Lies: They travel halfway round the world before the truth gets its boots on. If you don't tell them, you never have to remember anything. Ask me no questions and I won't tell you any. The year that now comes to an end was, like all years, riddled with them. Grand lies and small ones, grave ones and frivolous ones, true ones and false ones—check that. They were all false. Here is a list of some of them that really caught my attention.
Anthony Weiner: "My system was hacked."
It was a lie borne of panic, told to the world via Twitter as former Rep. Anthony Weiner sat alone in his home frantically trying to undo the damage of a mistakenly published dick pic. But he doubled down on it, repeated it in press conferences, and sparked endless useless blogfights over the myriad ways he could have been set up. But he was just taking a picture of his cock, to send to a lady.
James Murdoch: "I was not aware of [the extent of phone hacking] at the time."
In July, wide-eyed sociopath James Murdoch told a Parliamentary inquiry under oath that when he signed off on a $1,000,000 settlement for phone hacking a few years ago, he thought the practice was limited to a lone reporter at the News of the World who had already been dealt with and had no clue that it permeated News Corp.'s British newspapers. Almost immediately, two of his former deputies came forward to call him a liar: They had fully briefed him on evidence that phone-hacking was widespread at NOTW, which was one incentive to quietly settle all the cases coming at them.
In fact, one of them had handwritten notes from a meeting with Murdoch quoting the scion as saying he wanted to "get rid of the wrongdoers" in his company long after the only guilty staffer he claims to have known about had been fired. And a contemporaneous memo from a News International lawyer warned of a "culture of illegal information access" at the company. And emails sent to Murdoch—to which he replied—warned him that the people suing for phone hacking intended to prove that it was "rife throughout the organization" and that the company's "line" that it was limited to a "rogue trader" was a lie. In other words, Murdoch lied about knowing that his company was lying.
Tokyo Electric Power Company: "We believe the reactor is not melting down or cracking."
In the hours after an earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan in March, a spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which operated the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, assured reporters that its damaged reactors weren't melting down. He would know, right? Accordingly, TEPCO held off on pumping seawater into the reactor core to cool it off for several days, because the procedure—which could have averted a meltdown—would damage the reactor, and why risk those valuable assets unless it's absolutely necessary? Anyway, turns out that three of the reactors at Fukushima totally 100% melted down.
Donald Trump: "In my mind, I have already decided [to run for president]. I am going to announce."
Herman Cain: "I've never acted inappropriately with anyone."
Herman Cain says he never gently guided a lady's head to his lap and then offered her a job, never did whatever it was that caused his former employer the National Restaurant Association to pay two different co-workers to settle sexual harassment claims, and never had sex with the woman he knew for 13 years, and occasionally paid money to, and never told his wife about, and who claims to have had a 13-year affair with him. Which is why he dropped out of the race.
U.S. Government: Everything it said in the immediate aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death.
He went down with guns blazing! (Turns out he wasn't holding a gun.) He reached for a gun! (Turns out he was straight-up assassinated.) He died in a firefight! (Turns out the firefight was over by the time the SEALs got to bin Laden's bedroom.) He used his wife as a human shield! (Turns out she lunged at the SEALs and survived the assault.) We had "real-time visibility" of the raid! (Turns out there was a 25-minute gap where the White House had no idea what was happening on the ground.) We'll release pictures of his dead body! (Turns out they won't.) Osama bin Laden had porn! (This one hasn't been disproved yet, but really?)
Rudy Giuliani: "You'll be one of the first ones I would marry."
This was uttered by Giuliani ten years ago, but it didn't technically become a lie until June of this year, when he reneged in his promise to conduct the wedding ceremony of his friends, political supporters, and one-time roommates Howard Koeppel and Mark Hsiao as soon as gay marriage was legal in New York.
Kardashian Family: "We didn't make a dime off Kim's wedding."
Kim Kardashian's family claimed that her sham wedding was a strictly non-profit affair, which is true if you don't count the $10 million budget supplied by E!, the $1.5 million photo licensing deal, and all the free amenities supplied by publicity-hungry vendors.
Everyone: "Toyotas are death rockets."
This claim—that Toyota automobiles were manufactured with an electronic flaw that caused accelerators to depress uncommanded—was finally and incontrovertibly exposed as a lie in February 2011, when NASA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a definitive report demonstrating that sudden acceleration complaints were likely the result of "unintended application of the accelerator rather than...the brake."