- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 21, 2004

True lies

“On ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ not so long ago, Dan Rather spoke in defense of public figures who make stuff up. He called Bill Clinton an ‘honest man,’ even as he acknowledged Clinton’s whoppers. ‘Who among us have not lied about somebody?’ Rather asked. ‘I think at the core he’s an honest person. … I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.’

You can be an honest person and lie about any number of things. This elastic philosophy of honesty must account for Rather’s view of himself as a witness to ‘core truth’ while peddling a forgery against the president. Rather sees a ‘core truth’ wrapped in a forgery inside his CBS reporting, and he is outraged that his critics won’t admit it. He is in effect saying: Didn’t this forgery at least place me in the vicinity of truth? He lashes out at ‘people who for their own partisan, political agendas can’t deny the core truth of this story … and want to change the subject and make the story about me rather than have the story be about the unanswered questions about President Bush’s military service.’ …

“Perhaps only Dan Rather could get caught out in a forgery and proceed to demand that President Bush answer the questions the forgery raises. According to Rather’s moral calculus, forged documents shed light not on his lack of credibility, but on the credibility of the president they slander.”

George Neumayr, writing on “Mad Dan’s Noble Lie,” Thursday in the American Spectator online at ww.spectator.org

The death of truth

“You might think that either a certain swift boat was getting shot at in Cambodian waters during a covert mission on Christmas Eve in 1968, or else it wasn’t. But it isn’t that simple. …

“Editorial page editor Chris Satullo of the Philadelphia Inquirer knows it isn’t simple: The word he uses is ‘impossible.’ Commenting on John Kerry and [Vietnam veterans who question Mr. Kerry’s record] Mr. Satullo lectures the reader, with astonishing certitude, about the impossibility of certainty in history: ‘No one is telling the precise, complete truth. No one is because no one can. It is not possible.’ …

“And if you happened to be merely skimming the editorial over cafe au lait, you didn’t notice that the fella just declared history dead. There is no truth. There is no history. There is only your truth. There is only your history.”

Andree Seu, writing on “Is it really ‘impossible’ for people to give an accurate account of events?” in the Sept. 18 issue of World

Naked truth

“The New York Times is aghast that Jenna Jameson’s memoir/self-help opus is successful and gloriously displayed in mainstream bookstores. … Janet Maslin sneers: ‘When it comes to displaying herself, Ms. Jameson had previously tried everything except her current maneuver: being planted right in the middle of the bookstore. Amazingly, a memoir that once would have won itself a plain brown wrapper can now be found beside books about Henry James.’ …

“While the mainstream and highbrow press may pretend that Jameson is an obscure cultural figure, the pornography industry racks up nearly $10 billion per year, equal to the annual domestic box-office receipts of all of Hollywood’s major film releases. Which means that Jameson, porn’s reigning celebrity, is a movie star on par with Gwyneth Paltrow. … Since the naked truth about Jameson is hardly difficult to find … her book is a best-seller because of her immense popularity, not because it’s a chance to finally get a sneak peek at Jenna.”

Sacha Zimmerman, writing Thursday in the New Republic Online at www.tnr.com

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