“The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”
— Flannery O’Connor
“To Tell the Truth” was a game show that ran on network television from 1956- 1968. Briefly, the premise of this classic game show was that a person of some notoriety or fame and two impostors try to match wits with a panel of four celebrities. The object of the game is to try to fool the celebrities into voting for one of the two impostors as the “real deal” instead of choosing the actual famous person. They would ask a series of questions to get to the TRUTH. The imposters continued to “make up stories” and lie outright while the genuine person only told the truth. Ahhhhh…. the “genuine person” only told the TRUTH? How elusive telling the truth has become these days. In fact, telling lies and altering the truth has become such a finely tuned skillset that it feels like we are soon going to need some type of filter or lie detector on our television sets and mobile devices to simply watch the news.
Today, “fact based” media is almost a joke. Why do we always need a panel of 6 or 8 pundits to deconstruct and reconstruct what is true and what is false? The “SPIN” has taken over legitimate discussion and informed discourse, and we have lost our ability to interrogate and critically analyze the so-called truth that we are being told. The inability to recognize the truth or to tell the truth has become painfully obvious even when people place their hand on top of the Bible, before witnesses, and swear that they are telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. There seems to be a growing sphere of deception and the “normalizing” of things that are clearly false as true? It seems to have nothing to do with diverse perspectives or a “different way” of looking at the same set of facts and coming to a different conclusion. No. More specifically, this has to do with asserting and touting things that are false, documented as false, false on their face and calling those things true. Unfortunately for many people they trust in falsehood as truth and mistake what is presented as “alternate facts” as actual facts instead. Because of the trust these people place in certain famous persons of “some notoriety,” they are dangerously misled. They do not do their “due diligence” and check out the information that they’ve been given for themselves. Which, unfortunately, predisposes them to making decisions based only on the information they have been given, which remains fundamentally FALSE.
The classic television show “To Tell the Truth” gave out small monetary prizes as a reward for ferreting out the Truth and choosing the genuine famous person over the impostor. The show’s basic premise demonstrated that the TRUTH is not always easy to see and it is something that one must be looking to find. There must be a pursuit of Truth. It also recognized that not everyone is interested in telling the truth, because hiding the truth through deception and false facts or lies served their purpose better. For those people “winning” the game was the more important accomplishment, or making certain that others LOST. Actually telling the truth would have not allowed them to win. So they lied instead. Recently, our social interactions, political discourse and online media memes are more reminiscent of a “game show” or reality-TV show atmosphere where truth is elusive, facts are alternate, and reality is unbelievable! It’s “unprecedented”! So they say?