Now THAT Was A Stupid Lie!


Ah, memories! On the old Ethics Scoreboard, I had a feature called the David Manning Liar of the Month. From the description:

David Manning was an imaginary movie reviewer that Sony quoted when one of its movies was so lousy no real movie reviewer would praise it. When this long-running public fraud was brought to Sony’s attention, the company’s response was, in effect, “So who believes movie reviews?” Thus Sony’s phony critic and the company’s cynical defense of him stand for the dubious proposition that as long as your self-serving lie is in a trivial arena (usually entertainment) where dishonesty and misrepresentation are commonplace, or is a lie that nobody believes, it isn’t reprehensible. The fact is that these casual, obvious or trivial lies and the liars who spread them (almost always for profit) further degrade the value of honesty in American society, and pave the way for more destructive lies and liars waiting in the wings. All public deception is harmful, so The Ethics Scoreboard regularly recognizes The David Manning Liars of the Month, and urges the public to make them come clean…

Thus it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling, like finding an old toy, to read that Caitlyn Jenner, running for governor of California to revive her flagging celebrity now that the Kardashian gig is over, issued a completely pointless lie that was bound to be discovered.

CNN’s Dana Bash asked Jenner if the transgender former Olympic champions had voted for for Donald Trump in last year’s election.

“I didn’t even vote,” Jenner replied. “Out here in California, it’s like, why vote for a Republican president? It’s just not going to work. I mean, it’s overwhelming. It was voting day, and I thought, the only thing out here in California that I worry about, which affects people, is the propositions that were out there. And I didn’t see any propositions that I really had one side or the other. And so it was Election Day. And I just couldn’t get excited about it. And I just wound up going to play golf and I said, eh, I’m not doing that.”

But the record showed that she did vote. It was easy to check. Writes Politico, “Her claim to be a non-voter in that seminal 2020 election was baffling for a gubernatorial candidate trying to establish her political credibility, especially since records show she did participate in the contest.”

It’s not baffling. It’s typical: a disturbing number of Americans, especially celebrities and politicians, believe that lying is no big deal, so they don’t think being caught in obvious lies damages their reputation. Their attitude is “Hey, it’s worth a shot!” When they are caught, their reaction is, “Whatever.”

The disturbing thing is that they may be right.

10 thoughts on “Now THAT Was A Stupid Lie!

  1. In Caitlyn’s defense, California declared that voter roll participation was no longer a public record when Donald Trump wanted to examine them. She had no reason to believe that her participation at the polls would be revealed.

    • She has every reason to believe that any and all personal and private information about her will be revealed, at least if it’s damaging: she’s a Republican running for office in California.

      I honestly can’t tell if Jenner’s run for governor is sincere or a narcissistic attention grab. I guess it can be both.

  2. I don’t get the motivation here… Is “I would have, but didn’t” a way to play both sides by claiming innocence of voting for “literally Hitler” and not offending voting bases?

    Whatever the motivation, “I care enough about civics to run for office, but not enough to vote” isn’t a good look.

    • I think that was one of the reasons the US Senate seat vacated by Hillary did not go to Caroline Kennedy, who was revealed not to have voted in some elections in the past. The fact that she was JFK’s daughter just wasn’t enough to put her over the top.

      In the days when I was more involved in the classical crossover community, I came to know or know of several budding teen singers who thought they could be either Charlotte Church’s successor (whose career collapsed in 2002) or Jackie Evancho before there was Jackie Evancho (who wouldn’t almost-win AGT until 2010). A few of them were daughters of ruthless and pushy stage moms (of course), but one, who I won’t name and shame, was particularly ruthless herself. She was barely 18 and she was already asking online fans to give her quotes about how good she was that she could later put on pages and sites as testimonials, asking those same fans to try to gin up votes in online contests for her by pressing their own contacts to do so, asking fans who were going to see and possibly meet established performers to pass her information along, and promising prizes in exchange for online financial support that never materialized. I specifically remember one prize pack was supposed to include a DVD. It didn’t. When I inquired once I was told it was being worked on. When I inquired a second time, I was told, “Are you still hung up about that? I’m afraid it won’t materialize, but thanks for your support all the same. You can’t always get what you want.” The attitude that lying and over-promising to get what you want is ok, and that anyone who calls you out on it can just be brushed off is pretty common.

      I’m happy to say that this young lady’s attempt to be a latter day mini-Maria Callas (famously difficult opera singer) failed miserably. After several vanity projects that went nowhere and projects with different artists (because no one would work with her more than once), she has been reduced to posting breastfeeding pictures on instagram to feed her desire for attention, while the gowns (which no longer fit) get dusty in a spare room closet and the clippings (from local papers, where they ran alongside ads for farmstand apple butter and church flea markets) are getting yellow and brittle in an album that no one has opened for years.

      Arrogance and lying are kinda acceptable if you bring the talent and the results. They are not if you bring neither.

  3. My goodness. Talk about lies, how ’bout them there knockers? Tits on a boar? Pecs on a jock? What’s the world come to?

  4. Not my choice to vote for, that there Jenner. Same goes for all the “trans-.” (But a Vietnamese Tran, I will consider.) Is Jenner really the leading contender against Newsom? If so, California’s gone full shithole.

  5. When I was a street cop and investigator, I got so accustomed to being lied to that my “circle of trust” shrank significantly. I expected people to lie to me, even when they would be better served by telling the truth.
    As a training officer and administrator, I found that police equipment salesmen and software vendors were usually reliable sources of lies, deceptions and false promises. I never bought equipment without a thorough T&E process by my own people, and never bought software without many favorable evaluations and reviews from customers I knew, as well as a thorough “shakedown” of the demo packages offered. My old agency just bought a new records management software package, and apparently they forgot about the old “Good, Fast and Cheap; Pick any Two” Rule. They chose Fast and Cheap, and unsurprisingly it is not Good. The vendor promised features that aren’t working, and processes (like data migration from the old system) that were very poorly executed. I had lunch today with one of the unfortunate souls tasked with getting this mess straightened out, and all I could say was, “Bless your heart!” and be thankful that it isn’t my job.

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