Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

When politicians “lie”

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Interesting point about the very restricted area in which the mainstream media allows itself to say that a politician is “lying”:

… We just heard Brian Williams on NBC news ask, “Why did John Edwards lie?” Fair question. But what really jumped out at us was the fact that Brian Williams and the rest of the MSM (mainstream media) rarely accuse prominent politicians of “lying” when sex isn’t the issue. Sure, Bill Clinton “lied” about his affair, but the word seems to be verboten when talking about whether or not he misled workers when pushing for NAFTA or other questions of actual policy. We get awkward constructions like, “Bush may have led the nation to war based upon false intelligence estimates,” or “Some question McCain’s assertion that Obama refused to visit the troops because cameras wouldn’t be allowed,” when “lie” would clearly be the best word for these occasions. Why can’t we call a lie a lie — even, or especially, when it’s not about sex?

Back to Brian’s question, “Why did he lie?” Obviously, he lied because he knew the truth would sink his political ambitions. But why would it sink his political ambitions? Because he lied. Does anyone else notice the snake-eating-its-own-tail nature of this reasoning? What if a politician’s private life were private? Assuming no laws are being broken and no shameless hypocrisy is being enacted (like secretly gay politicians working hard to prevent gay people from having the right to marry [we’re talking to you, Senator Craig], or smarmy morality enforcers secretly dressing up in diapers with prostitutes [talking to you, Senator Vitter]), why, precisely is this our business? If a politician has a live-and-let-live approach to the private matters of private individuals, why shouldn’t they benefit from the same discretion? A character issue? Hmm. Seems to us, hypocrites passing laws that restrict other’s rights have character issues worth public discussion. Adulterers who don’t poke their noses into other people’s sex lives generally aren’t worth talking about in the public arena. The gay community seems to have settled on a policy of not outing secretly gay politicians unless they are actively working against gay rights. We’re in favor of adopting this same policy for heterosexuals. Politicians who respect our privacy deserve to have their own. Those who don’t, don’t. …

Written by Leisureguy

10 August 2008 at 12:08 pm

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