Sunday, December 24, 2017

Playing the Fake News Card

Fake News/Real News: The game of Fake News and Alternative Facts, see below.

When you lie you’d better be a really good liar, especially if you’re a public figure such as an ambassador. Because, as every politician should know, past lies have a habit of popping up at inconvenient moments to reveal a pompous fool as his true self.

Today, someone, somewhere has your past statements on “the record” either in video or via an “open mike”. So, it behooves a liar to develop a super system to keep his lies for instant retrieval.

President Trump, an accomplished psychopath, is a “Teflon” liar. No lie, no matter how egregious, seems to “stick” to him. Even though he is called out every day on any number of falsehoods and misstatements he has become adept at deflecting truth finders with his array of grade school bullying tactics - outrageous claims, insinuations, browbeating, cowing, intimidation, racial slurs, demeaning personal attacks, threats and sexual innuendos.

 But when bullying tactics are not apropos for the challenge at hand, Mr. Trump favors playing the Fake News Card. He simply labels the inconvenient fact as “Fake News” and thus immediately dispenses with it.

The tactic has worked so well that Mr. Trump’s acolytes and political appointees have adopted it, as well. Take, for instance, former U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI). He’s representing us now as ambassador to the Netherlands. Ambassador Hoekstra tried to play the Fake News Card in an interview with Dutch TV, but the astute reporter, Wouter Zwart, was ready for him, immediately calling out Hoekstra on two lies within a few minutes by playing a video clips of Hoekstra saying exactly what he denied he said.

To his credit, Hoekstra later apologized for being outed for his misapplication of the Fake News Card

Mr. Trump has never apologized…. Well, he did one time, sort of. For years Mr. Trump claimed that former President Obama was not born in the U.S., then right before the election he admitted that his claim was false. But, in true Trumpian style, he’s recently gone back on that retraction, dredging up the false claim again.

The moral of this story might be: unless you’re Teflon Trump, be very careful when you play the Fake News Card.

By the way, playing Fake News has become so popular, there is even a card game called: Fake News/Real News: The game of Fake News and Alternative Facts.

More About Mr. Hoekstra
Rachel Maddow: 'Pete Hoekstra the Best the Republican Party Has to Offer on Intelligence


Seriously, is lying bad for us?
"Perhaps the most powerful moral argument for honesty has to do with what the French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre called "bad faith." Liars deceive others, but in a sense, liars also deceive themselves. When we lie we tend to distort our own view of reality, and the more often we lie, the more habitual this distortion becomes. Over time, the habit of lying divorces us further and further from reality, so we see less and less clearly the choices before us and what is at stake in them. Eventually, we may find ourselves unable to see what we are really doing and how it is affecting others and ourselves. We end up leading inauthentic and irresponsible lives."

Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD, is a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He is a professor of radiology, pediatrics, medical education, philosophy, liberal arts, and philanthropy, and vice-chair of the Radiology Department, at Indiana University. Gunderman's most recent book is X-Ray Vision.

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