Tags: Lying | History

Lying History

Tuesday, 10 June 2003 12:00 AM

Sgt. Hans Schultz, played by the great character actor John Banner, made his way through life fueled by his determined refusal to face facts. Schultz saw "nothing, nothing!"

From that simple philosophy of life arose the Sgt. Schultz awards. The Schultz awards are given out each year to people who have shown outstanding achievements in their fields, carrying the flame of denial, deception and disinformation to new heights.

This year's award winner in the field of sports sets a new low for children and fans everywhere. The Pete Rose Good Sportsman's trophy goes to Sammy Sosa.

Not since baseball's most infamous scandal, the 1919 Chicago "Black Sox," who arranged with gamblers to throw the World Series, has a player shown such enthusiasm for America's game.

Sammy's claim that he mistook a cork-filled "practice" bat for a game bat will go down as a classic in the history of baseball. Of course, anyone who has ever played baseball knows that a practice bat is supposed to be heavier, not lighter.

Sammy Sosa's appeal of an eight-game suspension for using a corked bat ranks along with such other historic foul balls as the East German Women's Olympic team.

In the world of business and finance, a more difficult decision was required for the W.C. Fields Economic award for financial achievement – aka the Fields "sucker" award. The business community has produced so many top contenders recently that the judges had a difficult time.

However, after several long debates and stock market picks, there is no question that Martha Stewart takes the cake.

Stewart was indicted on five federal counts, including obstruction of justice, conspiracy and lying to investigators, tied to her December 2001 sale of nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems stock.

Steward pleaded innocent to all charges, but she could go to prison for several years if convicted. Stewart dumped her ImClone stock one day before the government issued discouraging news about an ImClone cancer drug. The government says Stewart had inside knowledge the stock was about to drop like an overdone soufflé.

Critical to the government's case is a claim that Stewart went out of her way to cover up a message from her stockbroker on the day of the ImClone stock sale in which he said he believed the stock would fall.

"The government's attempt to criminalize these actions makes no sense to me," wrote Stewart in an open letter on her personal Web site.

The decision for the Citizen Kane award for accuracy in the field of journalism was another difficult choice. The rapid growth of mass media in recent years has thrust a whole new crop of muckrakers into the moldy world of fiction spun as fact.

There is no question that Geraldo Rivera should get a lifetime achievement award for such past efforts as his classic investigation of Al Capone's trash heap.

"What I really want is to be one of the wise men of my generation," stated Rivera during a recent interview.

"I want to be a Jennings, Brokaw, Rather ... for a fourth entity, be it Fox or whoever," he said.

It is true that Rivera is close to the mega-stardom of a Jennings, Brokaw or Rather. Rivera once reported live from a hot spot in Afghanistan – 100 miles away from the real location of fighting.

Rivera, stung by the accusations that he had GPS, decided to go for broke and managed to get transferred to Iraq. However, Operation Iraqi Freedom showed that there was no room for two megalomaniac dictators inside the war-torn country so the U.S. Army threw Rivera out before continuing on to overthrow the regime of Saddam Hussein.

This year Rivera was nudged out of his award by a new very talented personality who managed to write factual articles about where he had never been. This reporter proved that Dudley Do-Right was correct in his brilliant assertion that "if it's in the newspaper it must be true!"

The Citizen Kane Rosebud goes to Jayson Blair and the New York Times. Blair's tall tales forced the departure of the Times' two top editors, based mostly on the managerial mistake of not hiring a qualified person as a reporter.

The events surrounding the Times publication of Blair's fictional stories also forced many newsroom leaders to review their own ethics policies and institute new safeguards – to cover up any future spin doctoring that spun out of control.

Finally, Blair's departure also proved the first rule of journalism – never trust a newspaper without a comics section.

Unlike the other awards, there is no question that the Jane Fonda Award for best actor supporting the enemy must go to Sean Penn. Sean's trip to visit Saddam Hussein and his disapproval of violence was simply Oscar material.

Sean made his way into our hearts and onto the big screen by playing a war criminal and a violent teenage gang banger. However, one must ignore Penn's personal life and his marriage to pop star Madonna.

Clearly, if Saddam had been a photographer, Sean would have decked the dictator and changed the course of history. Sadly, history may be the best description for Sean's acting career, as this may be the last award for Sean. Ever.

The contenders for the Col. Klink Silver Schnapps Cup denial award were tough this year. The runner-up, Hans Blix, showed the entire world the true spirit of the Schultz "I see nothing" attitude with his amazing inspections of Iraq.

It was a true surprise, based on his statements, that Hans found the country of Iraq on a map. If Hans Blix had played Sgt. Schultz, there is grave doubt that he could have found the POW camp, much less fudge on camera that he found nothing.

However, Blix's amazing performance was overshadowed by that of another newcomer to our TV screens – Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf, the Iraqi information minister, aka "Baghdad Bob." There is no question that Sahaf became an instant TV hit with his daily performances on the world's stage.

Broadcast news will roast in the belly of the devil before another personality can match the all-time performance of absolute denial from the Iraqi information minister. His hysterical final performance, denying that U.S. troops were in Baghdad while U.S. tanks rolled over Iraqi defenses right behind him, is a classic Schultz moment that deserves reward with the Klink Cup.

And now the moment that you have all been waiting for: the winner of the 2003 Sgt. Schultz Golden Mug award for best performance in denial, deception and disinformation.

This year's winner has been awarded the Schultz Mug before. Although the field was full of people who have taken the art of lying to new heights, there is no one who can match the artful dodging, deceit and downright lies spun by Hillary Clinton.

Mrs. Clinton's latest publication, "Living History," is so full of Schultz moments that it must be classified as a work of fiction.

Mrs. Clinton managed to declare under oath that she could either not recall, not remember or simply forgot the entire 1990s. In fact, Mrs. Clinton holds the record of forgetting 250 times while under oath. It is impossible to write a book about "living" history if one has no memory to begin with.

Clinton's new book leaves out so many events and details that it is an instant Schultz comic book. No mention is made of the White House Travel Office scandal, the raid on Vince Foster's office by Hillary's underlings after his death, how Craig Livingstone came to the White House, how John Huang got his top secret clearance, what really happened to the Whitewater billing records, or her frequent meetings with dark underworld figures.

To prove my point I need only to cite photographic evidence. It is often said that a picture tells a thousand words. However, Hillary's pictures not only tell stories left out of her book but they also netted $10,000 each for the DNC in illegal donations.

Her picture with Moctar Riady is certainly damning evidence of a relationship that spanned several bank accounts and two decades. Her photo with husband Bill and Ng Lapeng, Macau millionaire and brothel owner, is worse. The all-time favorite is, of course, her photo in front of the White House Christmas tree with convicted cocaine smuggler Jorge Cabrera.

Mrs. Clinton's performance has taken to the air, the land and the sea. She has done more interviews in the past two weeks pumping her $8 million sci-fi horror novel than she has done in the past two years.

Mrs. Clinton is continuing to deny the obvious to America, and for that she deserves the Sgt. Schultz Golden Mug award. In an interview for Time magazine, she was asked if she plans to run for the White House in 2008.

"I have no intention of running for president," stated Hillary firmly.

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Sgt. Hans Schultz, played by the great character actor John Banner, made his way through life fueled by his determined refusal to face facts.Schultz saw "nothing, nothing!" From that simple philosophy of life arose the Sgt. Schultz awards.The Schultz awards are given out...
Tuesday, 10 June 2003 12:00 AM
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