Brain Dropping #38
“There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity! Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious smell of
mendacity in this room? Mendacity is the system we live in!”
Big Daddy to Brick in Tennessee Williams’ “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof.”
We’ve become a culture of lies, and the best liars rise in power. We all know that corporations lie through their teeth while looking you in the eye. The decades of tobacco company lies, under oath before Congress, about the 400,000 to 500,000 smokers who died every year from cigarettes, is a case in point. Currently the lies of General Motors about that infamous ignition switch, and just yesterday, the lies about fraudulent GM auto loans, are making the headlines. In the sub-prime mortgage scam the “liars loans” and the securitization of those loans on the stock market led to the 2008 financial debacle pushed along by the flagrant lies of the rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s, Fitch and Moodys – giving AAA ratings to junk bonds. Lying is institutionalized by corporate law which demands that CEOs lie to protect the bottom line. Any truth-telling about corporate malfeasance in polluting the environment, or jeopardizing the health of workers is in violation of the CEO’s ‘fiduciary responsibility’ to enhance the bottom line for investors.
So lets extrapolate from the overwhelming evidence that the “lie” is the meat and potatoes of corporate governance: Since almost all of our news sources, print and electronic media, are controlled by corporations it is not a stretch to believe that , on a daily basis, the same foul meat and potatoes are being stuffed down our throats. Forget about your local radio or TV affiliate – that’s just bubble gum for the ears with strong emphasis on “if it bleeds it leads,” and local high school football scores. Even the most prestigious national news sources like “60 Minutes” , The New York Times , The Washington Post, NPR are, like all children of the mercenary corporate culture, licking their plates clean to please their ‘big daddies.’ Historically, even the iconic newsman-truth-teller Edward R. Murrow, was driven out of broadcasting for refusing to sit silently at the table. (See “935 Lies – The Future of Truth and the Decline of America’s Moral Integrity” by Charles Lewis)) All this odorous mendacity has created the cesspool of lies – Fox News.
Logically, since we are a virtual ‘ corporatocracy’, where big business has bought and paid for our political system (See Citizens United and McCutcheon decisions) Today the fearless newsman I.F. Stone’s often quoted statement is even more credible: “All governments lie!” And lie they do! “I am not a crook!” – “The United States does not engage in torture” – “We did not sell arms to Iran to support the contras!” – ” We had nothing to do with the overthrow and murder of Chile’s President Allende!” – “We did not collect the phone calls and e-mails of American citizens!” – “North Vietamese torpedo boats attacked American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin!” – “Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction!” – “Iraq will be a slam dunk!” – “Saddam supported Al Queda!” – “In this vial I’m holding is the proof that Iraq has stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons!” – “Edward Snowden is a traitor!” – “No one under the Affordable Care Act will have to change their doctor!” And finally the ultra act of chutzpah in telling the big lie, this statement by Barack Obama: “We have seen daring men and women risk their lives for the simple idea that no one should be silenced, and everyone deserves to know the truth!”
In my minds eye I can see Chelsea Manning, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, William Binney, James Risen, Barrett Brown, Glenn Greenwald and all the other courageous whistle blowers who Obama has persecuted, more than any other President in history, looking aghast at the sheer mendacity of the man. The pants are not only on fire but many pairs have been reduced to ashes.