodruff, is careful about using the term lying in regards to Trump and other people in the news, she said.

"When you use the word 'lie' you're saying someone said whatever they said with intention to mislead, to misrepresent," she said.

"We can't know what is in someone's mind, so we are much more comfortable when a situation presents itself, whether it's the president or someone else who is an important political figure or someone in the news says something that cannot be borne out by the facts, can't be borne out by evidence, then we say what they said was inaccurate and then we go on to explain what is accurate."

Woodruff has noticed a newfound collegiality between journalists competing to get the news out first in an era of a president who has called the media an enemy of the people and talks about fake news.

"I would say there is probably a little more solidarity among the press right now. I think a number of reporters behind the scenes have come together to talk about how do we deal with this," she said.

"We don't want to get into a contest with the president. That's not who we are. Our job is to do our job, but at the same time, I think more and more reporters feel it's important for us to stand up for the role of a free press in our society, that our democracy is as strong as it is because we have a free press, because we have a press that is dedicated to getting answers and getting facts and ultimately the truth," Woodruff said.

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