How Are Misstatements Permissible?



Having just returned from a three week vacation and trying to catch up on the local news, I was absolutely astounded to read the news about a candidate manufacturing an “inaccurate” biographical statement of some of his past attributes, qualifications, accomplishments and successes.

I personally know nothing of the accuracy of these assertions and have no desire or ability to investigate or inquire. But I am absolutely entitled to know and, more accurately, required to be told.

I do not know the man or of him nor have I ever dealt with him. But, I have not to date seen a specific factual denial of the falsity of some/any of these claims when a denial and rebuttal with facts and documents would absolutely be mandatory from an announced candidate for a public office behind published representations.

I also then read some feeble defensive remarks by others, including I believe candidates and supporters, citing that this candidate had a good past record of community works and concerns. Doesn’t this mean they are also implying that clearly thoughtful and intentional “misstatements”, if they are just such, are permissible if he had a prior good heart. Kind of like an anticipatory absolution without the necessary confession. Reverse catholicism at work. Wow!

Appointees to public positions and well-known coaches have been fired and I believe even prosecuted for similar false claims, if in fact inaccurate.

Now, even more astounding and indefensible, is the total lack of follow up, research, factual rebuttal assertions and investigation by the local press. What? When? Where?

Isn’t the public more than entitled to the facts? Isn’t research by the fourth estate required to protect this candidate or the public, whichever the facts may establish?

And, he is still running and presumably spending his and others’ money when he should, if the allegations are true, or maybe more correctly, if his published claims and assertions are not entirely accurate and provable, be lambasted and vilified! Or assert facts on his behalf to show these statements are just political fluff and slander.

Is this a lesson for our kids?…for democracy at work? Call a liar just that when and if he falsely misrepresents as facts that which is not true and should the letters not be stitched to his chest if his representations in a public document are not entirely accurate?

What is it..truth or fiction? Why allow the ball to remain hidden? Doesn’t your “newspaper” have an absolute duty?


Byron Nelson, Laguna Beach

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