Here, in the end, is the difference between the untruths told by William Randolph Hearst and Lyndon Baines Johnson, and the ones inundating us now: Today, it’s not just the most powerful men who can lie and get away with it. It’s just about anyone—a congressional back-bencher, an ideology-driven hack, a guy with a video camera—who can inject deception into the news cycle and the political discourse on a grand scale.
Sure, there will always be liars in positions of influence—that’s stipulated, as the lawyers say. And the media, God knows, have never been ideal watchdogs—the battleships that crossed the seas to avenge the sinking of the Maine attest to that. What’s new is the way the liars and their enablers now work hand in glove. That I call a mendocracy, and it is the regime that governs us now.
While I was at Mother Jones, I started browsing and came upon this funny diagram of Glenn Beck’s brain by Dave Gilson and Steve Brodner. It’s a little reminiscent of the time Daily Show correspondent James Jones’ reported live from the same place, but it’s funny in its own right too. I hope I’m not violating any copyrights by posting it here. My favorites were the “shariatal lobe” and the “hype-o-campus.” Click here to see the original in situ.