With Theresa May refusing to believe Gavin Williamsons claims of innocence, and Donald Trump estimated to have told 10,000 fibs in office, how can you tell when someones pants are on fire?
To be perfectly honest, this seems to be a prime time for lies, mistruths and pants on fire. We have to navigate fake news constantly, while dodging conspiracy theorists, antivaxxers and misleading anti-abortion activists on social media. Last week, the Washington Post calculated that Donald Trump had told his 10,000th lie while in office. Theresa May, meanwhile, clearly didnt believe former defence secretary Gavin Williamsons protestations that he wasnt responsible for the National Security Council leak, hence Williamsons extreme step of swearing on his childrens lives that he wasnt guilty.
And what about the rest of us? How many of our #livingmybestlife Instagram posts are, to put it charitably, putting a positive spin on things?
Are we living in an age where lies are acceptable? Robert Feldman, professor in the department of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Massachusetts and author of The Liar in Your Life, says he thinks we are. I do feel that its become more acceptable to lie. Presidents even ones you dont like are role models, and if you see someone with high prestige who constantly lies and gets away with it, as seems to be the case, its providing a model of whats acceptable. I used to talk about Bill Clinton as the president who made lying acceptable and yet what happened was, he got away with it.