An author of a holocaust memoir admits she made the whole thing up…
"This story is mine. It is not actually reality but my reality, my way
of surviving," Defonseca said in a statement released by the lawyers.
"I ask forgiveness to all who felt betrayed."
An author of a highly-praised memoir of her struggles as a gangbanger on the streets of South Central Los Angeles turns out to have been raised in an upper-class suburban home in Sherman Oaks and educated in elite private schools…
“For whatever reason, I was really torn and I thought it was my
opportunity to put a voice to people who people don’t listen to,” Ms.
Seltzer said. “I was in a position where at one point people said you
should speak for us because nobody else is going to let us in to talk.
Maybe it’s an ego thing — I don’t know. I just felt that there was good
that I could do and there was no other way that someone would listen to
[…]“I’m not saying like I did it right,” Ms. Seltzer said. “I did not do
it right. I thought I had an opportunity to make people understand the
conditions that people live in and the reasons people make the choices
from the choices they don’t have.”
A celebrity chef on the Food Network admits that he didn’t actually cook for the Royal Family or U.S. Presidents…
"I was wrong to exaggerate in statements related to my
experiences in the White House and the Royal Family," Irvine said
in a written statement. "I am truly sorry for misleading people
and misstating the facts."
And an elected official on the Three Valleys Water Board in Pomona, California admits he didn’t win the Medal of Honor or serve in the military as he claimed…
[Xavier Alvarez] didn’t deny claiming to have received the Medal of Honor. People
routinely say things at board meetings “just to entertain the public,”
The federal charges are the work of his political opponents, Alvarez
contends. When asked to specifically address the charges, his response
“There’s people who go up there and say, ‘Oh, I’m homosexual. And I
belong to the homosexual community.’ I don’t say anything about that. .
. . I’m a rookie at this. You get nervous.”
But not one of these brazen liars, just four among many outed in recent weeks, actually admits to lying, merely living a different truth, or miss-stating facts, or "exaggerating," or being nervous, or speaking for the downtrodden, or being "directionally correct" but factually wrong (whatever the hell that means).
Apparently, in today’s society, it’s okay to tell lies as long as you don’t get caught doing it…but, if you do, it’s imperative that you apologize without actually admitting to being a liar. Some are even saying that lying is a constitutional right. Take the Medal of Honor liar, Xavier Alvarez, or example. He is being prosecuted for violating the Stolen Valor Act of 2005:
In a motion
filed last month, Alvarez’s court-appointed attorney stated that his
false claim is protected under the First Amendment.
are not outside the realm of First Amendment protection, and therefore
restrictions on false statements must be supported by a strong
government interest and must be directly related to that interest,"
says the motion.
Is it just me, or are we seeing more and more of these outrageous cases of lying in the last couple of years? It’s even more amazing that this is happening during a time when it’s getting easier and easier to check up on people’s claims using simple search engines. But even the people who should be checking facts aren’t doing it, like Riverhead, the publisher of Margaret Seltzer’s memoir:
Ms. Seltzer’s sister, Ms. Hoffman, 47, said:
“It could have and should have been stopped before now.” Referring to
the publisher, she added: “I don’t know how they do business, but I
would think that protocol would have them doing fact-checking.”
What is it that drives these people to lie very publicly about their lives — medals of honor they didn’t win, diplomas they never received, presidents they didn’t cook for, etc. — and not expect to get caught doing it? Is it simply brazen arrogance? Rampaging stupidity? Or is it a profound laziness, a desperate desire to have accomplishments without putting in the actual work to achieve them?