I don’t have the time or interest to put up with half-talk and nonsense. When I get an email that skirts around the facts, I generally send them straight to the Trash file.
But I got one earlier this week from Charlie Crist’s campaign for governor. The headline read: “TODAY at 10 AM: Charlie Crist to Hold Virtual Press Conference with Families of Disabled Students Suing Gov. DeSantis Over Dangerous Anti-Mask Mandate.”
I didn’t dump this one. I responded. I told them to not send me untruthful releases anymore. My mother always said a half-truth is a full lie. And I’m tired of it all.
To be sure, Gov. Ron DeSantis hasn’t outlawed masks in schools. He outlawed districts from forcing students to wear them, saying it should be a choice made by parents and doctors. He supports the right to wear – and not to wear – masks.
This isn’t to criticize or support masks in schools. It’s about demanding our politicians and elected officials to tell the truth. Crist isn’t the only one spinning this lie. President Joe Biden also mentioned mask bans in Florida and Texas during his COVID-19 comments last week – all while Taliban terrorists were shutting off the Kabul airport to restrict the hurried withdraw of U.S. Fox News’ Chris Wallace, who works for a network that’s hardly cozy to the liberal crowd, also said Florida was imposing no-mask rules on “Fox News Sunday.”
My mother didn’t put up with half-truths. If she was alive, she’d have all of them go out and cut their own switch. I don’t need to tell you what happens after that.
Why has it become so difficult to use facts and truths to win support? Why do we allow our media and officials to look us square in the eyes and be dishonest? Do they think we can’t handle the truth?
Others like to sparse words. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki Tuesday when a reporter said Americans and its allies were “stranded” because it was so difficult, at times impossible, to get through the checkpoints and into the Kabul airport. She fought back, taking offense to the word “stranded.”
I think by any standards, most believe people are indeed stranded in the Afghan capital. More important, none of us care about whether a reporter feels “stranded” fits the story or whether somebody hired to spin stories to benefit the people signing her check. We just want our people and friends out – the stranded and the non-stranded.
To Psaki’s credit, after being told a story of a woman who said she was stranded, Psaki had a professional and responsible response: “I would welcome you providing their phone number and we will reach out today.” That’s exactly what we should expect from our government.
It’s galling to see officials tell us one story when we can see the truth with our own eyes. We know things are bad in Afghanistan. We know people are being hurt, and many are being threatened. We also know the Taliban, ISIS and al Qaeda will leave a bloody footprint.
And yet, we’ve had high-ranking officials telling us there are no problems. They’ve told us things are running smoothly. And until the last few days, they downplayed the threats, although they insist it’s still manageable.
Twenty years ago, we laughed at the absolute arrogance and ignorance of “Baghdad Bob.” He was the master of political spin for Iraq who proudly told the world the army was in complete control – even as the United States and its allies rolled through the country. He defiantly said Iraqi forces were in complete charge of the airport, although his words were delivered during the deafening backdrop of air raids and shelling.
We now have a new generation of Baghdad Bobs. They tell us one thing and superciliously call out anyone who points out the misinformation. They dare us to point out common sense and reality.
If we can’t get the truth from our media, we need to turn the channel or line the newspaper in the bottom of the birdcage. And if we can’t get the truth from our politicians and elected officials, we need to vote someone into office who will. We can handle the truth. We shouldn’t settle for half-truths and double-talk anymore.
I know I cut enough switches in my lifetime to know the difference between telling the truth and a half-truth.