How many citizens find truth irrelevant? How many find a belief or emotion to contain a higher value? Too many I fear.
It was refreshing that a number of citizens came forth to decry the "howler" Dennis Givens slipped into the News Tribune on Jan. 17. Givens recycled material previously debunked all over the Internet as others have said.
A 2008 widely disseminated e-mail attacked the patriotism of then-Sen. Obama. It was said in the e-mail that Sen. Obama was interviewed on "Meet the Press" by an obscure General Ginn on Sept. 7, 2008. It never happened. The words quoted by Mr. Givens were written by John Semmens an Arizona conservative columnist. Semmens was mocking Obama with his make-believe comments concerning the National Anthem and issues surrounding the flag.
Is Mr. Givens just a true believer willing to spread propaganda without making any effort to check its truth? Or is Givens proud to lie for his cause because "the end justifies the means?"
Unfortunately, fantasy also reigns at the national political level. The GOP front runner and most likely presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has to this point not issued one true statement about President Obama. Ron Paul could give you a long list of issues that President Obama should be asked to answer for. Except for Paul, the entire Republican field is running against President Obama based on a series of lies. Those would be include that the president does not support free enterprise, that he has weakened our military and that he goes around the world apologizing for America and on and on. These are all falsehoods and completely bogus issues. Who will call politicians to task? I wonder.
On Jan. 12 the public editor of the NYT wrote a column entitled, "Should The Times Be a Truth Vigilante?" Mr. Brisbane gave a number of examples of issues that the Times could have weighed in on. One was Romney's claim that President Obama has made speeches "apologizing for America."
There is a world of difference in a national political candidate telling whoppers from a local letter writer spreading false information.
The common thread is when there is no objective evidence to support a claim, the public presumes our news media would not publish falsehoods. That our "paper of record", the NYT even asks the public if it wants fact checking is a blow against truth telling!