Deception & Misdirection

Wintertime, and the lyin’ is easy

Enjoy the winter! (It was 70 degrees in DC today. Darn that Global Warming!!) Yes, if you’re reading this on December 1, this is the first day of meteorological winter in the United States. In other words, it’s the beginning of the three-month period with the coldest weather, relative to the three months at the opposite point on the calendar, is December through February, more or less. (It varies by location, but, for nonscientific purposes, it’s close enough to the December-January-February period for us to “round it off.”)

Of course, you’ll hear it stated often—by TV weatherpeople, especially—that the “official” first day of winter is the winter solstice, sometimes even narrowed down to a specific time. (The Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, which falls between December 20 and 23, is when the North Pole is tilted farthest away from the sun.) In fact, there’s no “official” beginning of winter. The “official” first day is one of those things that everyone knows but that isn’t true.

Well, not everyone. Last Friday on “CBS This Morning,” WBBM-TV meteorologist Megan Glaros, at the end of her weather report, said, “By the way, meteorological winter starts Monday, Michelle,” to which Michelle Miller of CBS News replied, “Is that so?? Well, thank you, Megan, for letting us know.”

Here’s an article I wrote a while back about lies about the calendar, from ancient Rome to the (fake) holiday President’s Day to the (fake) beginning of the 21st Century on January 1, 2000: .

Lying, or spreading untruths, about the calendar may seem like a little thing. But ever time politicians, bureaucrats, academic pseudo-intellectuals, and people in the media lie or spread false information about little things and get away with it, it makes it easier for them to lie about big things. Campaigning for president and later, Barack Obama lied about various aspects of his life story that were, in themselves, not that significant (how long his parents stayed together, whether he had been a college professor, whether he wrote his books without ghostwriting, the circumstances of his mother’s death, and many other things). Insignificant details… but when he got away with those lies, he moved on to bigger ones: you can keep you plan and your doctor and families will save $2500 a year under my health plan; Al Qaeda’s on the run; there’s not a smidgen of corruption at the IRS; you can’t get Ebola sitting next to someone on a bus; etc. etc. etc.

Then there are the lies spread by the President’s friends, from the idea that Tea Party supporters, including such Tea Partiers as Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Tim Scott, are white supremacists (and, as proof, the “fact” that they called civil rights hero John Lewis the N-word) to the circumstances of the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

This pattern works both ways, from big (in the sense of a national issue like healthcare) to small (tragedies, centering on individuals, that are quite heartbreaking and, of course, highly important to the friends and families of those involved). There’s not much difference between Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Romneycare/Obamacare, who lied gleefully to get those programs passed and made millions in the process, and racist preacher Al Sharpton of MSNBC, the White House point person on the Michael Brown case, who spread the “Hands up!” myth and fomented the riots in Ferguson, and whose wealth and power is rooted in his hatred of Jews, immigrants, and police officers.


For those who may have missed my earlier articles on the Ferguson controversy, here are the links:

► A Culture of Lies (
► The Court of Memes: Why People Believe Fake Facts (
► Tragedy as Politics: Exploiting Ferguson (

Here in DC, protesters this morning disrupted traffic again, demanding the lynching of Darren Wilson for a crime he didn’t commit (at least, according to former Officer Wilson, and according to the forensic evidence, and according to the seven African-American witnesses who backed up Wilson’s story). Many of the protesters held their hands up in solidarity with—whom? I suppose that person would be Dorian Johnson, Brown’s accomplice in the convenience store robbery, who made up the story about Brown holding his hands up in surrender.

In a just world, the “Hands up!” gesture would become a universal gesture signifying a political lie. The next time the President utters a whopper, let’s not do as Rep. Joe Wilson did, shouting out “You lie!” Let’s put up our hands in quiet acknowledgement of the role that lying plays in support of Progressives of all types.

Dr. Steven J. Allen

A journalist with 45 years’ experience, Dr. Allen served as press secretary to U.S. Senator Jeremiah Denton and as senior researcher for Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign. He earned a master’s…
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