Lies and fun. What

August 30, 2003 9:49 pm

Lies and fun. What a combination. And the Washington Monthly’s got it.

The up-coming issue of The Washington Monthly includes ‘The Mendacity Index,’ a compilation of expert opinion on the comparative rates of dishonesty for the last four presidents — Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush. In the words of the Monthly’s editors …

We asked a nominating committee* of noted journalists and pundits to pick the most serious fibs, deceptions, and untruths spoken by each of the four most recent presidents. We selected the top six for each commander-in-chief, then presented the list to a panel of judges** with longtime experience in Washington. Panel members were instructed to rate each deception on a scale of 1 (least serious) to 5 (most serious). Then we averaged the scores for each deception and for each president. We believe their validity rests somewhere between the Periodic Table and the U.S. News & World Report college rankings.

Take a look at how each of the four made out. And then head over to BeliefNet (which is partnering with the Monthly on this project) to rate each president’s top six deceptions.

Paired with the Monthly’s Mendacity Index is my next article in the Monthly, ‘The Post-Modern President: Deception, Denial, and Relativism: What the Bush administration learned from the French,’ my attempt to put together a grand unified theory of the Bush’s White House difficulties with the truth.

The article is out in the soon-to-be-released September issue. And we’ll be posting a pre-release link in the next day or so.

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