The Fairy sat looking at him and laughing.
"Why do you laugh?" the Marionette asked her, worried now at the sight of his growing nose.
"I am laughing at your lies."
"How do you know I am lying?"
"Lies, my boy, are known in a moment. There are two kinds of lies, lies with short legs and lies with long noses. Yours, just now, happen to have long noses."Pinocchio, not knowing where to hide his shame, tried to escape from the room, but his nose had become so long that he could not get it out of the door. [from Chapter 17 of The Adventures of Pinocchio by C. Collodi]
It’s unfortunate that politicians don’t suffer from Pinocchio syndromes and have their noses grow every time they tell a lie. It would make it so much easier to sort out today’s concept of “truth.” I’m beginning to believe that truth is any lie you say as long as you don’t get caught. Politicians stretching or distorting the truth is nothing new at all, but today it seems tell a lie, tell it often, and gee it becomes the truth.
Michael Cooper and Jim Rutenberg at The New York Times have an interesting article on our latest Pinocchio Politics (a term I've coined for this election). Read the article.