Friday, January 13, 2006

Well, There's Truth and then there's The Truth

The truth has had a tough week.

This week, it has turned out that key events James Frey's memoir A Million Little Pieces didn't happen; that the famous South Korean researcher has not cloned anything human, and that a formal legislative hearing in Pennsylvania could only turn up one student, who had not filed a complaint, who would accuse liberal professors of intimidating and indoctrinating their students. Oh, and Dick Cheney is back to peddling a Saddam/al-Qaida connection.

So, ho-hum. People with agendas shading the truth or even flat out lying. It happens. This kind of stuff is bad because it poisons the well for everyone else, but it happens. This makes me sad, but on questions like this, I'm trying to follow the advice from my youth from Elvis Costello - "I used to get disgusted, but now I try to be amused".

But I cannot find anything amusing in the responses of supporters of the people discredited this week.

Oprah Winfrey, who had promoted Frey's book, said whole controversy is "much ado about nothing". Koreans have rioted and threatened the people who exposed the fraudulent researcher. A representative for the group which agitated for the Pennsylvania investigation against "liberal indoctrination" insisted that even after the hearings that the burden was still on the universities to prove they weren't indoctrinating the students, rather than on the students to prove their claims. And the Vice President? Well, just as I commented earlier that a "cat is going to be a cat", Dick Cheney is going to be Dick Cheney.

What are we to make of this? Somebody help me out here.


an said...

What are we to make of this? That human beings are a bunch of loons. 'Nuff said.

WES ELLIS said...

The greatest lesson I think I can learn from this is, first of all, my agenda should never overshadow truth. Second it's no use being afraid of truth. your examples of people responding so negatively; riots, Oprah, etc. are result, at least in part, of people allowing their agenda to overshadow the truth and then being afraid of the truth.

I hope that if something I stand for is discredited I'll be obedient and honest. I read it on a bumper sticker once (I know, bumper stickers aren't usually a good sourse for wisdom) "Truth isn't always popular, but it's always right."