It’s a tough concept, I know, one that Marc Ambinder either can’t–or won’t–understand. But let’s see if you all, in the comments, can help Ambinder out.

What’s the difference between this:

technically true, but functionally false

And this:

repeated, blatant lies

Or this: 

A serial liar

Or this:

A lying liar

Or this:

Completely divorced from reality

Go ahead–explain the difference to Ambinder!

Because Ambinder is cross that Matt Yglesias pointed out that he, Ambinder, has a role in whether people understand that Sarah Palin and John McCain made a claim that was "technically true, but functionally false" or whether they know that McCain has rolled out an entire campaign strategy built on repeated and shameless lies. It’s all just that "a small but significant fraction of the electorate seems astonishingly inured to misleading charges and negative attacks," according to Ambinder, it has nothing to do with the flaccidity of the press, because, after all, "the press has pointed out the Bridge to Nowhere exagerration ever since it was uncovered." No word on whether he finds McCain and Palin’s related claim that Palin–whose own projects McCain once singled out on his objectionable pork lists, whose own state still leads the country in per capita earmarks–is a great opponent of earmarks is just "technically true but functionally false, or whether it’s a cynical lie. No word on whether Palin’s clear fondness for the pork she claims to oppose undercuts the spin that she’s a maverick. No word on when the McCain campaign’s repeated insistence on the Bridge to Nowhere myth–or for that matter, its repeated, documented lies about Obama’s tax plan–becomes a story.

Because at some point, McCain’s cynical strategy to lie his way to victory threatens the entire principle of the objective press. If McCain can tell lies so brazen they’d make even Dick Cheney blush, and if the press does no more than simply correct them, once, quietly, politely, euphemistically, without noting that he and Palin repeat them in spite of all objective evidence, then the whole principle of objective truth has been replaced by the rule that whatever assertion gets repeated the most persistently will become "truth."

Journalists often say their job is to tell the truth. But Marc Ambinder, at least, doesn’t seem phased that Rick Davis and Steve Schmidt have declared open season (no doubt aerial hunting season) on that very principle.

At some point, McCain’s decision to run a campaign targeted against the very notion of objective truth–and those who try to expose it–needs to become the story. 

Update: Here’s Jamison Foser on the same topic.

  1. MarieRoget says:

    I’m w/Rachel Maddow for just calling a lie a lie. Forget the gradations & the shadings, the claims of “misspeaking”- if the main part or statement in what you said was not the truth, then your statement contains a LIE & is one.

    Corollary for Ambinder & his ilk- no amount of repetition of a lie changes it into the truth. These are the standards the rest of us have to adhere to Marc, or we would be called out as LIARS.

    Pontius Pilate’s famous “What is Truth?” suddenly came to mind. If you believe that story, it got him off the hook too.

  2. brendanx says:

    This is the single greatest advantage Republicans have. The Obama campaign have countered and documented every lie, usually quite combatively, but they will have to pay through the nose to get these rebuttals amplified in ads, because the press won’t do it. The game is rigged in this respect.

    Hopefully they will counterattack well. For my two cents, I hope they use the Bridge to Nowhere, Palin’s claims about which they’ve called “lies”, to get a foot in the door, a nice commercial with that tee-shirt and a line like, “Don’t vote for another Bridge to Nowhere”.

    For my two cents, the most viscerally appalling and vertigo-inducing inversion of reality was Giuliani’s jeering about Obama not finding Wasilla “cosmopolitan” enough. Truly the stuff of both Stalinists and Nazis.

  3. klynn says:

    At some point, McCain’s decision to run a campaign targeted against the very notion of objective truth–and those who try to expose it–needs to become the story.

    Now THAT’s a narrative I’ll listen to.

    In the evangelical community there is the tossed phrase, “Make your word, your word.” That is, keep your word and stand by it. Now, that was at one time, based on the notion that “your word” was truthful.

    Now Sarah, is your word truthful? Or, are you just standing by …whatever works?

    • brendanx says:

      Naive rationalist, you. For evangelicals there are higher “truths.” The most important precept of the fundamentalist’s (any fundamentalist’s) creed is that the end justifies the means. What’s a white lie among the saved?

