People lie a lot, but some are better at it than others.
On Monday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani told Trump supporters that the U.S. did not face “any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks” before President Obama took office in 2008.
We were all told to “never forget,” and it seems Giuliani has forgotten — or he thinks we’re all stupid.
Giuliani was the mayor of NYC when the 9/11 attacks occurred, and that’s been the core of his public identity for the last 15 years.
When I first read an L.A. Times article about this ridiculous speech, I thought it was a gag or perhaps he’s just going senile. But there it was, in all its glory, spitting in the face of everyone who died that day and insulting the intelligence of those who remember that tragedy.
Lying to the press or in a courtroom gets caught pretty frequently; whether people care is another matter entirely.
Even on a day-to-day basis, 60 percent of adults can’t have a 10-minute conversation without lying at least once, according to a 2002 study conducted by the University of Massachusetts. But here’s the real interesting, or disturbing, part: The people in that study who lied actually told an average of three lies during those 10 minutes.
With essentially instant access to all of the world’s knowledge and information available any time we want, it’s pretty easy to catch a liar.
But here’s the tricky part: “If you torture the data long enough, it will confess,” wrote Ronald Coase in his 1994 piece, “Essays on Economics and Economists.” Coase is a British economist and the Clifton R. Musser Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School.
Basically, if you twist the facts or only show the parts you want shown, you can make any lie look like the truth.
For instance, did you know that 100 percent of all serial killers drink water? In fact, every criminal in the history of mankind has been known to drink water.
Sometimes these misleading statistics aren’t as easily spotted, such as bar graphs that are not built to scale — where one bar is far taller than another, even though the numbers are essentially the same.
The thing about misleading statistics that irks me the most is how they run rampant online.
Your Facebook friends aren’t held to any journalistic integrity. There’s no repercussions, no corrections printed or redactions made when something blatantly false is posted and shared umpteen billion times online.
Meanwhile, newspapers like ours check their facts before broadcasting to the masses — instead of just spewing out whatever lies, half-truths or just hair-brained opinions we feel the audience wants to hear.