We Live in a World of Lies

“The list of lies is almost endless,” Dennis Prager writes in the article headlined above and linked below. Prager gives the facts regarding the murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 — I’ll let you read Prager’s post to learn more. In a nutshell a lie was sold by the political left and the public bought it. Regarding the lie being revealed, Prager writes:

[I]t shows how powerful the left-wing media are, how they are dedicated to agendas rather than to truth, and how much of what Americans believe is shaped accordingly.

My question (as always) is — what is the political right doing about this all-important information flow problem in our country? The reason public policy is so far off the rails at all levels of government is this: The larger narrative is rarely, if ever, driven by the truth.

As I noted on Thursday, it seems most Republicans and conservatives are sitting around waiting for someone else to do something or they’re waiting for a miracle.

Our millionaires and billionaires continue to form and fund cute little think tanks or other types of organizations that don’t reach enough people. A few of these rich folks run for office, which is great, except that too many of them have a tin ear and are terrible messengers. Why aren’t they instead buying TV and radio and print media outlets and forcing a revival of real journalism? Don’t tell me about the failing model of today’s news business. Facts sell — and most enterprises have to adjust to advancing technology. Regardless, if disseminating accurate news can’t always turn a profit then it’s an endeavor important enough to be run as a non-profit.

Our activists have perfected the art of preaching to the choir. Some of my favorite people in the world are those who have stepped down from the bleachers and joined in the political game. Not enough of their efforts, however, are directed at reaching the uninformed and misinformed. And thus the low information voter problem is as bad as ever.

Our elected Republicans and conservatives don’t seem to quite get the notion that they’re not legislative mechanics. For most of them that’s just a façade anyway. In my twenty-five years of working for, with, and around elected officials I know very few who understand the details of legislation or policy. Regardless, that’s what staff is hired to do. The most important thing our elected officials can do is use their bully pulpit to become a public opinion leader. Instead, most of them remain invisible.

Our political talking heads and commentators fill the conservative news airwaves and media outlets with almost every observation possible on the passing scene. It’s like so much sports reporting and color commentary. The one big bit of analysis that’s left out of it all is the fact that the audience for their work is too small. Even if they are aware of that fact, admitting it would be devastating for their egos, and you can’t have that. For the few who do have a sizable audience, such as Rush Limbaugh or the very flawed Fox News Channel, the listeners and viewers are mostly among the already converted.

Until political evangelism is our number one job we’ll never catch up with the political left — which I repeat endlessly — owns the K-college system, pop culture, and the old but still dominant media. Not content with that near monopoly, they seem to never sleep, funding issue advocacy organizations that are deadly serious about outreach. The liberals and progressives get it. That’s why, as the saying goes, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

What’s my solution? I’ve been writing about it for years — here are a list of posts just since October. We need to get the idle Republican and conservative army into the information war. When it comes to reaching the uninformed and the misinformed we’re going to have to innovate and experiment. It’s going to require imagination, and as Apple Computer used to tout, different thinking. Instead of bemoaning the state of the affairs, we’re going to have to, and as Thomas Paine said, “undergo the fatigue of supporting” the “blessings of liberty.”

Here’s how Dennis Prager opens the article noted above:

Remember the terrible murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyo. in 1998 — tortured, beaten and left hanging on a fence to die — because he was gay?

The American people were led from the outset to believe that Shepard was the victim of a hate crime, murdered because he was gay. And that is how virtually every American still views the story. In the words of Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), “Matthew Shepard is to gay rights what Emmett Till was to the civil rights movement.” A play based on Shepard’s killing, “The Laramie Project” became, according to the Wall Street Journal, “one of the most produced theatrical shows in the country.” And in 2009, Congress passed, and President Barack Obama signed, the Matthew Shepard Law, which expanded the definition of hate crimes to include crimes motivated by a victim’s actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

It turns out that Matthew Shepard’s murder had nothing to do with his being gay.

As early as 2004, the ABC News program “20/20” broadcast (to its credit) a denial by both murderers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, that the murder had anything to do with Shepard’s being gay. It was, they both claimed, a robbery gone bad.

“It was not because me and Aaron had anything against gays,” Henderson told ABC.

As a result, ABC News was widely attacked by all those who had a vested interest not in truth, but in maintaining the homophobia story: the liberal media, the gay rights movement and the lawyers for the victim’s mother.

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