Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Lying about the US and Israel? Just keep it simple

Telling a lie is simple. For a child, it's as simple as, 'I didn't do it'--or, 'it wasn't me'. 

Telling a lie isn't just simple. It's also quick --and easy. 

What works for a child works for an adult. It works for a journalist--and a diplomat. 

For every age and circumstance, a lie requires no research, no analysis, no sense of understanding and, best of all, no real effort. It also takes almost no time at all. 

It just requires words: you stole my land. You occupy my land. We are the indigenous people, not you. America is  fascist. Donald Trump creates a tidal wave of poverty, etc.

These statements are lies. But they--or some version thereof--have all hit the internet. They're simple to understand. They're easy to digest--and memorable.

The truth, on the other hand, is often not quick, not simple, not easy. The truth is worse than complicated. In a world where brevity is everything, the truth is too time-consuming. No one wants stand still long enough to listen to it. 

Why should anyone stand still for the truth when they can consume a lie without breaking stride?

A  couple of years ago, someone posted a video on youtube to describe the Arab-Israel conflict in something like 5 minutes (or, was it 9 minutes?). Either way, that video was loaded with lies against Israel--so loaded with anti-Israel lies that someone decided to make his own youtube video to answer them.

He ended up with three videos, not one. None of the videos was 9 minutes long. Each video was, if I remember correctly, 40-45 minutes long. 

These three videos illustrate why a lie is so much more effective than the truth. In a world that's been raised on TV and the internet, with their 'tell me what you've got to say in 10 seconds or forget it' mentality, the lie sells better than truth. Who's got the patience to watch 135 minutes of video when 5-9 minutes covers the same topic?

Many decades ago, before TV or the internet, someone once said, 'a lie goes around the world before the truth's got its pants on'. Today, when information moves almost at the speed of light--and our attention spans aren't much slower--that saying should change. Now, that saying should be, 'a lie travels around the world before the truth's gotten out of bed'.

Recently, the UN issued a Report decrying the existence of an unacceptable degree of what it called, "extreme poverty", in the United States. That was a lie. But it made headlines because it was quick, simple and easy to understand.

Telling the truth about that statement, however, took more effort than most of us are capable of.  

To understand truth's problem in this instance, consider these questions about the UN Report: 

-How many of us understand how 'poverty' is measured by the US? 

-How many understand how' 'poverty' is measured by the UN? 

-How many understand the difference between 'poverty' and 'extreme poverty'? 

-How many understand how this UN Report, which so demonized the US, used the terms, 'poverty' and 'extreme poverty' to make its false accusations?

-Among individuals who know the answers to these questions, how many will take the time to answer them for us?

Then, finally, once those answers are prepared for us,            how many of us will actually take the time to read those answers?

Will you?

This UN lie took no more than 10 words to make its point: Stephen Loiaconi, "UN report details 'extreme poverty' in US, slams Trump policies", wjla, June 6, 2018. This lie needed  no more than 5-6 seconds to read. 

The truth took longer--much longer--to read. The truth wasn't detailed in 10 words. It needed almost 2,000 words (Francis Menton, "The UN fraudulently addresses 'extreme poverty' in United States", gatestoneinstitute, July 10, 2016).

How many readers will see the 10 word headline that lies, ingest it, and then ignore the 2,000 word rebuttal?   

Telling a lie is simple. It's easy. It requires no effort from anyone.

The truth requires a lot of effort. It requires time you may feel you don't have. 

Lies about the US work better than the truth about the US. Lies about Israel work the same way: speed and ease always trump (no pun intended) the truth.

People around the world who hate Israel and the US understand this reality. They also know exactly how to spread the kind of lies that will almost inevitably take more time to refute than most people have patience for. 

The method for creating such lies is easy: just keep it simple, stupid. 

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