April 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Last Writes

Seeking the Truth and Nothing but

Robin Keats

In the age of ancient Greece, there was Diogenes who wandered the land with a metaphorical lantern looking for truth. Most recently, there’s been the journalist Tim Russert who truly took to heart Thomas Jefferson’s quote of “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.â€

Fellow journalists and all lovers of the truth mourn Russert’s recent, tragic passing.

The host and managing editor of  TV’s Meet the Press, Russert grew frustrated when he questioned politicians about something they had said in the past and then had to listen to them deny or twist their own words on his show.

In order to put an end to their “let-me-wiggle-out-of-this-one dance,†he began the practice of playing video clips of them saying exactly what he said they said. He held them accountable, providing the politicians (as well as the public) with a powerful reality check.

When so much of what we now hear, read or otherwise “learn†comes in the form of mass e-mailings, unreliable blogs, rumor-spreading cable news and information from biased Internet sites, we all have plenty to question. It’s a pretty sure bet that many of you have received some kind of false electronic message about Barack Obama’s childhood education and religious affiliation.  Last week, I received (for the twelfth time!) a piece purportedly written by Jay Leno that gives lots of reasons why society isn’t in as bad a shape as it otherwise seems to be. The piece wasn’t controversial, made lots of sense, offended no one and yet it was fake.

In the wake of John Kerry’s reaction to “swift-boating†(he tried to ignore the false claims made and widely spread by his enemies), the Obama campaign has created a website that deals with the Internet lies. Go to www.fightthesmears.com in order to check on the truthfulness of what you hear about him. A more general and extremely credible website to use is www.snopes.com. This website debunks false rumors, urban myths and fake journalism.

Falsehood, fiction, deceit, dishonesty, mendacity… The thesaurus has a lot of words one can use in place of “lie.†And while there is a sizable array of words that can stand in for “truth,†no other word so simply states the one thing that we can all benefit from, no matter who we are or the circumstances in which we live our lives.

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