If the truth be known, how many “Pinocchios” for lying would you receive from the Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler? He rates big names in the news on a range of one “Pinocchio” emoji for misstatements of facts and up to four Pinocchios for downright flagrant lies. (The Pinocchio on this booklet’s front cover is my design from 2001.
Who among us is not deserving of a Pinocchio?—or two...or three...or four? But, not to worry; most of us are under Kessler’s radar. He goes after the rich and famous—movers and shakers—not so much after common folks like myself.
A few decades ago lies and lying were becoming a mostly unnoticed epidemic. Then, the veracity of certain celebrities—in politics, sports, entertainment and big business—more and more were brought into question through the scrutiny of the piranhas of yellow journalism who turned their targets’ indiscretions into feeding frenzies. (Us common folk rarely raised a ruckus.
But fast forward to recent times, and now we have the internet and cell phones with all of their incredible algorisims that make it possible to air anyone’s dirty laundry.
For generations, the words “lie,” “lying,” and “liar” were used in private, of course, but seldomly in polite company and the news media. Instead, we used kinder, gentler, sanitized words like fib, fabrication, smoke and mirrors, stonewalling, snow-job, slight distortion, twisting the truth, stretching the truth, misstatement, whitewash, sidestep, a story, a tall tale, pretending, kidding, fantasy, B.S., P.R., a line, colored facts, falsehood, invention, figment of imagination, an expediency, rationalization, approximation, spin, embellishment, generalization, over simplification, exaggeration, excuse, propaganda, political rhetoric...and the list surely goes on and on.
But times, they are a changin’. “Lie,” “lying,” and “liar” are part of today’s national dialogue (not uncommonly in the company of the “F” word and other popular profanities). And surely you know that, unless you are totally blind and deaf—or have not yet started kindergarten.... Click below to read the entire booklet: