Paul Mecurio and the decline of American lies

The worst lie in history
The worst lie in history 02:35

Something has been much in the news these past days -- too much so, in the view of contributor Paul Mecurio:

Hi, I’m George Clooney!

Don’t blame me for lying; I’m a product of my environment. These days, lying is all the rage -- everyone’s doing it.

Of cours,e lying is nothing new. We’ve doing it since the beginning of time. Remember this oldie but goodie?

“Go ahead, eat the fruit, it’s good for you,” Eve said. “What could go wrong?”

These days, it’s not the frequency of the lies but the quality of the lies that is alarming. In my day when you lied, it was a good, solid American lie that stood up to intense scrutiny. But today’s lies are flimsy, as if made in a third-world country.

“He took my money, he took my wallet.”   

This past week U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte took the gold, silver AND bronze for the dumbest lie in the history of mankind -- on an international stage nonetheless! And for what? To cover up breaking a bathroom door. 

Ryan, what are you, six?  It’s like you weren’t even trying to lie!  You call yourself an American?  

In this country, we just don’t make lies like we used to. Remember how Colin Powell told us there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? President George H.W. Bush told us to read his lips (“No new taxes!”), Pete Rose swore he never gambled, and President Bill Clinton did not have sexual relations with “that woman.” 

And who could forget the mother of all lies: Watergate. It took two years and millions of dollars to figure out this used car salesman was lying. (“I had no knowledge whatever of the Watergate break-in before it occurred.”) 

Nowadays, it took less time to figure out Lochte was lying than it took him to swim the 200m backstroke. 

And this is the real concern. There is such a complete lack of respect for the truth, and others, along with a belief that even if you get caught there are no meaningful ramifications, that people are literally lying to our faces.

“I did not e-mail any classified material to anyone on my e-mail.”

“ISIS is honoring President Obama. He is the founder of ISIS.”   

Look, I don’t condone lying, if you are going to do it, for God’s sake put in the effort! It’s the only way we can make America great again. 

Now if you’ll excuse me, my wife -- Mrs. Clooney -- is waiting for me on my yacht in the south of France. What? She is! (Of course that depends on what your definition of “is” is.)

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