Keller @ Large: Why Do They Lie?

BOSTON (CBS) – What’s the one thing almost everyone agrees they can’t stand about our political culture?

That’s an easy one – politicians who don’t tell the truth.

No one likes to be lied to. And when our leaders play that game – claiming, for instance, that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction that threaten us, or insisting “if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” – it leaves a wicked bad taste.

The two major-party presidential candidates either don’t get this or just ignore it, at their peril, I think.

Hillary Clinton’s spin about her e-mail lapses, or any one of Donald Trump’s countless whoppers, don’t seem to be growing their base.

And sometimes, it seems they just flat-out don’t know or care what the truth is.

By now you might have heard about Donald Trump Jr.’s tasteless tweet of a picture of a bowl full of Skittles, with text that reads: “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you, Would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”

Trump Jr., tasteless and uninformed? That wasn’t surprising.

But the Trump campaign issued a statement claiming that junior was just “speaking the truth.”

No, he wasn’t.

He was repeating a crude smear of a whole class of people who have almost entirely uninvolved in domestic terrorism.

It’s true – the truth is often complicated, and doesn’t always support political pandering. To define Trump Jr.’s garbage as “truth” is to debase the term.

But all too often, that seems to be the best our political elites can do.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

More from Jon Keller
Comments

One Comment

  1. Qwantz says:

    Err, Jon, are you just waking up to the fact that politicians lie? Leaders have been lying since the first group of cavemen stalked a dinosaur* (“You distract him and I’ll throw my spear. Don’t worry there is no danger…ooops, sorry, Gronk”)

    However, your criticism about Trump Jr., in a bit about political lies, puzzles me. How is an analogy that starts with a hypothetical (“if I had a bowl of skittles … ) ever a lie?

    Tasteless? Yes. Crude smear? Yes. Uninformed opinion? Yes.

    But a lie?

    You are doing what many posters do here. You ignore, or don’t understand, the difference between facts and opinions.

  2. mstarvin says:

    Gee Jon look in the mirror and ask yourself this same question. Why does the media lie….omission and protectionism of Democrats is lying. Your station was running a story, from the AP, stating that Hillary was not anti-second amendment and then turned that story into a Trump bashing piece…..which whopper do you feel guilty for???

    1. paul dowd says:

      Just to be clear, Secretary Clinton has never stated that she is against the second or any other constitutional amendment. Nor has she ever suggested that the second amendment should be repealed. What do you base your belief that Clinton is anti-second amendment on? Trumps statements?

      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        NRA brainwashing.

      2. Concerned American says:

        Hillary has praised the gun confiscation measures in Australia. (As has Barack Obama, for that matter.)

      3. mstarvin says:

        Even CNN (Clinton news Network) calls her out on wanting to ban gun ownership:

      4. mstarvin says:

        For some reason this post was sent into the moderation bin??

        There is the lie yet again…she is absolutely anti-second amendment and her careful slimy wording she learned from Bill doesn’t change the fact. She will tell you that she is NOT anti-second amendment but then tell you that the second amendment means something different to her then it does to gun owners…..slime filled lie that liberals think others can’t see.

      5. The Owl says:

        Hillary has suggested gun control legislation that is regularly been determined as unconstitutional.

        How, Mr. Dowd, is she going to get such measures implemented without a constitutional change?

        Please be specific.

      6. bees_knees_6 says:

        Where in that clip do you hear her say she wants to ban guns or end the second amendment.

        And Owl YOU be specific please.

      7. The Owl says:

        Here’s what Hillary is saying about the subject herself:

        “As president, Hillary will:

        Expand background checks to more gun sales—including by closing the gun show and internet sales loopholes—and strengthen the background check system by getting rid of the so-called “Charleston Loophole.”
        Take on the gun lobby by removing the industry’s sweeping legal protection for illegal and irresponsible actions (which makes it almost impossible for people to hold them accountable), and revoking licenses from dealers who break the law.
        Keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill by supporting laws that stop domestic abusers from buying and owning guns, making it a federal crime for someone to intentionally buy a gun for a person prohibited from owning one, and closing the loopholes that allow people suffering from severe mental illness to purchase and own guns. She will also support work to keep military-style weapons off our streets.”

        See:https:/ /www.hillaryclinton.com/ issues/gun-violence-prevention/

        Remove spaces

  3. paul dowd says:

    President Obama was born in America, period. So why did Trump perpetuate what he knew was a racist smear lie for all these years and what caused this sudden flip-flop? The upcoming debate?

