A brief digression into politics, the law and comedy

I promise not to giggle at the logical and moral failings of The Dallas Morning News' opinion pages all the time because, otherwise, I might as well stop writing about books. But there's a nice punchline here, trust me.

Mark Davis is the right-wing radio host whom the Morning News hired for a handsome salary several years ago rather than continue employing the reporters and writers and photographers the paper was laying off. This morning, in response to the verdict in the Scooter Libby trial, Mr. Davis trotted out the "lying is lying" argument to explain -- not why Vice President Cheney or Karl Rove should be indicted -- but why the Libby verdict proves we should have impeached Bill Clinton and removed him from office.

Sounds logical, and certainly relevant to today's concerns. But lying is a serious business, Mr. Davis maintains, and his "whining" liberal opponents who defend Clinton so eloquently when they say "So what?" are hypocrites or political cynics. In his column, Mr. Davis conflates the Whitewater investigations, which never found the Clintons guilty of anything, with the successful conservative ploy to get the president under oath answering questions about his sex life. But no matter. Lying is lying, remember, although Mr. Davis goes on to demonstrate that, in any event, Libby's lying didn't really matter, even if it was done to the FBI in the midst of a felony investigation.

Perhaps the best response to the "lying is lying" line of argument is to paraphrase the great British stand-up Eddie Izzard:

Look, there are different levels of lying. Don't believe me? Then why do we have different levels of homicide? There's murder one, murder two, homicide, manslaughter. There are different levels of theft: robbery, breaking and entering, armed robbery. The law makes distinctions among violations of the law all of the time.

So why not lying? Lying about breaking into the Democratic national headquarters -- that's lying 1. Lying about trying to defame a political opponent by revealing his wife is a CIA agent and then lying to the FBI about it -- that's lying 2 or 3.

Lying about oral sex? That's ... lying 12.

March 7, 2007 10:34 AM | | Comments (2)



Always cheering to know that my older brother is reading my book blog ... for the jokes.

Sort of like B.S and "REAL B.S." Like the joke you told me that you heard from that performer who said, "If you come home with lipstick on your collar and you tell your wife that you were with just your cousin and your cousin got excited ... now that's B.S. But if you come home with lipstick on your zipper, that's REAL B.S."


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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on March 7, 2007 10:34 AM.

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