HAMPSTEAD, NEW YORK — A team of scientists and fact-checkers from the website PolitiFact released the findings of a joint study they conducted. The key takeaway — the sheer volume and mass of Donald Trump’s lies during his first debate with Hillary Clinton could drastically shift the Earth’s axial tilt. Models show that the planet’s tilt could move by as much as eighty-two degrees.
“This is significant,” Dr. Heinrich Muller told reporters at a press conference announcing the findings, “because in a period of about forty-thousand years, the planet’s axial tilt might shift about twenty-three degrees. What we’re talking about here is a mass of lies so huge it could move the Earth’s tilt by almost four times that number.”
Fact-checkers for PolitiFact told the media they relied heavily on their Trump file to help estimate how much lying the alleged billionaire might do during his first debate with Clinton. According to their teams, Trump’s fact-checked statements are only in the three truthful categories the site uses roughly thirty percent of the time. This means according to PolitiFact that Trump’s statements are 70% false to brazenly, “Pants-On-Fire” lies.
“Most politicians lie or stretch the truth a bit,” Jane Henson of PolitiFact told reporters, “but Trump’s modus operandi really seems to be to spew as much utter nonsense as possible, and then let the conservative pundits and voters in the country equivocate his mendacity for him.”
Henson said that the “reality is [PolitiFact] has no idea how to safely predict the number of lies Trump will tell tonight.” She said that Mr. Trump lies with “such stunning frequency” that both her team and the team of scientists they conducted the study with determined “very early on” that they’d “never really be able to predict just how much bullshit seeps from his pie hole.”
“We’ve rated nearly as many of his statements as Pants on Fire as we have any of the remotely truthful classifications,” Henson said, “so truly have no idea how best to estimate the number or size of the lies Trump will tell tonight. Scary stuff for fact checkers.”
Muller says recent data points to an “historic level of lies” being told by Trump during the debate.
“I saw one magazine do a calculation that said every three minutes and fifteen seconds Trump tells a lie,” Dr. Muller said, “and that means in a 90 minute debate you might hear almost thirty different lies. Most humans wouldn’t be able to string together that many lies, but perhaps is superhuman after all.”
Muller said that while the number of lies is “important,” the “size and magnitude of the lies” is far more concerning.
“This guy still swears up and down he saw news broadcasts on the day of the 9/11 attacks that showed Muslim Americans celebrating in New Jersey,” Dr. Muller said, “and literally no one can produce that tape. This guy regularly tweets out debunked crime stats that make white nationalists’ racist hearts sing. The kinds of lies he tells can foment racial tension and confuse simple-minded voters. These are the heaviest kinds of lies that could do the most to shift the planet’s tilt.”
Dr. Muller said that while it’s impossible for his team to predict exactly what kinds of changes the planet would sustain from an axial tilt shift of a Trump-ian magnitude, he said that it’s safe to assume there would be some “rather interesting and challenging weather events.”
“We could see changes in the lengths of the seasons,” Dr. Muller said, “and more and more extreme weather events. Couple a Trump-ian sized lie tilt to the Earth with the effects of climate change already, and, well…we have to do more research on that, but the preliminary numbers don’t look all that great.”
The Trump campaign, reached for comment, sent a short tweet from Trump’s official Twitter account.
“What the hell have scientists or people who like science ever done for America? Besides NASA and the Internet and shit,” the tweet read. A follow-up tweet simply said, “Fuck science.”
The Clinton campaign declined to comment.
Follow James on Twitter @JamboSchlarmbo.