Here's a good example of how the press uses accurate information in order to full on lie.
CNN (What We Know About Trump's Business Empire) uses published financial disclosures by President Trump to make the following claims:
Trump may be best known for his Manhattan skyscrapers, but his golf courses and the companies associated with them account for about half of his income listed on the form, at least $308 million.
Trump also reported drawing an $84,000 pension from the Screen Actors Guild.
And decades after it was published, he still made more than $100,000 in royalties from his breakthrough book, "The Art of the Deal." His best seller, though, was his campaign book, "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again." It earned him between $1 million and $5 million.
So Trump is rich, correct? No. First, there are the loans:
Trump has five loans in the the open-ended top bracket of more than $50,000,000. Among his largest creditors is German-based Deutsche Bank.
Then there is the difference between "income" and "profit":
What isn't clear from any of Trump's income -- because the form doesn't require candidates to specify -- is whether the numbers reported reflect his income after subtracting the expenses he incurred operating the business, or just the gross revenue number before expenses.
I have personally filled out these kinds of forms. Trump has five loans that he listed. For each loan he has to check a box indicating how much he owes. On my form I list a mortgage and check a box that says: "Between $100,001 and $500,000." So I might owe half a million dollars on my house, right?
Trump checks a box that says "Above $50,000,000" In other words, somewhere between $50,000,000 and INFINITY MILLION DOLLARS!!! Five loans, each of which could be up to INFINITY!!!!!!
Next we have the not-so-specific phrasing of these forms. Normal politicians faced with these forms want to minimize the appearance of wealth in an effort to be relatable. Trump is not a normal human, let alone a normal politician. He has been lying about his wealth since he learned to talk. It would be just like him to report the gross revenue from his golf clubs, not the profit. Interestingly, the big CNN Interactive feature doesn't bother to find out how much a normal golf club makes. It could very well be the case that 10 golf clubs could never generate $300 million in profits. It could also very well be the case that running 10 golf clubs costs about $300 million and that a year with $308 million in revenues would represent just about breaking even. My guess is that is probably is the case.
Sure, all the above can be cobbled together by looking carefully at the CNN Report. But the Report is still designed to make you click to find out how rich Trump is, and to not disappoint when you land there. In short, it's a lie.