A little white fib
Ruth Walker writes in Verbal Energy about the great lengths we will go to to avoid saying that someone is lying.
Politicians dare not hurl charges of "Liar, liar, pants on fire" across the partisan divide willy-nilly. Readers and viewers expect the mainstream media (is that term beginning to sound quaint or what?) to show "respect" for an incumbent president. Then the news organizations, in the interest of nonpartisanship, extend that courtesy to presidential challengers. (Chatroom types, talk-show callers-in, and for that matter most bloggers, have no such inhibitions, however – and no advertisers or corporate shareholders to please either).So what are papers saying instead? That the candidates exaggerated, stretched the truth, misled.