I am fascinated by lies. I am fascinated by what people do and don’t call lies.
In the political realm, people vitriolically throw the word “lie” around like feed to chickens. I tend to be more careful if only because starting so high up the vitriolic food chain leaves little room for the real lies. Like today’s young women’s fashions which seems to be “hooker chic”, what’s left for the actual hookers to wear in order to distinguish themselves? If you call someone a liar when all they really did was, say, “change their mind”, then when a real liar comes along, you’re forced to call him something like “true liar”, or “super-duper liar” or something.
When Al Franken (who some thought was a comedian at one time in his life) decided to ape politico and write a book ostensibly about lies and the politicians who tell them, one would think that the premise would be based on honesty right from the get-go. But I found he got off to a shaky start.
Franken wanted to write a nasty book about conservatives and Republicans (not just anybody, because apparently it only matters when conservatives and Republicans tell lies). And conservatives and Republicans lie he says, which he ostensibly thought was a terrible quality for a human to have, but only if they’re conservatives or Republicans.
Harvard University, which like the vast majority of academic institutions is an anti-Republican Party bastion of liberals, decided to contact Franken at the same time that Franken was putting feelers out about writing a book about lies told by conservatives and Republicans.
Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (“Here at the Kennedy School, ideas meet practice as scholars and practitioners conduct research into pressing public policy problems and share their insights with students through brown bag lunches and study groups”… I kid you not) asked him to serve as a fellow at its Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. The Shorenstein Center is “dedicated to exploring the intersection of press, politics and public policy in theory and practice”, (leaving out “…as it pertains to trashing conservatives and Republicans”), and obviously as a B-list has-been comedian, Al Franken would be an authority on that.
Naturally Franken accepted the offer, because after he explained to them what he wanted to do they not only agreed, but they offered him 14 Harvard research assistants to dig up dirt and help him accomplish his goal of exposing lies told by conservatives and Republicans which would render them nothing but liars who therefore can’t be trusted no matter what else they ever say after that. That, you see, is what’s wrong with lying, and only Harvard researchers could prove it. Along with a quasi comedian.