“Lying,” What’s That?

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Butler, Bonds should have simply stated that he “misspoke” when denying the use of performnance-enhancing drugs. Or, better yet, had a deputy state this on his behalf.

Robert Ellberg had a nice piece recently on the art of the misstatement:

I learned from Mitt Romney, who said “I misspoke” after days earlier responding to whether his sons were involved in military service by stating, “One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president.”

I learned, too, from Rudy Giuliani, who said he misspoke when he commented he was at Ground Zero “as often, if not more than the workers,” and then adding “I was there working with them. I was exposed to exactly the same things they were exposed to. So in that sense, I’m one of them.”

Within days of becoming a figure of national ridicule for equating his children working for him was the same as military service during a war, Romney open-heartedly acknowledged what every sentient human being in the nation and most rocks knew instantly, “It’s not service to the country, it’s service for me, and there’s just no comparison there.”

Within one day of becoming a figure of national vitriol by police and firefighters for equating his PR appearances in front of those risking their lives for fallen comrades were the same danger — if not more — Giuliani open-heartedly acknowledged what every sentient non-Republican knew instantly, “What I was trying to say yesterday is that I empathize with them, because I feel like I have that same risk,” even despite not remotely taking the same risk and being called “such a liar” by deputy fire chief Jimmy Riches, who was working in the rubble at Ground Zero for months looking for his son, a firefighter.

I too have learned from these Men of High Honor. And I herewith acknowledge — I misspoke.

I misspoke when I said I wrote the novel, Great Expectations, which was actually written by Charles Dickens. What I meant was that I’d read the novel, and that as a writer, I go through the same process as Dickens when I write a blog, so I feel like I have that same creative risk.

I misspoke when I said I had served in the Green Berets during Viet Nam, when in fact I had gone to college. I was referring to the John Wayne movie, The Green Berets, which I didn’t see either, but knew of because of the song written by Sgt. Barry Sadler, which I did know and liked. It’s not the military, it’s pop music, and there’s just no comparison there.

Also, I misspoke when I said I played shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. I could have because they were really terrible when I grew up — and when my father grew up — and when my grandfather grew up — but I was never actually signed by the team. What I did was throw a tennis ball against our garage, and in our driveway the Chicago Cubs won the World Series many, many times.

2:18 pm on November 16, 2007
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