Samuel Johnson’s words in the Idler, betwixt 1758 and 1760, still hold; Truth is still the first casualty of war – or of politics, that ritualized form of overt warfare; the institutionalization of organized and sanctioned violence between and against members of a polity, rather than between separate political organizations.
When a politician declares a “war on X” for any X, deceit has already been the first and most celebrated recruit. It is the superpower of politicians.
Time and again, our “news” organs relay the lies of politicians, thinking that a retraction in the back pages, some long while later, provides appropriate “balance.”
“We were misled,” they say. But they return willingly to the same well.