Little lies founder,Taken together, The Cat in the Hat and The Cat in the Hat Comes Back anticipate our current cat-in-chief's tremendous capacity to demolish what was carefully put together, and generate an endless stream of red lies that spread and spread. In the Cat in the Hat Comes Back, the first red stain happens when the cat lies in the tub. From that first "lying", the red stain spreads from bathtub to mother's dress, to Father's shoes, to the rug, ultimately coating the snowy landscape outside.
But big lies can stick.
Lies can determine
The leaders we pick.
If you don’t like that lie,The cat has helpers to spread its brand of mayhem even further. Out of the cat's red hat leap small assistants who spread the red until it coats the land. Those assistants, in our increasingly unreal world, include not only those who wish to spread the lies, but also those attempting to stop them.
Then I’ll give you another.
I’ll give you its cousins,
Its sister and brother.
We’ll make ourselves welcome--How do you stop a lie from spreading? The standard method in journalism is to state the lie, then explain that it isn't true. The more outrageous the lie, the bigger its headline, and the more it dominates conversation. Whether the lie gets repeated with an air of disgust or irony or stern correction, the assumption is that people will see it for the lie it is. But lies, if they are repeated often enough, become true for people who aren't paying much attention. The actual truth often can't compete.
A lying family--
On the porch of your house
Drinking new lies for tea.
The truthy truth truthersIf someone is accused of a crime, each time that story is reported, the accused is associated with the crime. But if the crime is a false accusation about someone else, then news reports taint the lied-about more than the liar. The lied-about can charge the liar with slander or defamation of character, but that risks even more news coverage with yet more repetitions of the lie.
Will frown all around,
At how high I can fly
While they’re stuck on the ground.
We’ll keep telling liesWe become like the boy and girl in Dr. Seuss's stories, powerless, aghast, but also entertained while watching their world order come undone.
Till you think they are true
Do you think it can’t happen?
It can happen to you.
And how do you stop a big lie once it’s outAs an example of how lies can be like a stain that keeps spreading the more you try to stop it, consider a pre-election series in the New Yorker that documented myriad lies. These are thoroughly researched, devastating articles, and yet they also serve to spread the lies further. Though the series' alliterative title, "Trump and the Truth", was meant to be ironic, at a subliminal level some may be swayed instead by the visual power of two words that share the same length and the first three letters. By associating Trump with the truth, the title works against the articles' content. And because of the difficulty of reporting lies, the articles' content even works against itself. Of 1260 words in one of the articles, only 195 present the truth, while 628 convey Trump's lies.
By saying it again while it prances about!
This is the journalist's predicament, in a time when content may not register. Instead, it's the subliminal message in the image, the look or sound of words in the headline that people respond to. In a similar manner, some people watching the presidential debates last fall may have picked up on Trump's impressive physical bearing, rather than what he actually said. For people wishing to believe, appearance will win out over content.
Click on "Read More" below to see the 195 words of truth, presented almost apologetically, and how more than half of the article actually helps spread Trump's message.