    • WilliamOckham says:

      I think you’ve hit on an effective strategy for undermining Palin (and the entire Republican party) with the evangelical movement. Obama needs to roll out a couple of ministers who support him (one white and one black would be good) to point out that Jesus said:

      Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No’

      The comparison between that admonition and Palin’s statements needs to be drawn clearly. Every conservative Christian knows that verse (Matthew 5:37) and it is important to their self-conception. The point here is to induce some cognitive dissonance. ‘Straight Talk’ is a Christian value.

      A really nice wrap-up would be to get Rachel Maddow to call Pastor Kroon from the Wasilla Bible Church and ask him what that verse means for Christian behavior.

      • klynn says:


        I was actually talking with some friends who are pastors and professors at a seminary. Your point, drawn from my comment at 3, was essentially the central point of our conversation.

        We also found ourselves discussing the more central teachings of Christ that center around rebuilding the walls of the city (community organizer work). Someone called to the vocation of “public service” should be embracing such teachings, not speaking of them with condescending and arrogant put downs. Having served in an urban ministry in Washington DC, I cannot understand how anyone on the front lines of such work could “chuckle” at the message she sent out during her campaign speech.

        “Convenience theology” does not build honest relationships and is not living a life of “selflessness”.

        Tony Campolo is probably one of the most incredible community organizer in terms of urban ministry, in the country…It was an honor to receive training from him…

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          At some point, McCain’s decision to run a campaign targeted against the very notion of objective truth–and those who try to expose it–needs to become the story.

          Methinks EW scored a direct hit on the McCain/Palin campaign.
          They are directly, aggressively targeting the press as well as the Dems.

          The GOP wants the MSM and the Dems to play by the authoritarian rules that have worked so well for them. The problem for the rest of us is that if McCain/Palin win, it’s not credible to suppose that Putin, Russian oiligarchs, terrorists, and dictators will continue to play by those rules.

          The rules the GOP is imposing will — if ‘obeyed’ by the MSM and the Dems — deliver us straight into the hands of those who wish us ill. And if you don’t believe me, Google ‘neocon’ and ‘Ghorbanifar’. And that’s only for starters.

          Ambinder is showing moral cowardice.
          And the consequences of that are always grim.

          • klynn says:


            Are you sure you were not a fly on the wall during my conversation with my professor friends?

            We actually talked about the manipulation of the understanding of authority, rule, and will, by the GOP and Conservative Right. I totally agree with you and believe you. Trust me, I unfortunately worked too close to such folks back in the early and mid 90’s when the Christian Coalition was
            “growing” it’s war against the greater public. It became clear to me that their vision was a misplaced understanding of Hebrews 13:17 “Obey your leaders’ and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”(among other misplaced understandings.)

            I might add, that there was a vision that if Christians were the leaders, then obeying would be…easy. Thus the “war” was defined as Christians infiltrating every level and aspect of government to change the US on one specific law, Roe v. Wade, for beginners. It was a dream vision for the GOP, to become a one party power and use the narrative “one nation under God” to gather ground troops (Christian Right base). It has been a symbiotic relationship. Add certain meddling foreign powers into the manipulation narrative and it become the “perfect storm” of manipulation towards the death of Democracy.

            Marcy did make a direct hit and this can be targeted and confronted.

            Now it’s clear “why” a grassroots movement will be the difference for Obama. If the campaign can address “objective truth” on the grassroots level effectively, then the lies will be exposed. This is where, the work done in the blogs will be so important. It may also mean canceling newspaper subscriptions and causing financial impact on the MSM.

  4. Rayne says:

    Oh, but they’re different, really.

    technically true, but functionally false = nimble parsing required, as if stepping on floating turds in a cesspool

    repeated, blatant lies = in-your-face-whadyagunnadoaboutit falsehoods

    A serial liar = someone that tells repeated, which may include in-your-face lies, technical falsehoods, and delusions passed off as truth, or a distribution of these and other options of the corrupted truth

    A lying liar = someone who has begun to lie to themselves as well as others

    Completely divorced from reality = psychotic break in progress (get the dart gun)

    Really depends on whether one is discussing the subject liar(s) or the modifiers that qualify the liar(s) and their campaign.

    BTW, I applaud the idea of a Palin-Lies website provided infrastructure is independent of any McCain-Lies site; there’s so much material there that lumping her lies with her soulmate’s lies would surely crash a server.

