Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lying is Lying

Stephen Colbert has outdone himself. He’s been having a field day, both on his “Colbert Report” and via Twitter, ridiculing Senator Jon Kyl’s preposterous exaggeration on the Senate floor and even more preposterous attempt to justify the blatant lie. During last week’s debate about federal funding, Senator Kyl (R. Arizona) claimed that “well over 90 perent of what Planned Parenthood does” is perform abortions. Actually, that percentage is…drum roll, please…THREE percent. Three.

How did Senator Kyl’s office attempt to clarify the discrepancy (i.e., the lie that is now in the Senate’s permanent record thanks to Senator Kyl)? The office issued a statement that Kyl’s emphatic declaration “was not meant to be factual.”


Stephen Colbert grabbed that football and ran with it, to hilarious effect. He created the hashtag #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement and used it throughout the day to disseminate imagined “nonfacts” about Kyl…none actionable by Kyl because they all carry that hashtag.

* Jon Kyl is an accomplished nude hula dancer. He is not welcome in Hawaii.
* For the past 10 years, Jon Kyl has been two children in a very convincing Jon Kyl suit.
* Jon Kyl cheated on Sandra Bullock.
* Once a year, Jon Kyl retreats to the Arizona desert and deposits 2 million egg sacs under the sand.
* Citing religious reasons, Jon Kyl refuses to utter the number 8.
* Jon Kyl once ate a badger he hit with his car.
* Carly Simon wrote that song about Jon Kyl.
* Legally, Jon Kyl cannot be within 100 yards of Helen Mirren.
* Jon Kyl has a shrine to Scooter from the Muppet Show.
* Jon Kyl developed his own line of hair care products just so he could test them on bunnies.
* Jon Kyl was sent from the future to kill Sarah Conner.

Brilliant. Colbert’s followers on Twitter promptly followed suit, and Colbert shared some of their best on his program last night. You can see a clip from the show here:

This blog is NOT about whether Planned Parenthood should be federally funded. We can talk about that another time. It’s about blatant lying by Senators to further their agendas. I don't care whether I agree with a Senator's position or disagree -- s/he shouldn't lie about facts to garner support. I appreciate Colbert’s clever way of shining a light on the issue of lies on the Senate floor. If a Senator chooses to take a stand on a particular issue and wants to sway his or her colleagues to join him or her, it should be done on the merits. The actual merits. If the position has legs, it can be defended honestly. Citing a statistic of “ninety percent” when the actual statistic is “THREE” is unconscionable, regardless of what the statistic refers to. Claiming that your lie was “not intended to be factual”?!?! Even more so. Shame on Kyl — he deserves the ridicule being heaped on him.

Thanks, Colbert.
-Jack Simony

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