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.