You, free press, listen up.

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted.  There are two reasons for this.  First, most of my creativity posts have been happening over at Lichtenbergianism.com, and I see no reason to double-post.

Second, I have had to face the fact that if I were to rant liberally here, I would soon be reduced to a soggy lump of foaming, impotent fury. The Current Administration is simply a fire hose of corruption, venality, meanness, and double-talk, and no one can keep up. I do not intend to try, at least bloggingwise-speaking.

However, I have just about had it with the aggressive lying that seems to gush forth from anyone allied with the Current Administration whenever they are asked a question by the members of our free press.  The strategy that makes me scream and throw things the most is the ‘pivot,’ wherein the reporter asks a solid question which the liar doesn’t want to answer, and they will pivot to another topic entirely.  Allow me to demonstrate.

Suppose you were a parent, and you wanted to know if your child had taken out the trash.

—  —  —  —  —

YOU:  Bobby, have you taken out the trash?

BOBBY: The fact that you ask that question means you haven’t taken the time to ascertain the facts of the matter here.

 —  —  —  —  —

YOU:  Bobby, have you taken out the trash?

BOBBY: I think the more important question is whether Jill has done her chores at all.  Has she cleaned her room?

 —  —  —  —  —

YOU:  Bobby, have you taken out the trash?

BOBBY: If you were being honest, you’d recognize that I’d already put away my clothes and taken the dog for a walk.

 —  —  —  —  —

Unbelievable. No parent would tolerate such a response to a direct question.  And yet our press is trapped, especially in live media, unable to press their point and get a direct answer.

For our comrades in print, however, I do have a suggestion.  At the moment, you report their non-answer, catapulting their lies straight into the record.  Don’t.  Stop reporting their words.  You asked a question — report on their answer, not with their answer.

In other words, if they don’t answer the question, report that they didn’t answer the question.  Do not report what they said.  Frame your report so that the reader has an idea of what you were trying to get the bottom of, and then report that the liar failed to answer.

Here are some examples:

With two bags of trash standing by the kitchen door, Bobby was asked whether he had done his chore of taking the trash out.  He evaded answering the question directly.

One of Bobby’s chores is to take out the trash.  When asked whether he had done so, he attempted to shift attention to his sister Jill and her chores.

When asked whether he had fulfilled his chore of taking out the trash, Bobby left the question unanswered, instead enumerating other chores he said he had accomplished.

See?  At no point do you repeat Bobby’s misleading words.  You report on his answer and whether he answered the question at all.

Guys in broadcast media, I got nothing at this point other than a mute button or to cut the interview short after the liar attempts to obfuscate the issue and to tell the audience that since the liar had not answered the question, there was no point in continuing.

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