Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Liars destroying trust

Hecklers who?re clucking over premiere CBS anchorman Dan Rather being taken in by fraudulent documents have little reason for glee.

Deceit and fakery have become a scandalous national epidemic. Have Rather?s severest hecklers forgotten that fraudulent intelligence documents about weaponry are what misled a nation and rationalized the Iraq war?

The phony documents about President Bush?s National Guard service are part of a pattern of conscious deception that is destroying trust among Americans.

Few can top the cooked books of a string of major corporations whose CEOs decided to fleece investors, customers and employees.

Journalism has been a special victim: New York Times reporter Jason Blair set a new standard in counterfeit journalism. Dozens of other ?star? reporters around the nation since have been exposed as authors of spurious stories.

Government has been fooled by false claims of physicians for nonexistent services; by overcharges of defense contractors such as Vice President Cheney?s former employer, Halliburton, and even by purposefully understated costs of Medicare to mislead Congress.

Telemarketing has scammed millions of unwary consumers.

The worst breeding ground is the Internet, where hoaxes are created shamelessly and accepted as fact by millions of the gullible.

CBS? failing was its naïve trust in what seemed to be a credible source, but who was little more than a two-bit liar.

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