One of the famous lines from the movie A Few Good Men takes place during a cross-examination of Jack Nicholson by Tom Cruise. Tom Cruise asks for the truth and Jack Nicholson responds: “You can’t handle the truth.”
Sometimes the truth is difficult. When you get on a scale, you see the truth. When you reach a certain age and you can’t do what you used to do, you can find the truth to be a bitter pill to swallow. Sometimes, when you look in the mirror you don’t like what you see either. However, mirrors don’t lie; they only reflect the truth.
We live in a time in which we have 24-hour news. It could be CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, The Huffington Post, Twitter, etc etc. It’s so annoying because you hear things over and over, or you hear them overblown like a possible Nor’Easter coming. News like this has the potential to destroy NYC on hype alone.
I, for one, am glad we have a free press, as annoying, repetitive, and at times even boring it can be. It still provides us with needed information that forces our politicians and leaders to be transparent and, to some degree, honest. It is also important in the world of fake news and alternative facts.
Fake news has always been out there. In some places or countries we can call it propaganda. Growing up during the time of the Cold War, we always knew that the Russian media were simply a propaganda machine. Even now, we look at clever politicians who put a “spin” on the news to interpret it in a positive or self-serving way.
It seems that today we have moved a step farther with the advent of a new level of fake news. It’s a time in which people, websites, blogs are telling us barefaced lies. It seems like a fact checker is needed to screen whatever comes out of some people’s mouth. It is really unfortunate, especially when it comes from our leadership.
When Hilary Clinton was accused of trafficking child sex slaves from a pizza parlor in Washington, someone actually drove there for hours with a loaded gun to liberate the pizza parlor. When I first moved to New York, there was a popular saying: “I don’t want to hear it”, meaning, of course, I don’t want to hear the truth. We want reality to agree with how we want it to be. If truth is told, it can upset our reality and our view of life and what we want to see.
Jesus once said, “The truth will make you free.” I do believe it does. Not facing the truth enslaves you to your own prejudice, bias, and selfishness. That is why church begins each Sunday asking for the truth, asking for us to confess our sins and to face our selves.