By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – I’ve been trying to catch up when I have a free moment with the excellent new public TV documentary about the Roosevelts.

And while it provides an inspirational reminder of what great political leadership looks like, it also reminds us of how much our political culture has changed since the era of Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt.

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The days when politicians could so easily persuade the media to swallow their preferred spin, and so readily rally the public behind them, are long gone and they aren’t coming back.

But amazingly, there are plenty of corners of the political culture where that reality remains unacknowledged.

Before she fades permanently into well-deserved obscurity, let’s consider the case of former Secret Service Director Julia Pierson, who, in addition to being a proven incompetent, is apparently a pathological liar as well.

During career-ending testimony Tuesday before a House committee probing her agency’s failure to stop an armed nut from invading the White House, Pierson claimed she had kept the president fully briefed on threats. But Wednesday we learned they never told him about how they let an ex-con with a gun get on an elevator with him.

We already knew that Pierson tried to hide the extent of the most recent breach and the fact that the intruder was armed.

And in a post-resignation interview, Pierson appears to blame her flame-out on the media, and describes her firing – excuse me, “resignation” – as “the noble thing to do.”

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Maybe back in Roosevelt’s day powerful public servants thought they could keep salient facts hidden, lie to Congress, and so on.

But these days, the truth has a way of leaking out.

And the sooner our pols realize that, the better for all of us.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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Jon Keller