Politics have always involved innuendos and half-truths, but until recently politicians and the media covering politics have avoided outright lies and a reckless disregard for the truth or for whether their assertions can be proved to be without merit.
Examples of this shifting of the responsible winds are the claims by the White House that the Georgia voting laws enacted this year-end early voting in the state whereas the election reforms actually expand early and other voting opportunities in Georgia while protecting the rights of its citizens to vote their own ballots.
The White House has also refused to admit the severity of the problems being encountered by the administration at the Texas and Arizona borders, in particular. It characterized the situation as a “challenge” while everyone else was admitting the “crisis” that exists and calling for a change in policies to put a cork on the flow of illegal immigrants into this country without being processed or being able to be traced.
The media was not to be outdone. On a recent “60 Minutes” program its reporter suggested that a donation by a supermarket chain to the Governor re-election bid of Governor DeSantis could be linked to the state’s partnership with that chain for COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Of course, the reporter had no substantive evidence to support his allegation, and the chain issued a statement to the effect that any such connection was “absolutely false and offensive.”
Sometimes the media is just silent on matters that don’t support the political views of its management. Former Secretary of State John Kerry was accused of sharing intelligence with Iran about secret Israeli military operations. Kerry denied everything, notwithstanding an audiotape of Iranian’s Foreign Minister stating that such had occurred. Not surprisingly, the major news outlets did not mention the controversy which was revealed in a Sunday New York Times report. Not reporting something that appears to be a betrayal of allegiance is astonishing!
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated publicly that the President’s infrastructure bill would create 19 million jobs until news host Chris Wallace questioned him about the allegation and he admitted that the number was wrong and that fewer jobs would actually be created.
Not to be outdone, some 50 members of the Obama-Clinton-Biden national security team claimed that it was Russian disinformation on Hunter Biden’s laptop which seemed to identify a possible meeting with a certain Ukrainian firm, that is until the former Director of National Intelligence stated on national television that the intelligence community knew that it was not Russian disinformation.
Of course, the ongoing king of verbal tales is Dr. Anthony Stephen Fauci, Director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose position-flipping has been Herculean. In January-February 2020, he discouraged the use of facial coverings. He then changed his assessment about herd immunity. Recently, he said that getting vaccinated does not affect the risk of catching COVID-19 very much. And, when it was obvious that there was a crisis at the southern borders, he said he did not have a comment on the risks of having detained migrants held in cramped facilities. He must be the only person on earth who does not have an opinion on that terrible, risky situation.
And then there is the oft-quotable House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who, after the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial was announced, was quoted as saying: “Thank you, George Floyd, for sacrificing your life for justice.” How absurdly ignorant and pathetic is that? Just let it sink in a minute!
Finally, President Biden claimed he had ridden Amtrak for 1.5 million miles while Vice President. He said he bases his statement on what a conductor told him; however, that person retired some 20 years before Biden became Vice President. In what world does our President reside?
These statements and suggestions by various government officials are being made unabashedly without any accountability for their accuracy and without regard for whether they can be debunked even before the allegations can be reported.
What really offends me about this behavior by people in positions of power is that government is supposed to exist to protect its citizens, not to lie to them or try to divide them. If this truly is what government is meant to do, our government has failed miserably.