Debating liars on the media – proposed rules of engagement

liar liar pants on fire

Let’s face it. The media rarely does a good job in mediating political debates. Many mediators can’t even stop the participants talking over the top of each other.

What annoys me are the obvious lies some politicians think they can foist on us.

The media rarely pulls them up on their lies. They think their job is to provide entertainment as this extraordinary revelation by Patrick Gower shows. He says he hasn’t time to find truth and his job is to be hard on both sides to show the drama.

So here’s a proposal.

Set the debate rules from the start and make sure you spend some time doing so. Tell your opponent and the mediator you will follow the three strikes rule. The first time you hear a lie you say “Strike one” and ask for time to show why it’s a lie. After three strikes, if no opportunity is given to correct the lie properly, you walk out, smiling very sweetly, saying:

Sorry, that’s three strikes. Gerry clearly shows no respect for the facts and you as a journalist haven’t allowed the facts to be properly discussed. I won’t be back on your show until you as a journalist check the facts on each strike and report your findings to your audience. Good bye.

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