There’s been a lot of talk since the US election about Post Truth and Alternative Facts so away from the static and hubbub of election proper, it’s interesting to revisit this story from February 2015. Suffice to say the phenomenon is not new.
“…The NBC anchor’s lies are symptomatic of a culture in which truth has become relativized. Why do so many of our elites cut corners and embellish their past or steal the work of others?
For them, such deception may be a small gamble worth taking, with mild consequences if caught. Plagiarism is a shortcut to publishing without all the work of creating new ideas or doing laborious research. Padding a resume or mixing truth with half-truths and composites creates more dramatic personal histories that enhance careers.
Our culture itself has redefined the truth into a relative idea without fault. Some academics suggested that Brian Williams may have lied because of “memory distortion” rather than a character defect.
Contemporary postmodern thought sees the “truth” as a construct. The social aim of these fantasy narratives is what counts. If they serve progressive race, class, and gender issues, then why follow the quaint rules of evidence that were established by an ossified and reactionary establishment?
Our lies become accepted as true, but only depending on how powerful and influential we are — or how supposedly noble the cause for which we lie…” Brian Williams’s Truth Problem, and Ours