  5. brendanx says:

    What has left me pessimistic and a panicker, if you will, is the suspicion that the lies don’t matter: enough of the public just want a plausible excuse for voting against Obama. That’s what I take away from the fact that McCain’s somnolent and badly received speech was seen by more viewers yet actually contributed to his bump.

  6. klynn says:

    Naive rationalist, you.

    Oh dear, please forgive my naive viewpoint… (Darn, should have played the victim because brendanx is such a big bully…)

  7. acquarius74 says:

    More Orwellian Newspeak. For my 2 cents, anything less than the full truth, all of it, is a lie and spoken or written with intent to deceive.

    Do these mutants really believe the crap they peddle?

    • Redshift says:

      Read Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit,” if you haven’t; it makes these things so much clearer.

      It’s even worse than not believing it; they don’t care whether it’s true or not, only that it creates the impression they want.

      • acquarius74 says:

        Thank you! I think you’ve just resolved one of my biggest problems. I’m beginning to realize that I have been projecting value for truth onto these people that I want to value truth. I’ve been calling them mutants for a long time, but still stubbornly giving them credit for some degree of conscience, i.e., to care about their lying.

        I’ll try to find your book reference.

        Thanks again.

  8. AlbertFall says:

    The press will let the bullshit lie–


    The press is lazy, but the Dems have no balls to defend themselves from the lies and until they do the lies will go unchallenged.



    Sorry for the caps. Must switch to decaf.

    • bobschacht says:

      Thanks! This could be really important. The fight for the rest of September is not in the Lower 48, but in Alaska, where a lot depends on whether McCain’s Republican lawyers can keep Palin’s dirty deeds buried until November 4.

      Bob in HI

    • emptywheel says:

      Did you see that the Pats turned Chris Simms and Tim Rattay away when they showed up for a physical?

      I personally think that the sixth round draft choice former college backup, Cassel, will do much better than people think (after all, when Bledsoe went out, everyone was wringing their hands about the third round draft choice former college backup). But who’s going to back up Cassel?

      And yes, that was a legal hit.

  9. wavpeac says:

    You know…the republicans have run the table for over 60 years basically. And yet, they are scared to death of losing. Nothing horrible happened while Clinton was pres, nor while Carter was pres. (the iranian hostage crises looks like a tea party compared to 9/11).

    So why are they so desperate to win that they would lie, beg, or steal? (steal…now they are touting CHANGE).

    Something much bigger than any of this. Because your average political aspirations just don’t explain it, do they?

    • 4jkb4ia says:

      Hilton Kramer put his finger on it when he talked about “the failure of liberalism to deal with the sexual revolution and the race war”. This being Hilton Kramer, he can also point to a deep fear of moral relativism and disorder. In other words living in Nixonland is a sufficient explanation.

  10. 4jkb4ia says:

    This is rhetorical, isn’t it?
    “Technically true, but functionally false” is a misstatement.
    “Blatant lies” and “serial lies” are willful. There is a pattern.
    “Completely divorced from reality” is not caring if anything is true or false. It goes beyond willfulness.

    OTOH, Obama distorted Hillary’s positions a few times in the primary, although not as badly as McCain and Palin have distorted Obama’s positions, and Obama supporters looked over it. If American voters are sufficiently cynical about politics it will not be a deal-breaker that a candidate you have decided to support for some other reason says something which isn’t true. Not that it should be that way.

  11. radiofreewill says:

    For Sarah Bush, her “beliefs” are her facts.

    If she believes that she said “No” to that Bridge to Nowhere, then that’s the fact of record for her.

    Why? Because God works in mysterious ways as His plan unfolds for her. His plan might take her through some non-sensical, contradictory stuff – to test her faith, like Dinosaur bones – on the way to fulfilling her Mission, but He will always be there with Sarah no matter how bad it may look.

    God was just as close to her when she was ‘for’ the Bridge to Nowhere, too. The Bridge can come and go, but God’s plan – and she’s Third Wave/Joel’s Army – must march on!

    Think ‘Jesus Camp’, and Ted Haggart (also Third Wave).

