recall an incident in my early years when a nasty bit of gossip about a neighbor
made the rounds. I privately asked my father about it and he gave sound advice
that I have never forgotten.
"Believe only 90 percent of what you see,
50 percent of what you read and 10 percent of what you hear."
several people stood side by side viewing the same thing. A few days later each
gave a different description of the incident. Who do you believe? What is true
history and what is not?
Even when a lie is exposed, proven to be false,
shown without a doubt to be untrue, some will still believe the original lie is
the truth. Take the examples of Billy the Kid, Jesse James, Abraham Lincoln and
the Kennedys. Stories abound, are continually brought back annually about the
incidents and happenings in their lives most of which have been disproved and
A reporter is no better than his resources. An opinion,
like an editorial, is no better than the reader's opinion. The only people most
editorials influence are readers who maybe have no prior opinion on the subject.
Another example of questionable journalism is shown in the fact most famous
people hire professional speech writers to write their speeches. This indicates
to me they don't know what they want to say in the first place.
of ghost writing is so prominent in today's world a new term "spin doctor" has
been coined. Here is an example of the work of a spin doctor. Please note this
is a "Trew" story and not a bonafide "true" story as the real names have been
History states in published text (newspaper): "Joe Blow, a convicted
horse thief, sent to Montana Territorial Prison in 1885, escaped in 1887, robbed
the Montana Flyer six times, was caught by the Pinkerton Detective Agency, then
convicted and hanged in 1889." The photo accompanying the article showed Joe on
the gallows with a noose around his neck standing ready to trip the trap door
Since Joe Blow was a relative of a prominent Congressman, who
could not deny the genealogical connection and could be embarrassed by the article,
a spin doctor was hired to gloss over history. Here is the result.
Blow was a famous Montana cowboy. His business grew to include acquisition of
valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with a Montana Railroad. He devoted
years of his life to government service (prison sentence) and became a key player
in a vital investigation by the famous Pinkerton Detective Agency. In 1889, Joe
passed away suddenly during an important civic function held in his honor when
the wooden platform upon which he was standing collapsed."
amazing how smart my father became in my later years and how truthful his advice
© Delbert Trew
"It's All Trew" March 24, 2008 Column
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