From an early age, we are taught that lying is wrong. That we should be truthful and honest, even if it makes us look bad. But we also learn quickly that lying will sometimes get us out of trouble, or prevent some sort of punishment. At least for a little while. Saying “it wasn’t me” means that there’s a chance that the authority figure doesn’t yell at us, make us feel shame.
But we continue to have this false logic that lying is bad, that it’s wrong.
I’m not saying lying is good, far from it. But lying has taken on a very odd face.
At one time in the United States, there was a broadcasting law which ensured that news programs could not lie. They could not falsely report something without some repercussion. That law was repealed. The idea was that surely news outlets are made up of honest, trust worthy folks who would never try to deceive the public. That statement itself is a lie.
We’ve got such a law in Canada, and the present government has toyed with removing it from the books. Because, news agencies are made up of honest folks.
But let’s face facts. News agencies are not made up of honest folks. They’re made up of liars who only care about ratings, or in the cases of right wing media, advancing a political view by spreading bold face lies and half truths. They aren’t being honest at all.
The biggest culprit is Fox News (for the record, Sun Media in Canada is the biggest sort of culprit, at least if they could get away with it). The recent Ferguson protests are an example, where it was reported that the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown was said to have received an injury during a struggle with Brown. Fox and several other right wing news outlets posted an image of an MRI that showed the injury. Which later turned out to be a bold faced lie. The scan, as it turns out, was from 2008. And not even from a hospital near Ferguson. But the date and location were removed from the scan in photoshop.
I’m sure that Fox News will say, should they be confronted with this information and its proven, that they were victims of a hoax. That they were put on by liars and they will vow to never use that source again. Except, even then they’d be lying. They lie so much that they can’t even decipher a lie from the truth. They’ve told so many lies, they believe the lies, and even the lies about the lies. They don’t have an honest bone in their bodies.
So who holds them responsible for lying? Will they tell the truth even if it makes them look bad (and with their track record, it’s incredibly bad)? Will they face shame and guilt in order to make reparations and beg forgiveness for the lies they’ve told?
The answer to that one is easy. They won’t. Because they are too invested in continuing the lie.