People tell lies, or use statistics, which frequently amounts to the same thing, to get what they want.
Most people acknowledge that telling lies is a bad thing. In general. But in this particular case, their case, the positive outcome justifies a little liberality with the facts.
So the liberal media proclaims about such malicious misportrayals as those in ‘The Rabbit Proof Fence,’ ‘OK, it is completely false, but it speaks to a larger truth.’
No it doesn’t. Lies don’t ‘speak to anything’ except the dishonesty of those who repeat them.
“A reporter might take liberties with the factual circumstances to make the larger truth clear.” O large, large truth. Apparently Mr. Reid believes that imposing a truth is the same as arriving at one. Illogically, he also seems to think that truths may be disclosed through lies.
Lies are like the one ring. You might think that if you only use it once or twice, in an emergency, you will get what you want, and no harm will be done.
But like the ring, lies cannot be used except in a way that benefits the enemy. They always, ultimately, work to do harm.
The global warming lobby is a perfect example of this. Lies. To gain more funding. To do useful, valuable research.
But it wasn’t useful research. And the money was diverted from other, genuine research or infrastructure development which could have saved lives, encouraged democracy, produced useful goods and services, etc. And those same lies have discredited science and scientists.
Just as repeated media lies in the interests of ‘the larger truth’ discredit journalists.
Honest scientists and honest journalists should be very annoyed.
Another long standing group of lies relates to domestic violence.
Christina Hoff Summers has more on this in an article on USA Today:
During the 2010 World Cup, British newspapers carried stories with headlines such as “Women’s World Cup Abuse Nightmare” and informed women that the games could uncover “for the first time, a darker side to their partner.” Fortunately, a BBC program called Law in Action took the unusual route pioneered by Ringle: The news people actually checked the facts. Their conclusion: a stunt based on cherry-picked figures.
But when the BBC journalists presented the deputy chief constable, Carmel Napier, from the town of Gwent with evidence that the World Cup abuse campaign was based on twisted statistics, she replied: “If it has saved lives, then it is worth it.”
It is not worth it. Misinformation leads to misdirected policies that fail to target the true causes of violence. Worse, those who promulgate false statistics about domestic violence, however well-meaning, promote prejudice. Most of the exaggerated claims implicate the average male in a social atrocity. Why do that? Anti-male misandry, like anti-female misogyny, is unjust and dangerous. …
Worst of all, misinformation about violence against women suggests a false moral equivalence between societies where women are protected by law and those where they are not. American and British societies are not perfect, but we have long ago decided that violence against women is barbaric. By contrast, the Islamic Republic of Iran — where it is legal to bury an adulterous woman up to her neck and stone her — was last year granted a seat on the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad defended the decision by noting Iranian women are far better off than women in the West. “What is left of women’s dignity in the West?” he asked. He then came up with a statistic to drive home his point: “In Europe almost 70% of housewives are beaten by their husbands.”
That was a self-serving lie. Western women, with few exceptions, are safe and free. Iranian women are neither. Officials like Attorney General Holder, the deputy constable of Gwent, and the activists and journalists who promoted the Super Bowl and World Cup hoaxes, unwittingly contribute to such twisted deceptions.
Victims of intimate violence are best served by the truth.
Indeed. And so are the rest of us.