    1. hammerhead says:

      you know in this day and age of information all one has to do is look, however many liberals are just quite content living with their heads buried in the sand sucking in all the pro bias mainstream media news instead of searching for the facts, the facts are that sHillery and her dem cronies started the birther movement!
      http://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2015/09/26/washington-post-confirms-hillary-clinton-started-the-birther-movement/

      1. Sy Clops says:

        For a more balanced accounting of the “birther” movement see:

        http://www.businessinsider.com/did-hillary-clinton-start-the-birther-movement-2016-9 .

        “There is no evidence that Clinton herself has ever said Obama wasn’t born in America”

        Few people are so unwise as to go to breitbart.com as a source of facts. Those who do are mostly looking for confirmation of their already ill-conceived opinions.

        But I suspect you already knew that.

      2. Concerned American says:

        …and then there’s this left-leaning contribution from way back when:

        http://www.politico.com/story/2011/04/birtherism-where-it-all-began-053563

      3. paul dowd says:

        Again, why did Trump perpetuate this racist smear lie for all these years and what caused this sudden flip-flop on Obama’s birthplace?

    2. Bengals2 says:

      A “racist smear lie” that was initiated by Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary in 2008.

    1. Bengals2 says:

      The opinion of the tax cuts is incorrect. All tax brackets got a cut in the Acts of 2001 along with a reduction in the Capital Gains Tax for the Lower bracket. And that was after reading only 1 paragraph.

      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        “The study found that the effective tax rate for the top 1 percent of taxpayers dropped from 33 percent in 2001 to 26.7 percent this year [2004], a decline of 19 percent. The middle 20 percent of taxpayers saw a decline of 4 percent.”

        Next…

      2. Concerned American says:

        Citation please.

        Meanwhile, from a place that analyzed IRS tax data:

        http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-income-tax-data-2015-update

        Table 8 shows that in 2001, the average tax rate for the top 1 percent of income earners was 27.6 percent, a figured which fell to 23.52 percent in 2004 (a drop of 14.8 percent). Meanwhile, in 2001, the average tax rate for the bottom 50 percent of income earners was 4.92 percent and fell to 3.53 percent in 2004 (a drop of 28.3 percent).

        Oh, and according to Table 6, in 2001 the top 1 percent of income earners contributed 33.22 percent of all federal income tax revenue, a figure that rose to 36.28 percent in 2004 (and by 2004, the top 1 percent contributed more federal income tax dollars than the bottom 90 percent of earners). The bottom 50 percent of income earners, by comparison, contributed 4.9 percent in 2001 and 3.87 percent in 2004.

        Yeah, those “tax cuts for the rich.”

      3. Bengals2 says:

        That’s great. Considering the Tax Cut of 2001 didn’t take effect until 2006.

        Next……

    2. bees_knees_6 says:

      CBPP cites data from the Tax Policy Center, stating that 24.2% of tax savings went to households in the top one percent of income compared to the share of 8.9% that went to the middle 20 percent

      http://www.cbpp.org/research/tax-returns-a-comprehensive-assessment-of-the-bush-administrations-record-on-cutting-taxes?fa=view&id=1811

      We have had the discussion about Federal income taxes previously. Yet, you keep repeating the half turths. The 45 percent number applies to federal income taxes, not all taxes. For all federal taxes, the share for the top 1 percent was 27.9 percent. I am sure you also know that 10% of a billion is going to be greater than 10% of 25,000. Please stop using this half truth. It makes folks think it is the norm for you.

      That, however, is the last I will bother replying to you. Your belief ….which you have made very clear….that only those on the far right have all of the answers, is not only ridiculous but also what is wrong with this country. Contrary to your views, CA, you do not have all the answers. However, I also do not have all of the answers. Working together is how we find the answers.

      1. Concerned American says:

        “That, however, is the last I will bother replying to you.”

        Awww, poor baby. Would you like some cheese with your whine?

  4. The Owl says:

    Trump’s “Skittles” comment, Jon?

    Totally inelegant as many of Trumps comments tend to be. But it’s a rather accurate description.

    1. bees_knees_6 says:

      I’ve been wrestling with that myself and agree with your wording. It could be an accurate description for any group. But yes…inelegant.

      And speaking of groups, why are we yet again discussing lies of politicians and not commenting on the mess in Charlotte last night.

    2. WeWereHereFirst says:

      Actually the skittles comment was by Trump Jr.

      1. AmericanByBirth says:

        Trump Jr.’s lack of intelligence (surprisingly, dumber than dad) is a perfect example of the dumbing down of America caused by mongrelization. Donald Trump is dumber than his father whose pure Aryan blood was corrupted by crossbreeding with a Scot (Gaelic barbarian). Trump’s interbreeding with a Slav produced the current generation of Trumps and Trumpettes, whose intelligence begin to pproach that of a bowl of Jello..

