Ah Straight Talk

More

One virtue of having a reputation as a straight-talker is that you can get away with constant lying. For example, in response to a question about why he twice voted against a commission to investigate the response to Hurricane Katrina, John McCain says he voted in favor of every investigation. In reality, just as the New Orleans local news reporter said, he twice voted against a commission to investigate the matter.

Now there's probably some crazy strained reading of McCain's remarks so that his claims are consistent with reality. And since everyone knows McCain's a straight-talker, the press will read it that way. And because that's been the press's response each of the dozens of times in the course of this campaign that McCain's told bald-faced lies, his reputation for straight-talk never vanishes. A lesser figure who was in the habit of constantly lying and flip-flopping would develop a reputation as a kind of madmen, so invested in self-love that he thinks he has no obligation to political principles or basic factual accuracy.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

A Fascinating Short Film About the Multiverse

If life is a series of infinite possibilities, what does it mean to be alive?


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In