For four years the mainstream media kept a tally of every lie President Trump ever told.
Fact-checkers like the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler and CNN’s Daniel Dale centered their lives around Well Ackchyually-ing Trump at every opportunity.
How times have changed!
President Biden’s lies are constantly written off as either harmless gaffes or exaggerations.
Even the most blatant falsehoods from Joe receive little or no criticism from the press.
Instead, journalists speculate on what they think the 78-year-old probably meant to say.
During the Trump administration, fact-checking hubs like Snopes and Reuters had no problem issuing black and white verdicts on the president’s statements.
Suddenly there are 46 shades of gray. Presidential remarks used to be deemed either ‘true’ or ‘false’. Now the verdicts range from ‘It’s complicated’ to ‘missing context’.
Biden, like so many other liberal heroes, gets an exemption for his falsehoods for an important reason: he is spreading noble lies.
In Plato’s Republic, Socrates describes the noble lie as a myth that ‘would have a good effect’ and make the people of the Republic ‘more inclined to care for the state and one another’.
Whereas George Constanza would say it’s not a lie if you believe it, the noble liar says it is a lie, but for good reasons.
If you need an example of someone who is well-versed in the art of the noble lie, look no further than the man behind the masks, Dr Anthony Fauci.
The highest paid federal employee in the United States ($411,000 a year) is quite brazen about his fibbing.
This week, journalist Mary Katharine Ham stunned the hosts and her fellow panelists on CNN when she brought up the epidemiologist’s track record with the truth:
‘He has at least twice, and I will be gentle, in saying at least shaded the truth about his COVID pronouncements based on his own judgment on what the public can handle. Now, you may think those shadings of the truth were noble, that for instance, saying that masks were not particularly efficient for helping protect you back in the beginning of the pandemic so that they could be in greater supply for health workers, that the end result was okay. But it did seed distrust of him with good reason.’
At this point CNN’s John Avlon looked like he needed a medic. But Ham, to her credit, kept going. She also brought up another instance where Fauci decided to lie to Americans because he thought he knew what was in our best interest better than we did:
‘He also has admitted saying that when it came to herd immunity, he looked at polling to base his statements on how much herd immunity would be the threshold that we needed.’
The man who controlled so many of our lives for over a year was proud of his lies — they were righteous ones.
Dr Fauci, like Col Jessup in A Few Good Men, didn’t tell us the truth because we can’t handle the truth.
Later in the pandemic, the worn-out and irritable American public was introduced to the female Fauci.
Dr Rochelle Walensky stepped on the scene and immediately proved she had learned from the master.
During a White House briefing, the CDC director went ‘off-script’ in a dramatic and highly orchestrated moment:
‘I’m going to reflect on the recurring feeling I have of impending doom. We have so much to look forward to, so much promise and potential of where we are, and so much reason for hope, but right now, I’m scared…please hold on a little while longer.’
Weeks went by and despite the expert’s dreadful prediction, there was no doom, impending or otherwise.
Even in Neanderthal-thinking states like Texas the death toll plummeted.
But Rochelle didn’t make the statement based off of science. She made it to panic the public and keep the lockdowns going. She was lying for a woke cause.
The fact-checkers are not keeping track of these falsehoods anymore, but are the voters? Americans are sick of doom and gloom predictions, gaslighting and fear tactics.
Don’t be surprised if the country’s patience for liars — even noble ones — is wearing thin.