History relates that our first President, George Washington, was a man of impeccable honesty who could not tell a lie - and he did, in fact, chop down that danged old cherry tree. Of course, the legend of Washington's uncompromising honesty was put to paper by Parson Weems, a man known for his patriotic embellishments. Chances are very good that our nation's first commander in chief told a fib or two over the years, if not some downright whoppers.
Since Washington's time, of course, the White House has been home to dozens of men who built their political careers by lying, though in modern times it has become less than politically correct to call these politicians out for what they occasionally are: liars. Those of us of a certain age can remember Richard Nixon, for instance, and his annoying habit of "misspeaking" himself. With Nixon, it almost began to appear as though when the President lied, it really wasn't a lie a lie at all - he was just saying something that was not correct.
Fast forward to today.
When Donald Trump, our in-coming President, exhales, if his vocal chords vibrate as the air rushes past, chances are very good that the resultant sound will be a lie. The blowhard loves to make outrageous statements to keep the spotlight on himself, and much of what he says has little or no basis in fact. His outbursts of pure fancy, such as when he stated as fact that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey had been celebrating openly after the 9/11 attacks, paint whole populations with scorn and derision, and do far more to incite than to elucidate. Sometimes Trump's lies are more than just convenient falsehoods, they are dangerous and pose physical threats to real people.
Lies are lies - or are they?
News organizations adjusting to the world of Trump are beginning to pull back from being overly harsh toward the next President. Yes, he lies - almost constantly, but some of the news outlets are not comfortable with calling a liar a liar, feeling that to do so imparts a value judgement on the "intent" of the speaker. The venerable National Public Radio, undoubtedly with an eye toward continuing federal subsidies of its programming, is now demurring from labeling the nonsense spilling from Trump's lips and Twitter account as "lies," opting instead to report facts and let the public struggle with The Donald's intent.
Was he "misspeaking," or was he telling a whopper? Let the people decide in the silence and safety of their own homes - and then keep their opinions to themselves.
Now the Wall Street Journal, a publication owned by right-wing zealot Rupert Murdoch, is also declining to use words like "lie" and "liar" when referring to Trump. The Journal, like NPR, will present the facts and then let the public decide. All the while the great orange political animal who thrived on railing against political correctness will benefit from its very existence.
Donald Trump cannot tell a lie thanks, in total, to our lame-ass media.
Don't look, America. The emperor is dancing naked while all of us peons pretend he is attired in tux and tails and a white ten-gallon cowboy hat.
How does that grab your cat?