September 29, 2007, here on slacktivist: Lying liars
It’s not always easy to classify a false statement as a lie. Lying requires the intent to deceive, which is a difficult thing to prove. Journalists, therefore, are extremely cautious about using the L-word. Yes, they argue, President Bush is, indisputably, on record as saying hundreds of things that are not true. But these hundreds of false statements are not sufficient proof that he is a “liar,” only that he is someone who is very, very often mistaken, misinformed or deluded.
I could applaud this alleged journalistic concern for precision if reporters would follow its implications. Yet despite the abundant evidence, they refrain not only from calling the president a liar, but even from pointing out that his false statements are, demonstrably, false. They do not say that he is prone to stating falsehoods or that many of the things he says are simply not true. That suggests to me that they are not being careful and precise so much as they are simply being cowardly.