David Manning Liars of the Month

   
   

September 2009

Van Jones

Here’s the problem. You do something foolish in the passion of the moment, never suspecting that it may become an embarrassment later on. Then, years later, it surfaces, with potentially devastating consequences to your credibility and reputation. What do you do?

» Read this commentary»

July 2009

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker

For a classic “Who are you going to believe, me, or your own eyes?”-style Liar of the Month, the Scoreboard presents Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker.

When Kiker learned from a reporter that his town’s fire chief, Scott Janke, was married to an up-and-coming porno movie star, he called an emergency meeting of the town council that culminated in Janke being fired, using a “no-cause” provision in his contract. Why fire him? Because, in Kiker’s own words, “we were addressing...a situation where we weren't going to be able to govern the town with all the disruption and interruption,” the disruption arising from, of course, the racy occupation of the fire chief’s wife.

» Read this commentary»

June 2009

The White House Communications Staff

When the White House announced this month that the stimulus had saved or created at least 150,000 American jobs, and announced that additional stimulus spending could save or create an additional 600,000 jobs this summer, did you think that was based on actual data? It wasn’t, you know. The Wall Street Journal’s William McGurn pointed out that none of the official stat-keepers and bean-counters, neither the Labor Department, nor the Treasury, nor the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures "jobs saved." The New York Times explained that the President’s jobs claims are "based on macroeconomic estimates, not an actual counting of jobs."

» Read this commentary»

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Larry Kiker

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's weird six-day disappearance from the state fits a lot of Ethics Scoreboard categories. It could be an Ethics Dunce: could the Governor really think that it is responsible conduct for the elected head of a state to just disappear without letting his staff or constituency know where he is? It could be an Easy Call: there’s really nothing to debate. Is there? Going AWOL in any job is unethical, and for a leader, it is infinitely worse. Sanford’s disappearing act sets a terrible example for the state employees who work for him, and it is a major breach of duty to the residents of South Carolina

But I’ve decided to put him in the Liar of the Month category, in part because this aspect of his disappearance is in the process of being ignored by the media as they pounce on the tabloid juiciness of his extra-marital affair.

» Read this commentary»

 

May 2009

Carrie Prejean, Miss California

If it wasn’t enough to be baited with a unfairly contentious question about gay marriage as she competed for the Miss USA title on national TV, Carrie Prejean found herself defending her crown against accusations that she had exposed her breasts in a photo shoot for the magazine “Bliss.” Since Miss USA is nothing but a glorified pin-up competition anyway, the fact that posing nude, semi-nude or in otherwise provocative poses should be a blot on any of these surgically enhanced young women’s resumes is beyond bizarre: they are selling sex, after all, not children’s books. Nonetheless, some of the Miss California people were using these old photos to argue that Prejean was unworthy of the title, when if fact, if anything, they confirm just how, uh, worthy she is. (Of course, many suspected that the real reason Prejean was under fire was her nationally-broadcast statement that marriage should be confined to unions between a man and a woman. But that is another issue.)

» Read this commentary»

April 2009

Australian Judge Marcus Einfield

Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos, California, is resigning his office after it was reported that he shared an e-mail photo showing the White House lawn planted with watermelons, with the caption, “No Easter egg hunt this year!” One of the recipients, a local businesswoman and city volunteer, revealed the e-mail and publicly rebuked the mayor for his actions.

» Read this commentary»

March 2009

Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose

Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos, California, is resigning his office after it was reported that he shared an e-mail photo showing the White House lawn planted with watermelons, with the caption, “No Easter egg hunt this year!” One of the recipients, a local businesswoman and city volunteer, revealed the e-mail and publicly rebuked the mayor for his actions.

» Read this commentary»

March 2009

Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose

Dean Grose, the mayor of Los Alamitos, California, is resigning his office after it was reported that he shared an e-mail photo showing the White House lawn planted with watermelons, with the caption, “No Easter egg hunt this year!” One of the recipients, a local businesswoman and city volunteer, revealed the e-mail and publicly rebuked the mayor for his actions.

» Read this commentary»

February 2009

Roland Burris

Could anyone be surprised?

After now impeached and removed Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich had been taped discussing how he was going to sell Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate seat for personal gain, it was presumed that no respectable politician would accept the appointment at all, as long as it was coming from the slimy “Blaggo.” Then lifetime Chicago political figure (“hack,’ if you are incline to be unkind) Roland Burris did accept the appointment, immediately calling his own integrity into question. Not his ambition, however: Burris had been trying unsuccessfully to achieve high state office for a couple of decades.

» Read this commentary»

Anti-Viral Kleenex

The Ethics Scoreboard’s current favorite among deceitful labels: the Kleenex

» Read this commentary»

January 2009

Senator Diane Feinstein Yo-Yo Ma, Izhak Perlman, Gabriella Montero and Anthony McGill

Why are there American citizens who stubbornly maintain that Neil Armstrong’s moon landing was faked? Why is cynicism becoming a crippling national malady? Look no further for the answer than the inaugural ceremonies of Barack Obama, where a U.S. Senator and a quartet of great musicians couldn’t bring themselves to avoid artifice and deception on the day America displays its democracy to the world.

» Read this commentary»

 

 

     

Liars from other months

David Manning was an imaginary movie reviewer that Sony quoted when one of its movies was so lousy no real movie reviewer would praise it. When this long-running public fraud was brought to Sony's attention, the company's response was, in effect, "So who believes movie reviews?" Thus Sony's phony critic and the company's cynical defense of him stand for the dubious proposition that as long as your self-serving lie is in a trivial arena (usually entertainment) where dishonesty and misrepresentation are commonplace, or is a lie that nobody believes, it isn't reprehensible.

The fact is that these casual, obvious or trivial lies and the liars who spread them (almost always for profit) further degrade the value of honesty in American society, and pave the way for more destructive lies and liars waiting in the wings. All public deception is harmful, so The Ethics Scoreboard regularly recognizes The David Manning Liars of the Month, and urges the public to make them come clean…

November 2008: Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish, President-Elect Obama

October 2008: Scoreboard Scoop! Biden and McCain

September 2008: Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama

August 2008: Senator Barack Obama

July 2008: Boston Firefighter Albert Arroyo

June 2008: Tatum O'Neill

May 2008: NBC News

April 2008: Moises Alou

March 2008: Lauren Clari, Senator Hillary Clinton

February 2008: Bill Clinton

January 2008: Mike Huckabee

2007 Liars

December 2007: Clinton Pollster Mark Penn

November 2007:
Former President Bill Clinton
;
Alex Rodriguez and the New York Yankees

October 2007: Tom Anderson

September 2007: New York Times

August 2007: Lindsay Lohan

July 2007: Gary Sheffield

June 2007: Paris Hilton; Laura Albert

May 2007: John Edwards;
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson

April 2007: President Bush; Mitt Romney

March 2007: Hillary Clinton's Campaign; Hillary Clinton; Eddie Murphy

February 2007:Former Senator John Edwards

January 2007: Barbara Walters;
Deputy Secretary of Defense Cully Stimson;

2006 Liars

2005 Liars

2004 Liars

** 2004 Trivial Liar of the Year

(View all winners in The 2004 Ethics Score)

   
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