DimWit Politics

Breaking News: Opinion is Not Truth

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Breaking News: Opinion is Not Truth

Breaking News: Opinion is Not Truth
August 22
18:15 2018

Some 2,500 years ago, Diogenes is said to have traveled the daylighted streets of Athens with his lantern in search of an honest man.  Two and a half millennia later – give or take a few decades — Houdini was convincing people to believe in truth-defying feats that were based on the art of deception.  Today, we live in a political world best represented by Chico Marx’s famous line in the movie Duck Soup. “Who you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?”

Truth has become the most talked about and least respected concept imaginable.  Truth is actually different than a fact – and even facts are mailable when viewed from different perspectives. 

Oh, I know … we hear people in the media talking about truth as if it is some sort of absolute and known quality.  The truth is the truth, they say.  But, they are … well … not telling the truth about truths because there are two kinds of truths in today’s civic discourse.

A scientific “truth” means that the theory or opinion of the scientist has been established by fact – proven beyond refutation.  For such a truth to be valid, it must be applicable and answer ALL issues.  If it falls short of that, it remains a theory – an opinion.  And, opinions are NOT truths even though they are too often expressed or accepted as such out of hope, desire or wishful thinking. Those opinions masquerading as truths are what we mostly see in politics and news coverage today.

Despite the nasty pouncing former New York Mayor and Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani received from the left-wing media in his defense of President Trump, he was telling the truth – although maladroitly – and the media coverage was distorting the truth.

In trying to explain the “perjury trap” – a real danger for targets, subjects and even witnesses during investigations by prosecutors – Giuliani used this example.  Former FBI Director James Comey says Trump expressed his hope that the FBI could go easy on former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.  Trump says no such conversation took place. 

Even Comey’s so-called contemporary notes do not provide conclusive evidence since a clever and politically savvy adversary – and Comey is politically savvy and a Trump adversary – could create ass covering notes that are not true.  No one can say what the truth is because no one but Trump and Comey were in the room at the time.

What Giuliani tried to explain – and did clarify in a subsequent tweet – was that given the two conflicting statements, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller could come to the OPINION that Comey was telling the truth and Trump was lying.  Bingo! Perjury.  This is only one example of the many times and many ways that an aggressive prosecutor can spring a perjury trap on a witness.  Such a charge of perjury, however, would not be based on fact or truth – just one person’s opinion.  In this case, the Special Prosecutor’s.

Most of the anti-Trump media jumped on Giuliani’s clumsy rhetoric to mock him unfairly and unmercifully.  They conspicuously and with malice of forethought edited his comments and omitted his later explanation in order to allege that he was making the ridiculous statement that truth is not always the truth.  What Giuliani should have said is that one person’s “truth” is not always true – not always the absolute factual truth. 

Only one major anchor on the left defended Giuliani – and only weakly and only one time.  CNN’s Alisyn Camerota pushed back on the mocking of Giuliani by saying that she understood what he meant – as would any rational viewer.  Even the out-of-context edited tape revealed enough hints as to his meaning.  Camerota notwithstanding, for the next 24-plus hours, virtually every CNN and MSNBC host and panelist reported and mocked the edited video.  They went beyond honest opinion to willfully create a false impression – what Trump calls “fake news.”  They created a lie by taking Giuliani’s words out of context and then ignoring his clarification.

The media did the same thing to White House Advisor Kellyanne Conway when she referred to “alternative facts.”  She may have been guilty of a poor choice of words, but most people understood what she meant.  There are two sides to every story.  That is why we have prosecutors and defense attorneys in courts.  Regardless, the media went on a mocking melee, implying that “alternative facts” (viewpoints) are lies.

To be an informed citizen, we must first understand that 90 percent or more of what is passed off as news by the so-called news services is not based on fact or truth.  It is opinion being passed off as Truth.  Many reports are based on hearsay – literally gossip – often from unnamed sources.  The only fact

Much of today’s media does not even attempt to discern truth, but rather to create “truths” based on ingrained political biases that lead to false narratives.  That, by definition, is propaganda.  Their intent is to influence not inform.

The media’s well-earned attacks on Trump’s credibility would have greater effect if the news outlets would not destroy their own credibility with specious stories and mendacious narratives.

That is why so much of the American public dislikes and distrusts the media – and by all measures, that disdain crosses party and philosophic lines.  That is because the people are a lot smarter than the arrogant media moguls and mangers believe.  The average person can read between the lines and the lies to discern more fundamental truths.  Common sense is a better diviner of truth than round-the-clock news.

About Author

Larry Horist

Larry Horist

Larry Horist is a conservative activist with an extensive background in economics, public policy and politics. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman, as well as the White House. He has testified as an expert witness before legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress, and lectured at major colleges and universities. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He can be reached at lph@thomasandjoyce.com.

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