Fri | Jan 27, 2023

The consummate liar

Published:Tuesday | January 24, 2023 | 12:20 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

The latest ‘Saturday Night Live’ had two comedic skits that featured a cast member playing Republican Congressman George Santos. While channel-surfing two nights earlier, I found two different comedians playing the same role on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’ and ‘The Late Show With Stephen Colbert’.

Both comedians pretended to be in the House of Representatives in Washington when answering quite ridiculous questions from the talk-show hosts. With the world of politics in such a chaotic state everywhere, a little silly humour is welcome; especially from Washington, so often the epicentre of global turmoil. New York Congressman George Santos’ phoney claims of where he received his education; where he had been employed; his heritage and ethnicity; his wealth and property ownership; his mother’s death on 9/11 and other outrageous fallacies were all laid out in a New York Times article just before Christmas.

Along with all the jokes and jibes from aforementioned comedians, ‘Real Time With Bill Maher’ looked deeper into the sad, sorry, seamy, sleazy, sordid, sickening, salacious Santos saga.

Maher has been my favourite comedian and satirist for about 30 years, when his show ‘Politically Incorrect’ became a late-night staple for almost a decade. He makes no secret of supporting Democrats, even donating US$1 million to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012, but he doesn’t simply pile scorn on Republicans as other talk-show hosts do. He also takes Democrats to task, while always disparaging their ‘wokeness’.

As for Santos, he got votes from Republicans by falsely claiming to be a successful luxury yacht broker, who attended the Capitol insurrection on January 6, 2021, etc. While to Democrats, who love identity politics and victimhood, he gained trust by untruthful claims to be ‘Jew-ish’, half-black, and had survived a brain tumour. So he told all the voters exactly what they wanted to hear, as politicians always do, and satisfied each political party that he was their best choice.

It happens in every democracy, not just in America, where parties and supporters are so convinced in their own tribal bubble of beliefs, thus becoming oblivious of what happens in the real world. Mr Santos refined what’s been going on in politics for ever, and won his seat by being the consummate liar.

Wishing all in your newsroom a peaceful and prosperous Year of the Rabbit – Gung Hay Fat Choy.

BERNIE SMITH

Parksville, BC

Canada