    For Sarah, it’s not about Governing the People according to the Constitution. Someone trying to find rhyme and reason behind her shifting positions will find little coherency in the pattern. It’s because she’s not operating according to rhyme and reason – she’s following her Belief in her Mission from God, no matter how it looks on the outside. She has an Agenda she keeps hidden by opportunistically taking positions for advantage, and acting like all previous and contradictory decisions she made were irrelevant now. Sound like anyone else we know?

    We’ll say she ‘must be Lying’, even with ‘proof’ to show, but she wouldn’t agree.

    Why? Because it’s God’s Plan.

    It’s about God’s Plan for America, and His agent to bring this ‘good’ to US, Sarah Palin.

    All the Women in America, in particular, need to know what God’s Plan is for them, according to Sarah – because the forced birth of her ‘no abortion even in cases of rape and incest’ is not all that far away from forced breeding, if you think about it. Who’s body is it? Yours or her God’s? She makes decisions based on her Beliefs over every other consideration, including reason, common sense, actual circumstance, etc, etc.

    It just depends on God’s Plan, that’s all…even though we’ll say she’s lying every step of the way towards it’s fulfillment.

    Her acceptance speech showed clearly that her “Big” persona went flat on the issues – especially her rickety attempts to talk foreign policy – so we know her “Big” persona wasn’t developed through skill-building in public service.

    Her “Big” persona is her Church Narrative, which she hides behind her divisive politicking, like a wink-and-nod Wolf wearing a Sheep’s hide in the middle of the droning flock.

    • Boston1775 says:

      God’s will.

      It covers everything.

      I just got off the phone with someone who knows this mindset as well as you or I. Here’s the way this works. If a woman who announces she is seven months pregnant to an astonished staff can give birth a month and a half later after traveling on a plane for eight hours, in the beginning of labor, leaking amniotic fluid, and no one has any idea that she is even pregnant, and we can’t talk about it? Well, the emperor has no clothes.

      She has already won.

      It’s God’s will.

  12. 4jkb4ia says:

    Tim Rattay can certainly be an NFL quarterback, and even more certainly can be a backup. EW knows better than I do whether he fits into Belichick’s system.

  13. skdadl says:

    I think that it takes a bad court decision (or two) to make something “technically true but functionally false.”

    I think that because I was shaken this a.m. to read Siun on Oliver North (really, go back and read that post if you haven’t already) and then to try to work through in my own amateur mind what one is allowed to say about someone who really should be a convicted felon but isn’t.

    For the sake of the whole rest of the world, you have to save your courts.

  14. wavpeac says:

    Okay…how about this

    picture Ted Haggart, Baker, a whole brigade of lying hypocritical christians and then one line.

    Just because they say they are christians doesn’t mean they don’t lie.

    That’s it.

    Obama and Biden talk too much and take too long to make the PUNCH.

    Yes, ms anti violence wants to see an ad with a PUNCH at Palin.

  15. freepatriot says:

    I operate a little closer to the edge than most people

    I don’t speak to half of my family because of lies

    and the standard ???

    if you make a statement, and you don’t know if the statement is true, then you just lied to me

    everything on the list counts as a FUCKING LIE

  16. DeadLast says:

    “No word on whether Palin’s clear fondness for the pork she claims to oppose”

    Marcy, I am surprised at you. You usually have one of the best abilities in the blogosphere to call bullshit on new, evolving Republican strategies.

    Case in point: the Republicans have recently juggled thier lexicon to reflect changes on the ground. They have redefined “wasteful Democratic government spending” as “Pork” which is clearly bad, but new funding for local projects that benefit Republican contributors or helps reelect incumbent Republicans is now called “Moose” which is very good.

    And the new campaign slogan “Moose … the other White meat!”

  17. klynn says:


    It may also mean canceling newspaper subscriptions and causing financial impact on the MSM.

    This may also mean boycotting advertisers in the MSM when they promote the lies. Divesting of these company advertisers can also be effective.

    Generic brands are fine with me…

    • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

      Actually, I’d probably have loved to be a fly on the wall

      I came back to follow up with another comment early a.m. because it occurred to me last night that there’s a pattern here — and I think it resembles that ‘predator vs prey’ pattern that I discerned in EW’s Ghorbanifar Timeline.

      I’m not as good at timelines as EW, plus no time at present, but it occurred to me as I was pouring morning coffee that the really hideous rants, PLUS reports from members of the press about being ‘bullied’ by GOP operatives and McCain ’strategists’ is very interesting in light of a few facts.

