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Lying Redefined

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How the American media use euphemisms, substitutions, and muted language to re-define and soft-pedal the word “LIE!” editorial.


-n.        1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a       falsehood.

            2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression; imposture:

            3. an inaccurate or false statement.

-v.t.      1. to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.

            2. to express what is false; convey a false impression.


George W. Bush possesses the most amazing virtue of any politician in recent history: he has never, ever, uttered a lie!  In fact, the word “lie” has magically disappeared from any account of his statements or actions, since the earliest days of the Bush campaign for the presidency. 

In a very short time, the Bush/PNAC administration has accomplished a rather extraordinary feat.  Using thier well honed skills for surreptitious manipulation, the Bush Cartel has cleverly disguised the fabrications and distortions uttered by the President to make them more palatable to the gullible public. George W. Bush never, ever lies!  He may not be telling the truth, but, glory be , George W. Bush, like our legendary first president, simply cannot tell a LIE! 


Take another look at the dictionary definition of lie. Now, consider the concept rather than the word. If we focus solely on the actual word we may miss a crucial point. We also may get into an unnecessary, semantic discussion reminiscent of the Clinton effort to define “what is, is.”

However, - a look backward to the Clinton presidency is merited.  Let’s recall the “horrific” lie that led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment?  President Bill Clinton “lied” about his sexual relationship with an intern. The result of that lie was predictable: his marriage was damaged. Nobody died. No anti-Americanism resulted from his actions. The nation was not endangered in any way. On the contrary, some people felt that many European nations actually came closer to the U.S. when they saw the humanity of a president whose fatal flaw involved a sexual affair.

Of course, this rather trivial issue was seized upon by the G.O.P. as an earth- shattering abomination to our nation. Congress stopped doing its appointed tasks and gave full attention to impeachment proceedings. With unabashed hypocrisy, they set up a firing squad for an extra-marital fling. The press saw dollar signs and went along for the ride. Some might say that they stoked the flames. 

Let’s not forget the accusation of LIES against the Clinton’s that were headlines for eight years, in every major newspaper and on every news broadcast:  1972 Whitewater dealings, Vince Foster’s death, Hillary’s lost travel office records, Jennifer Flowers, - on and on and on.Fortunately for the nation, and fifty million dollars of Ken Starr’s tomfoolery later, Bill Clinton prevailed.

Reminder: The word LIE became a political tool against Al Gore during the presidential campaign. The media repeated every accusation made by the GOP against Gore- making it seem as if he had lied about everything from his involvement in creating legislation to fund the Internet, to his role as in inspiration for “Love Story.”  Al Gore NEVER told the public a lie during the campaign, but the label stuck.  Magic is as magic does.


Today we have a selected president who entered office without having to answer a SINGLE question about alleged lies regarding his military record, his DUI conviction, his insider trading or his substance abuse. Congress closed its eyes and covered its ears, and the press rolled over to have its tummy scratched.  We have a president who has not been fully truthful about a single issue, and yet the silence of the opposition in Congress remains deafening.  But what is worse is that the news media – whose investigative responsibilities have been unstoppable in the past, has assumed a new role:  they exist now as an infomercial for the Bush/PNAC agenda!

The disappearing act has been onstage for quite a while, now. The media, with some exceptions, act as the magician’s assistants, doing the administration’s bidding to make sure the illusion is effective. They obediently and in sycophant passivity describe the actions of this administration as EVERYTHING BUT “LIES!”  Let’s take a look at their attempts. (Be sure to check back, as this list will be updated as new “rabbits” appear.)

In their efforts to refrain from calling a lie a lie, the media and the Bush/PNAC group have used more “tactful” terms to avoid the obvious.  The following are among the most creative words used

  • exaggerate - As in exaggerate the threat that Iraq posed, as in Iraq was not quite the threat to the U.S. that we were led to believe. (This term is most common replacement for “lie.”)
  • twist - As in twisted intelligence, as in lied about the conclusions of the intelligence reports so as not to represent truthfully the findings of the reports.
  • misstate- As in Bush made misstatements on Iraq WMDs, as in Bush made mistruths, as in Bush lied. (This one is my favorite!)
  • overstretch the fact - As in overstretching the fact about Iraq, as in overdoing it in trying to come up with another term for lying.
  • distort some evidence - As in distort some evidence so that the truth about the evidence is not disclosed
  • bluffed - As in Powell bluffed the UN, as in Powell lied to the UN.
  • manipulating - As in Ex-CIA Accuse Bush of Manipulating Iraq Evidence, as in manipulating/tampering with evidence is a crime in itself.
  • credibility gap - As in no credibility. As in the boy who cried wolf. As in the boy who lied about the wolf. As in the boy president who lied about Iraq, and about everything else. You will see this term all over. The phrases that will be uttered in conjunction when discussing the Bush/PNAC administration will be cridiblity gap, terror, axis of evil and WMDs. When I discuss them I will assosciate the phrases damn lyars, war, unemployment, environmental disaster, anti-Americanism, and overall gloom!
  • overselling - As in overselling the facts. CNN has adopted this term.
  • More to come - Stay tuned.


Magic acts are illusions, not reality. Still, when skillfully performed, they convince many people that the rabbit really lives in the hat. George W. Bush has consistently LIED.  He LIED when he told the people of Poland that we had found the WMD’s in the form of harmless vans. He LIED when he told us that Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to our safety. He LIED when he said (eleven times in his SOTU speech) that Iraq was connected to the terrorists who attacked the US on 9/11. He LIED about aluminum tubes, uranium purchases, tons of chemical and biological weapons, and about his motives for invading a sovereign nation. He LIED about his support of the troops whose benefits he cut.  He LIED about his education program, his AIDS concerns and his support of women’s rights.  He LIED to the Congress about exhausting every diplomatic means before using his war powers. He LIED yesterday. He continues to LIE today. He will LIE tomorrow.  But we can pull the curtain back to expose the wizard.

Write letters to the editors of your newspapers. Email the anchors and news reporters on your television and radio networks. Print out and distribute this article.  Talk to your friends and co-workers. Demand and end to the performance and the restoration of truth and integrity in the media.

It’s not an easy task. But it can be done.  Public silence is deadly: the ’04 election will turn on deception and distortion, - and the media must no longer be allowed to hold the hat for the magicians with the illusory “rabbits.”   Fight back, or we all will disappear in the fog of lies that now characterize the leadership of our precious nation.
More to come - Stay tuned. Send us the headlines you find that cover up the

Jesse - Editor, - July 6, 2003.

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