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Friday, December 2, 2016

Truthiness makes a comeback in the Court of Humpty Trumpty

The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. "That's not the way the world really works anymore." He continued "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
Ron Susskind, "Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush," The New York Times Magazine. The aide was later identified as presidential confidante Karl Rove.
Well, I think it's also an idea of an opinion. And that's -- on one hand I hear half the media saying that these are lies, but on the other half there are many people that go, no, it's true. And so one thing that has been interesting this entire campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts, they're not really facts. Everybody has a way, it's kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. 
Well, and let me say this. I'm a classically studied journalist, but I will be the first to say at this stage of my life, I am an opinion journalist. So when I say something, I'm going to go in and put that disclaimer, I'm giving you my opinion in it. The problem is that journalists today going forward are going to have to start saying I'm giving you an opinion, or I am giving you just the straight facts, I'm leaving the why out of it, my explanation out of it, if we're going to restore credibility into this field.
Scottie News Hughes, Trump spokesbabe at CNN, "The Dianne Rehm Show," NPR, November 30, 2016
"When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” 
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
Lewis Carroll, "Through the Looking-Glass," (1872)

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