  5. paul dowd says:

    I am not getting a ‘reply’ option below the replies to my comment above so I’ll start over. The video above shows Clinton advocating gun control. Gun control in the form of reasonable regulations such as background checks, ban of high capacity magazines, ban of assault weapons, close gun show purchases and other loopholes that make it easy for a criminal (or anyone else) to purchase a gun. She has never advocated banning gun ownership across the boards. Gun controls can be implemented without constitutional changes. The courts can uphold or strike down as they see fit.

    1. Concerned American says:

      Ah… another fool on the left who thinks that only overtly admitting to supporting something constitutes supporting it – as if Hillary (or any politician, for that matter) would ever openly admit to supporting something that would be so controversial.

      1. paul dowd says:

        So we have established that Clinton has never advocated banning gun ownership by private Americans and has never advocated against the second amendment. Thanks CA for the support.

      2. Concerned American says:

        Correction: we have established that Hillary Clinton has not said the exact words, “I advocate banning gun ownership and repealing the second amendment”, which is not the same thing.

        You’re welcome.

      3. Sy Clops says:

        ” fool … who thinks that only overtly admitting to supporting something constitutes supporting it …”

        As opposed to someone just concluding support because it fits their agenda?

        Who is the fool?

      4. Concerned American says:

        “As opposed to someone just concluding support because it fits their agenda?”

        Who did that? You? Paul Dowd? BK?

    2. bees_knees_6 says:

      Shame on you, Rowdy. Don’t you know that even though Clinton has never said that she has any intention of taking away all guns or being anti-second amendment that she could, possibly, maybe, somehow, potentially say that someday, in the future, at some point. So we must conclude that Clinton is anti-second amendment.

  6. bees_knees_6 says:

    Darn, I just received an invitation to fly on the trump plane. I may have to reconsider my position. I wonder if he is using charitable donations to pay for this?

    1. paul dowd says:

      If you go on the Trump plane don’t drink anything they offer you. Especially if it’s kool-aid.

      1. mstarvin says:

        Yes because we all know Paul really prefers the bull dung with an Organic label from Hillary.

    2. Sy Clops says:

      Evidently don’t play golf with Trump either. (Or at least don’t expect him to pay any wager the two of you might make.) As any businessman knows, you can learn a lot about someone by playing a round of golf with them.

      http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-258k-charity-settle-suits-businesses-article-1.2799475

      1. Arnie P says:

        ” As any businessman knows, you can learn a lot about someone by playing a round of golf with them”

        Mr. Clops: That story reads like a rigged carnival game. But, in trying to find the court filings, I came across this gem:

        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-05-27/what-it-s-like-to-play-donald-trump-s-ferry-point-golf-course-in-the-bronx

        Read about halfway down the article and see the photo of the plaque on the 12th hole.

        It commemorates that Trump made the first hole-in-one on the course, on the inaugural round on the course, (on the course that he had just built)!

        Now, I don’t know how many hole-in-ones that have scored, but ask yourself, what are the chances??? Or is it much more likely that he is a pathological liar?

  7. guest says:

    Dear Hillary,
    I may be a shop-a-holic but I’m not buying your BS.
    And Trump is a carnival of despicable worthlessness.

    Some choice. I’ll probably stay home on election day.

    1. Arnie P says:

      Welcome to real life, guest. Many choices are often not clear cut. Or at least, aren’t pleasant. But usually, one alternative is better than the other (or less bad, if you prefer).

      The answer isn’t to avoid making the choice. If you do, someone else makes it for you.

      1. bees_knees_6 says:

        Excellent comment, Arnie P. As far as the hole in one, hahahahahahahaha!!

      2. mstarvin says:

        So the dilemma is that both are liars and how do you pick?? Well you can’t spell Hillary with LIAR so vote for Trump.

      3. bees_knees_6 says:

        MO – I suspect you mean can and not can ‘t? However, you are correct that it is a lousy choice. And Arnie is correct that we need to make the decision. When we have an individual’s own party members, all past presidents who are currently living, and a large number of security experts, etc. warn that voting for one of them would be a disaster, it is very difficult to ignore.

      4. mstarvin says:

        LOL…I intended it to be without not with…. Punchlines loss their punch with typing errors….

  8. John, it is true that Hillary Clinton is a pathological liar. Trump Jr’s Skittles analogy is the absolute truth!

    1. paul dowd says:

      You are wrong Bruce Gabriel. Hillary Clinton is a brilliant Yale University taught lawyer. Trump is nothing more than a tv clown. His son is an inbred chip off the old block.

      1. mstarvin says:

        A lawyer ipso facto a giant lair!!!

  9. The lesser of two whatevers... JC. says:

    The election of Hillary Clinton would be akin to mounting a shiny new hood ornament on the same-old-sputtering-car. On the other hand, the election of Donald Trump would be akin to running that same-old-sputtering-car into a bridge abutment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More From CBS Boston

WheelMobile
Download Our App

Listen Live