Paging Al Franken

The Neo-Neocon explains what a lie is – and isn’t:

But no matter; Bush lied.

I’ve become convinced that the key to this assertion is a relatively new and fundamental misunderstanding of the meaning of the term “lied,” an error that has its genesis in the growth of narcissism (please see Dr. Sanity’s fine series on the affliction).

In truth, the hallmark of a lie is that its locus is in the speaker. To be lying, the speaker must be aware of the falsehood of the utterances. So whether or not something is a lie has nothing to do with the listener, and everything to do with the teller.

But many listeners in our day and age have lost sight–not just of truth vs. relative truth, or objective vs. subjective truth–but of any truth-falsehood distinction outside of their own perceptions.

Read the whole thing – I think Ms N. is onto something here.