FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Art of Lying

After so many politicians and entertainers have embarrassed themselves by being caught in pathetic, utterly transparent lies, you would think people in the public eye would have learned enough from these past blunders to come up with a different strategy when asked potentially damaging questions.  Alas, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The most recent goof was that of Anne Gust Brown, California Governor Jerry Brown’s wife.  It all began with a message left on an answering machine, in 2010, during the California gubernatorial race.  Apparently, as reported in the Sacramento Bee (June 6), an anonymous female caller had left a message on someone’s machine in which she referred to Republican candidate Meg Whitman as a “whore.”

Because the voice sounded like Mrs. Brown’s, she was asked point-blank if it were, in fact, she who had left the message.  At this juncture, Mrs. Brown could have simply copped to it and said, “Yep, that was me.  In the heat of battle I used a very poor choice of words, for which I apologize.”  Or she could have flatly lied, and risked going to Hell, and said,  “Nope, that wasn’t me.  Sorry, but that is definitely not my voice.”  Period.

But instead of either, this was the convoluted answer she gave:  “I listened to that tape, and I couldn’t hear the word in question. I couldn’t hear it at all….I don’t know who it was.  I’m not saying it couldn’t have been me.  I thought okay, it probably was me….By the eighth time listening to it, I thought it wasn’t really worth my time.”

So the word “whore,” the word everyone else had heard on the recording, was the one word Mrs. Brown insisted she couldn’t hear.  Moreover, she claimed she was unable to identify her own voice.  She said she had no idea who it was who was talking.  Then, as the questioning continued, she admitted that, yes, it could have been her.  Then she finally confessed that “it probably was me.”

Granted, one could rightly criticize the media for trying to make an issue out of something this trivial.  Really, guys, you have nothing better to write about than the use of a pejorative term on somebody’s phone machine three years ago?  But trivial or not, Mrs. Brown made a mildly embarrassing situation infinitely worse by equivocating to the point of near absurdity.  This bright and engaging woman came off sounding like a fool.

Which brings us to Anthony Weiner’s penis.  We all know the story.  Congressman Weiner sent photos of his penis to an appreciative woman Internet acquaintance.  As happens all too often (learn from this, people!), these embarrassing photos managed to find their way into the public domain, and Weiner found himself in a world of trouble.

In fairness to Weiner, let’s not pretend that all he needed to do to get out of this mess was to say what we suggested Mrs. Brown say—in other words, simply cop to it and expect to move on.  “Yes, it was my penis in those photos.  And I have no further comment.”  In no way was that terse little statement going to satisfy the media, not by a long-shot.

But Weiner put himself in the untenable position of sounding, simultaneously, both intelligent and idiotic.  In answer to whether or not that was his penis in the photo, he professed not to know, which, I would argue, wasn’t an entirely unreasonable answer.  After all, how many men, if shown flashcards of penises, could instantly identify their own?  I seriously doubt I could.

What sank Weiner were his subsequent answers.  When he admitted he couldn’t say whether the penis in the photo was his own, the follow-up question was:  Have you ever had photographs taken of your penis?  And when Weiner said he was uncertain of that as well, that’s when his shaky account began to unravel.

The lesson?  Assume that the truth will eventually see the light of day, that you’ll be caught and exposed, and plan your response accordingly.

David Macaray, an LA playwright and author (“It’s Never Been Easy:  Essays on Modern Labor” 2nd edition), was a former union rep.  Dmacaray@earthlink.net

 

 

 

More articles by:

David Macaray is a playwright and author. His newest book is How To Win Friends and Avoid Sacred Cows.  He can be reached at dmacaray@gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
August 16, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Uncle Sam was Born Lethal
Jennifer Matsui
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Rob Urie
Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity
Stuart A. Newman
The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human
Nick Alexandrov
Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol
Jeffrey St. Clair
The First Dambuster: a Coyote Tale
Eric Draitser
“Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)
Nick Pemberton
Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?
Jim Kavanagh
Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
Andrew Levine
Have They No Decency?
David Yearsley
Kind of Blue at 60
Ramzy Baroud
Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The War on Nature
Martha Rosenberg
Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!
Yoav Litvin
Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Neve Gordon
It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors
Susan Miller
That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
Ralph Nader
With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
Victor Grossman
Warnings, Ancient and Modern
Meena Miriam Yust - Arshad Khan
The Microplastic Threat
Kavitha Muralidharan
‘Today We Seek Those Fish in Discovery Channel’
Louis Proyect
The Vanity Cinema of Quentin Tarantino
Bob Scofield
Tit For Tat: Baltimore Takes Another Hit, This Time From Uruguay
Nozomi Hayase
The Prosecution of Julian Assange Affects Us All
Ron Jacobs
People’s Music for the Soul
John Feffer
Is America Crazy?
Jonathan Power
Russia and China are Growing Closer Again
John W. Whitehead
Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government and Its Police Forces
Justin Vest
ICE: You’re Not Welcome in the South
Jill Richardson
Race is a Social Construct, But It Still Matters
Dean Baker
The NYT Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Retains Political Control After New US Coercive Measures
Gary Leupp
MSNBC and the Next Election: Racism is the Issue (and Don’t Talk about Socialism)
R. G. Davis
Paul Krassner: Investigative Satirist
Negin Owliaei
Red State Rip Off: Cutting Worker Pay by $1.5 Billion
Christopher Brauchli
The Side of Trump We Rarely See
Curtis Johnson
The Unbroken Line: From Slavery to the El Paso Shooting
Jesse Jackson
End Endless War and Bring Peace to Korea
Adolf Alzuphar
Diary: What About a New City Center?
Tracey L. Rogers
Candidates Need a Moral Vision
Nicky Reid
I Was a Red Flag Kid
John Kendall Hawkins
The Sixties Victory Lap in an Empty Arena
Stephen Cooper
Tony Chin’s Unstoppable, Historic Career in Music
Charles R. Larson
Review: Bruno Latour’s Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime
Elizabeth Keyes
Haiku Fighting
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail