How to Lie like the Trump Admistration

First, she casts doubt on the verifiable reality of the question at hand, painting the attempt to get at the truth as a Sisyphean task; then paints herself as the polite and respectful one, implying that her interlocutor is the one violating codes of civility; and finally claiming that the reporter is ignoring the day’s real events of substance….

…As the administration grinds into its second month, Trump’s flacks have made increasing use of a variation of Bartleby’s “I would prefer not to”: “I can’t speak to that.” Or, as I like to translate it, “I haven’t prepared any lies to respond to that question.”

…Among Swift’s requirements of a good political liar are that “he ought to have but a short memory,” that he be ready and willing to swear to “both sides of a contradiction,” and that he never consider “whether any proposition were true or false, but whether it were convenient for the present minute or company to affirm or deny it.”

…The speaker’s enthusiasm and willingness to repeat the assertion (of voter fraud in New Hampshire, but it could be anything) stand in for evidence, and Miller’s “100 percent” catchphrase masquerades as a quantifiable truth claim.

How Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer Get Away With Lying



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