Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

lies3For the most part, I have turned off the radio, the TV, the incoming news feeds, etc. With few exceptions, I am limiting the amount of crappy media that is coming into my brain. I open it up for select topics of interest, to keep a finger on the pulse of a schizophrenic U.S.A., such as the Women’s March on Washington. Such as, the amount of visible support or lack there of that this new administration is getting. Let’s start with a definition:

Lienoun

  1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
    1. Synonyms: prevarication, falsification.
      1. Antonyms: truth.
  2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture:“His flashy car was a lie that deceived no one.”
  3. an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.
  4. the charge or accusation of telling a lie: “He flung the lie back at his accusers.”

Now, unless you are going to call the dictionary a liar, this is the (emphasis THE) definition of a lie. A false statement. Lies are vanquished by truth, with can be backed up with factual data. There is no contest when there is visual or observable proof of the truth. There is no opinion, contest, or semantics when you’re talking about facts. Period. Facts are truly that – FACTS. Verifiable with evidence. This isn’t statistics, this is counting. Get the difference? (and why we care is in a great article here…)

 lies4The first few days of this new presidency have been fraught with lies, damn lies, and statistics. The fact that we may have to endure four or more years of nothing but counter-productive activities, like disputing facts, or outright lies, is a little defeating. Maybe that’s the tactic. I don’t know. I do know that I want to stick to the facts, the observable proof of something. Something either happened, or it didn’t. Photographs, visuals, recordings – all of it proves something one way or another.

Here’s what I want to just…show. First off, the PBS News Hour uploaded the visuals of the Washington Mall on Inauguration Day. That is here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdantUf5tXg . CNN did theirs, too, which is here. So, let’s see how, at least in photos, two inaugurations compare: Trump’s and Obama’s. This is from CBS News. Okay, we have some evidence that there is a significant difference in the events. For most of us who remember the Inauguration of Obama, we remember the crowds, regardless of which side you were on. So, to recap: PBS News Hour, CBS, and CNN reported the same basic visuals.

Then there’s this news briefing, from the White House Press Secretary, within 24 hours of the Inauguration. Let’s first note that he talked about “false reporting from news agencies.” He opens with “Twitter” feeds. I was a journalism major for a while and I can tell you that Twitter is not “a reporting news feed.” I’m not sure I needed to be a journalism major to figure that out. Not even close. However, he goes on the state that the numbers of visitors were wrong, pictures were wrong, much of the reporting was just plan…wrong. We’ve heard that same set of words from our current President’s run for election. One has facts. The other opinion. I know which “side,” for better or worse to call it, that I would choose. lies2

And honestly, that’s the crux of my dilemma with not just this President but with the entire administration. It is built on divisive points of view. Things not agreed-upon are called “lies.” Facts displayed are called lies. Opinions masquerading as fact are not truth. They aren’t even lies. They are opinions. What I see is clearly a pattern of denying truth in favor of opinions or lies. It’s hard to find healing and closure and growth when you’re continually fighting over just the truth.

Let’s move to the Women’s March on Washington (and everywhere, really.) I am sorry that I was not able to go. I truly am. I rarely feel that kind of motivation to protest openly and I felt it keenly. Maybe that is coloring my view and I admit that…In my new-found interest, I reviewed the footage from the media. The Washington Post did a very good article, here. Numbers are presented, “On Sunday, Metro officials announced that Saturday was the second-busiest day in the Washington subway system’s history, with 1,001,613 trips. (By contrast, on Trump’s Inauguration Day, the system recorded 570,557 trips.) ” This is not hard to verify, by looking at Metro counts from the actual machines and ticket sales. It has been verified. CBS News posted their coverage of the events and the history of protests but not as much as most would think. With over a million women protesting in cities across the nation, it would be hard to ignore.

And yet, here’s the Trump administration’s response to the Women’s March on Washington, as reported by NBC news. “In the first comment about the march out of the White House, a Trump administration official told NBC News: “It’s a shame that the March for Life, which estimates the same number of marchers in DC (650,000 in 2013) and will be happening next Friday,… The comments were the first administration officials had made about the demonstrations. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer ignored questions about the marches shouted by reporters during a press statement on Saturday.” The unofficial news feed, Twitter, was employed by Trump to provide his opinion of the matter: “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.” The administration went on to focus on comments by Madonna, instead of the sheer numbers of national protesting women, most of which could do far worst damage than one celebrity. Indeed, Gloria Steinem’s comment regarding Muslim registration could cause all kind of chaos.

lies1

Both, actually, bother me.

I’m going to be researching the facts and the lies and the opinions for the rest of my life, not just the next four years. I am, however, going to be extra vigilant on reporting, news agencies, and finding truth – for the next four years. I’m a supporter of ProPublica and I believe they do a fair job of reporting. I go here, first, when I want to know something. The Sunlight Foundation also does a good job of reporting on the things we don’t really hear about often. While their blog may be opinion, I do see it supported with facts. Their use of technology keeps a mobile populace informed. I get a notification every time congress – house or senate – are ready to vote on something, including who to contact if I have an opinion. Whether they are struggling or not is in question. I hope not.

I personally am tired of lies. I will annoy the hell out of my friends, conservative, liberal, Democrat, Republican, Independent – yes, just about everyone – if they start coming at me with opinions showing up as “fact” or outright lies, or “facts” without evidence. I want to start having real conversations about the things that matter, not heated angry yelling matches with people. Let’s debate with facts, not opinions. Dig for the facts. Find the truth. You are smart. I know you can do it. It’s time for the smartest people to come together and start shaping what our Nation will become. We do this through true facts, and action to support what we want changed. Let’s do this. Now. Day two. Day three… and Day 1460.

One thought on “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

  1. Beatrice Charlton says:

    People are used to being fed “opinions” not facts. With “news” repeating for pole numbers, they do not need to look for facts .Can the average person recognize what is true or not?

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