      Back in late July or early August, Joe Klein over at TIME’s Swampland started to w-r-i-t-e about being bullied by neocons for questioning their views. And he wrote something to the effect of, “I’m damned if I’m going to let these bullies call the tune.” (Yes, I had to read about three times to believe my eyes.) Then, the following week or so he followed up with a post frankly mentioning that under the ‘false equivilence of objectivity’ he’d have written A = B. But he didn’t feel that sufficient for what he was seeing; A != B, and it was as if he was moving toward some new framework.

      Note Dana Milbank’s funny, acid video piece from the GOP convention, where he mocks himself as being a dreaded, rotten member of the MSM.

      Then go over to TPM and locate an interview that David Kurtz (of TPM) did with Howard Fineman — it’s about 8+ minutes and really ought to go in a time capsule because of what it suggests about the social stresses of our times.

      For one person in the press trying to mention ‘meddling interests’ and Palin, see the topics at Jim Lobe’s blog:
      Can you say “AIPAC”? Thought you could. If I were a non-US interest wanting to influence US policy, I’d probably love a ‘Christian’, particularly someone easily influenced by End Times beliefs, or linked to them… and HoJo is sure doing his part to help Palin learn the ‘foreign policy ropes’, isn’t he? No wonder she doesn’t have time to talk to the press — they have her holed up with their own ‘experts’ on How The World Works.

      At any rate, I think the press — like all institutions — is undergoing fundamental changes. And as they attempt to raise questions about Palin – OR criticize McCain and the GOP! — note how the flying monkeys go crazy ranting about the press. I’d like to interpret that as a **good** thing on the grounds that it suggests the GOP/strategists are losing their death-grip on the media.

      Look at the NYT OpEds about McCain, about Palin’s zilch qualifications and what it says about McCain’s judgment. All extremely negative, and backed up by facts. (Joe Klein is in the MSM doing the same thing finally, and we’ve just seen what happened to KO and Chris Matthews… the flying monkeys are going bananas over the very notion that the press might start insisting on interviews, insisting on f-a-c-t-s.)

      Anyway, I don’t think it’s sufficient simply to boycott the press.
      They need jobs; we need information.
      I want them to be better.
      I want them to do more than shill out whatever sop the GOP or the Dems hand them in a day. I want them to have time to do research.

      Here’s a good example — and three different people brought it to my attention on Sunday. From the Seattle Times, who actually had a reporter or two go to the National Archives and sort through boxes of info related to Sarah Palin’s mayoral activities:

      Worth special mention, this nugget: “In October 1996, about a third of Wasilla’s registered voters went to the polls. Palin collected 616 votes — 58 percent of the total. “It’s a new direction,” she told the Frontiersman, the local newspaper.”

      I realize that everyone has to start somewhere, but 616 votes?!
      You gotta be kiddin’ me.

      That is NOT the basis for leading the world.
      Let me repeat:
      1996 — twelve years ago — Biden would already have been in the Senate for over 20 years, and McCain for over 12.
      1996, this woman receives 616 votes.

      NOTE — 2/3 of the **registered voters** in Wasilla didn’t even bother to vote in the election. A town of 9,000 or so, and she received… about one vote for every 9 people…? That’s not a ‘mandate’. That’s a symptom that people don’t care enough about government to haul their asses out and vote (either that or — like me — to pissed off to vote).

      But how would you or I know that unless someone — the ‘press’, in this case a newspaper — actually paid people to locate, search, synthesize, and write up what they’d found in public documents. Where there’s no question of whether the information is true/false. They have the f-a-c-t-s.

      The GOP will go ape-shit, because the facts are like water on that witch on Oz. Nooooooooo! Nooooooooo! I’m mellllttttting!!!

      If I ever have the inside track on what could save the press, I’ll be sure to comment right here
      Meanwhile, why throw the baby out with the bathwater?

      Every living organism needs communication — cells communicate, bees do it, birds do it, and we do it. The problem has been the QUALITY of information. It’s declined.

      I’d argue that this is largely due to the same kind of insane ‘free market’ economics that’s wreaked havoc on the rest of American life. The market is a sewer. People make money by cutting corners, and acting in ways that allow them to get ‘an edge’ — buy from China, sell in Arkansas. No morality whatsoever.

