Lying? Well I’m Just Doing My Job

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Well, it looks like we’re about ready. The reporters have taken their seats, the photographers have set up their equipment, and everyone in the briefing room is waiting for me, the White House press secretary, to walk up to the podium and address the American public’s most pressing questions. And all that means only one thing: It’s time for me to go out there in front of all those people, take a deep breath, and then completely lie to their faces for about an hour.

I’m looking forward to it. At this point, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with my daily routine of standing in front of the nation’s media representatives, fielding their various inquiries regarding the administration’s position on the issues of the day, and then telling dozens and dozens of lies. Actually, it’s incredibly easy.

A major part of what I’m about to do comes in the preparation. Long before I mislead the media, I work closely with the president and his staff to make absolutely sure I’m disseminating the appropriate lies on all the hot-button issues—government surveillance, the economy, Syria, the IRS, whatever. It’s absolutely imperative that I know exactly which lies I’m going to tell and how I’m going to tell them, so that, just a couple minutes from now when a reporter asks me about, say, drones, I’ll be able to nod, consult my notes, and then look that person in the eye and tell him something that isn’t the truth.

It’s going to be great. It always is.

But when I get out there, I won’t just be telling straight-up lies to these people—not exactly. No, I’ve got all sorts of tricks up my sleeve, from my misdirections, to my veiled half-truths, to my evasions, all of which I’ll soon be using on dozens of respected yet largely passive Washington journalists. Sometimes I’ll merely distort the truth. Sometimes I’ll pretend I don’t understand what’s being asked. And then, occasionally, when I run out of options, I’ll sterilize a difficult question with a meaningless stock phrase like, “We’ll have no comment on the matter at this time,” or, “I would refer you to my earlier response on this subject.”

Then again, quite frequently, I’ll just flat-out lie, which is largely what I’m planning on doing once I get on stage in a few moments.

It’s not always so cut-and-dry, though. Every so often, a member of the press corps will hit me with a pointed question on a touchy subject, and I’ll realize that tossing a simple lie his way just won’t cut it. When this happens, I simply perform this little ruse I’ve got in which, even though I know exactly what he’s asking, I offer a useless blanket statement that doesn’t answer his question in the slightest. And then, if he persists, I’ll just say the president is currently monitoring the situation, at which point I’ll abruptly move on to another reporter, usually someone who’s cozy with the administration and one who I know won’t challenge me on my endless barrage of bald-faced lies.

Speaking of the reporters, they actually do their own part to make this job of mine—in which I lie for a living—pretty manageable. You see, quite a few of these journalist types are extremely lazy, so they tend to accept my lies at face value, no questions asked. In fact, the lazier ones know exactly how they want their articles to play out long before they set foot in the briefing room, so they only ask questions that reinforce the narrative they’ve already got in mind, all of which lends itself to just about every equivocation, fallacy, and total pile of bullshit that I can come up with.

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