The View From Here – In Hollywood, being an habitual liar is pardonable if you can entertain and boost ratings

Tom Henihan

Lies diminish all endeavours; they poison all relationships in both private and public life, as deception is always an abuse of someone’s trust and goodwill.

Telling lies is shameful but allowing for human frailty, we occasionally succumb to temptation and weakness. However, most people feel ignoble when they have lied and need to make amends. To error is human and confession is good for the soul and generally under such circumstances forgiveness is granted.

Others lie habitually and with impunity, feeling no pangs of remorse or shame, even believing they are clever if their dishonesty achieves its objectives.

Some tell lies for their own exclusive self-interest while others take a step further in that shadowy realm and having accomplished little through lying on their own behalf put their dark talents up for hire and become a paid proxy for someone else.

Sean Spicer, in his role as former White House Press Secretary and Communications Director was Donald Trump’s surrogate liar. Every day, Spicer stepped in front of the media and the American people and told lies about the lies that Trump had earlier told. Spicer retracted old lies by telling new lies and didn’t seem to care about the blatant implausibility of most of what he said. Finally, without an iota of self-respect remaining, Spicer had to resign and in a final indignity was replaced by a man who answered to the nickname “The Mooch.”

Instead of having the grace to lay low and do a little soul searching and hope of a moral epiphany or try to redeem himself through an act of courage or even an old fashion act of contrition, Spicer attempted to resurrect his reputation by appearing on the Emmys.

In a parody of comedian Melissa McCarthy’s caricaturing of him, Spicer made fun of himself in a pathetic effort to close the circle to further ridicule. If there were a shred of anything noble in this effort, it would be tragic but lacking all sense of pride, such a public display was painfully undignified.

At this stage, Sean Spicer has no reputation to lose, no integrity to compromise and behaving in a shameless manner exposes nothing new, as it is par for the course where he is concerned.

On the other hand, liberal Hollywood’s indignation at Trump and his cohorts, especially Sean Spicer, has been relentless and whatever the rationale, facilitating Spicer’s appearance on the show is playing it both ways.

To be fair, many in audience at the Emmys seemed taken aback and uncomfortable with Spicer’s cameo.

If there is anything as questionable as the words of a politician, it must be the words of an entertainer; musicians, actors, athletes and comedians like politicians rely on gaining the public’s trust, which ironically, makes them just as prone to deception and misrepresentation.

This year’s host of the Emmys, Stephen Colbert, using his monologue on The Late Show has been a relentless critic of Trump and has mercilessly lampooned Sean Spicer. Nonetheless, Colbert was still willing to share the stage with Spicer, because in the world of entertainment, spectacle and ratings are more important than having the courage of one’s convictions and remaining a steadfast voice of dissent.

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