      The ‘press’ is vulnerable to that same sewer-driven, amoral logic.
      In order to ‘grab eyeballs’, the press has had to cut corners.
      They’re in an economic nightmare.
      But that’s a different thread…

      Because they’re in an economic nightmare, they’re vulnerable to economic and political pressure in ways that weren’t true in the 1970s.

      IMHO, the press needs a different biz model.
      With a different biz model, they’d have more resources for the kind of research that is a **service** that will generate enough revenue that they can do good work.

      I’ve taken too long to say this isn’t solely the fault of the press, and we need some kind of information services. I’m just not sure what those will be. But Jim Lobe’s information, and the Seattle Times information is CONTENT worth paying for.

      As is EW’s blog, which is my cue to put a couple meagre pennies in the PayPal right now.

      • klynn says:

        You make some great points. A new business model would probably be desired by many journalists but embraced by few media owners. Media owners are part of controlling the message. Additionally, I think there are clearly journalists, actually propagandists, who pursue journalism in order to exploit the medium for an end game; thus, who would not embrace a new business model.

        I agree, there IS content worth paying for. I think ever since Watergate and the press uncovering that true story, it became the GOP mandate to dress the media as liberal, as opposed to, a part of the fabric of our nation as upholding the role of seeking honest and quality information voters can utilize to make civic decisions.

        Frankly,those journalists in high profile positions, being bullied, would make a statement if they walked away from their contracts citing “hostile work environment” as the reason they are breaking their contract.

        I’ll never forget when I received a full ride to the top accredited journalism school in the US. When I met with the dean of the journalism school, I was disgusted with an inference made against the Fourth Estate. His dialogue was centered on journalism not “being about” facts but “how” you fit just some of facts together and the resulting power of the story a writer can bring to life.

        His hyperbole for encouraging lying was an epiphany moment for me and my future. When I explained the conversation to my parents, it was clear to them I was walking away from a life dreamed career-wise and the honor of a full ride scholarship…for all the right reasons.

        I do not want to hurt the journalists who write with integrity, or at least get beat up trying to write with integrity. The corporate media, who try and direct the coverage, amount of coverage, the bias of the coverage, the pockets which get lined by promoting propagandized views through their editorial direction…THAT pocket, I am more than willing to begin a grassroots movement against.

        You are correct, the reasons for the change in media’s role are for another thread.

  18. dosido says:

    The issues at the core of all this lying of course are:

    1. the true role of a free press – accountability
    2. GOP’s relentless assault on the checks on power

    no more free press
    no more easy access to voting polls

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    One of your more important observations, EW. Glenzilla responded to it Tuesday, a day after you did.

    The press in this country has a privileged position for a reason. Private businesses can sell their SUV’s, deodorants and movies themselves. Governments can sell their propaganda, if it weren’t illegal (another law BushCo. ignores). We don’t need the press to do those things, even a press owned by “entertainment” companies and defense contractors or mere antipodean power brokers.

    The press is privileged because it is the interface between the people and their government. Government is simply people acting together to meet their collective needs, not just the needs of those ambitious or informed enough to grab hold of the government’s levers.

    The press’s job is not to report claims or statements; it starts there. Expressly and by implication, what it reports is newsworthy, what it ignores is not, what it spikes would be newsworthy if it got out. Dog bites man, politician lies, are such commonplaces they should never headlines. Man bites dog, politician risks re-election chances to fight for fair treatment, those are headlines. Why? The context, the importance, the uniqueness, the notoriety.

    Any fool, Ambinder included, can regurgitate claims. Reporting, digging out facts their holders don’t want known, having the wit and experience to put them into useful context for a reader or viewer, that’s journalism. It turns a claim into a useful fact that affects how we think about our homes, our workplace, our relationship to those we rely on to do things individually we can’t, that’s newsworthy.

    Mr. Ambinder wants to sell chicken soup. It’s not his job, he says, to tell us it’s dessicated, not home-made fresh, that it has more binder, additives and preservatives than chicken, or that it was made in China downstream from a lead-acid battery factory. It’s not his job to research whether what’s on the label contains any semblance of truth. He’s just there to read the label. His employer pays him lots of money to keep it to that.