You can lie with falsehoods or you can omit or obscure inconvenient facts. Just watch any "mainstream" media coverage of the Jan. 6 show trial. On second thought, why would you want to?
I thought about all this while reading "The Fact Checker" column by Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post.
Mr. Kessler dissects statements by politicians and assigns them "Pinocchios" based on how deceptive they are. He usually thrashes Republicans because the Post, after all, is a Democratic Party newsletter where they do their best to make sure that "Democracy Dies in Darkness." Every blue moon or so, Mr. Kessler does expose a Democrat, perhaps to burnish his column's credibility.
Anyway, Mr. Kessler on July 17 took Republican Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley to task for tweeting that President Biden had sold oil from America's petroleum reserve to China's Sinopec, "which Hunter Biden may still b[e] tied to via his financial ventures in China."
Giving Mr. Grassley three Pinocchios, one short of the maximum, Mr. Kessler constructed a tortured apologia to exculpate the Biden administration for skyrocketing gas prices.
"Crude oil is an international commodity," he wrote. "Its price is determined by global supply and demand. The Biden administration is trying to increase the supply of oil to help bring down prices that have soared as the United States and its allies have tried to stem purchases of Russian energy products."
Mr. Kessler ignores how the Biden administration crippled America's own energy independence, sending gasoline prices soaring before Russia invaded Ukraine.
"What matters for the price of oil is how much oil there is – not who has it," he writes. Then he quotes an expert saying, "Where it goes is essentially irrelevant." Under President Trump, it went into our gas tanks at around $2 a gallon.
Mr. Kessler assures us that "every" oil industry analyst "we contacted" was puzzled that selling oil to China was "controversial."
An analyst told him that Mr. Biden had sent China 2.5 million barrels in October and 1.5 million more in November. So, no big deal.
That makes several million barrels that Mr. Biden has sold to China, not the one million we keep hearing about. This little detail might interest motorists getting vertigo as they watch dollars add up at the pump.
As for Hunter, Mr. Kessler cites a "lawyer for Hunter Biden" who said in 2021, that he "no longer holds any interest, directly or indirectly" in BHR Partners, which bought a stake in Sinopec Marketing. However, Mr. Kessler acknowledges that the Washington Examiner "reported in March that Chinese records do not yet show that." Oh. But Mr. Grassley still gets three Pinocchios.
On the positive side of the ledger, the Post ran a column last Tuesday so strikingly honest that I had to keep checking to see if I was reading the Washington Times.
"Gay men deserve the truth about monkeypox" by journalist Benjamin Ryan excoriates health officials for insisting that "anyone can get monkeypox."
While technically true, this "is so egregiously misleading it amounts to misinformation," he writes.
Comparing the current approach to the early AIDS epidemic, Mr. Ryan notes that this is a well-meant attempt to avoid stigmatizing gay men. However, he goes on bravely to convey facts normally kept hidden.
"This viral outbreak isn't just mostly occurring among men who have sex with men," he writes. This demographic "accounts for 96 percent or more of diagnoses where data are available."
And why is this so? "An uncomfortable truth, one documented in peer-reviewed papers, is that sexual behaviors and networks specific to gay and bisexual men have long made them more likely to acquire various sexually transmitted infections compared with heterosexual people. This includes not only HIV but also syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B and sexually transmitted hepatitis C."
Parents watching schools entice their little boys into same-sex experimentation might want to know this.
In his 1987 book "And the Band Played On," gay writer Randy Shilts chronicled how activists in the 1980s foiled life-saving actions like closing bathhouses and limiting blood donations, thus condemning thousands of gay men and hemophiliacs to early deaths. The media went along. Have they or health officials learned anything?
On the same day Mr. Ryan's op-ed ran, the Post's Metro section proclaimed, "D.C. leads the nation in monkeypox cases per capita." The reporter wrote that D.C. Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt "said Monday that by far the hardest hit are people in their early 30s who belong to the LGBTQ-plus community, but she emphasized that the virus can infect anyone."
These men are someone's son or brother or father or even husband. Lying about what can seriously hurt them is neither loving nor compassionate. Mr. Ryan told them the truth, ending his column with: "We're adults. Please be honest with us."
This column appeared originally here.
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