In the wrong hands, the camera is a psychopathic liar

mesnipUsing lies to foil the ambitions of those who seek public office is the territory of Alastair Campbell, Lynton Crosby, Lord Mandelson, and All the President’s Men who helped install Dick Nixon for a second term. I have no idea who was originally behind the internet attempt to create doubts about Hillary Clinton’s physical state of health, but the obvious falsehoods should be repugnant to all those of a genuinely democratic bent.

There is no gentle way to write this, but it needs to be put upfront in this post: I think Hillary Clinton is a gone-native State Department nutbag, and her profoundly corrupt husband a good ol’ Southern Sleazebag all-round sex pest. To me, they personify everything loathesome about right-on hypocrisy.

But right is right, and wrong is wrong. And two wrongs never, ever make a right. There is the Good Lie you tell your kids about Christmas, or Mummy and Daddy splitting up, or to your Dad about his Alzheimer’s: these evoke magic, or spare feelings – and involve no personal gain. But the Good Lie in politics, social policy, climate change debate, economics and journalism is, itself, the biggest lie of all. Brecht was a totalitarian prick, and that’s all there is to it.

Across the blogosphere and around the global web, there is a building narrative trying to suggest that Hillary Clinton’s physical health is poor.

For myself, I suspect her mental health is destitute – but that’s just an opinion, and I am not a shrink. By contrast, I’ve spent a fair proportion of my day today trying to stand up the story of her ‘failing health’. It is, dear reader, a straw in the growing wind of media distortion.

There are four key shots being used to suggest that the Hillarybilly is turning into a paraplegic MS-riddled basket case. Every one of them is a real shot made counterfeit by missing out the reason why Clinton needed a helping hand from aides who suffer from nothing worse than good manners. She’s the same age as me; each and every day you could follow me around as I potter about in the garden, and ‘prove’ that I am physically incompetent.

The idiotic ‘truism’ feeding this fiction is, “The camera does not lie”. Actually, the camera has been lying from the day it was invented. And in these dark days of photoshopping, an image can be set up to show something that never happened. The camera led Conan Doyle to believe there were fairies at the bottom of the garden. It led Russians to believe that Trotsky was never a senior Politburo member. And in 2016, it can be used to suggest that Hillary Clinton suffers from seizures.

The main ailment from which she suffers is being untrue to herself. Spreading untruths about her health only serves to further obfuscate reality.

Earlier at The Slog: Beware the Crash2 tides of October