Stories About Fibs and Fake News, and 70+ Other Types of Deceit

Lies 24/7. It's hard to keep up with the unending tsunami of falsehoods that greets us each and every day. And, that's just the lies coming from our family and friends. The bigger lies aimed at our communities often make the local and national news, usually under the guise of fact and truth. Without a full-time staff of hundreds of investigative journalists and "lientists" it's impossible for us to catalog every one of these newsworthy alternative facts. However, here we discuss our favorite stories about lying, fake news and "evidence-free" facts.

Monday Movies About Lies, Including Compliance and The Truman Show

Monday Movies About Lies, Including Compliance and The Truman Show

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I’ve just added more flicks to Post*factua!ly’s unique movie catalog all about lies, deception, fakery, cheating and alternative facts. So, if you’re tired of all the real world lying around you, break out the popcorn, get comfy and make sure your subscription to Netflix is up to date.

This week’s additions to my Post*factua!ly movie library includes: Compliance and The Truman Show.

Compliance is a thriller film written and directed by Craig Zobel, and starring Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, and Pat Healy. It is based on true story of a strip search prank call scam that took place in a fast-food restaurant in Mount Washington. The prank caller, posing as a police officer, convinced a restaurant manager to carry out unlawful and degrading procedures on an employee.

The Truman Show is a satirical science fiction film directed by Peter Weir. It stars Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, a man adopted and raised by a corporation inside a simulated television show revolving around his life, until he discovers the vast deception and decides to escape. With this movie Jim Carrey now has two entries in our catalog of movie lies, the first being Liar Liar.

Some of my choice titles in the Post*factua!ly movie catalog so far include: Big Fat Liar (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Double Indemnity (1944), F for Fake (1974), Gaslight (1944), Some Like it Hot (1959), and The Invention of Lying (2009).

Please hang in there as I add to our deceitful movie database. It’s gradually growing in to the definitive source. But, just like our growing collections of books and songs about lies, lying and liars this will take some time — there’s just sooooo much misleading material out there!

New Songs About Lies, Including Cry Me a River

New Songs About Lies, Including Cry Me a River

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The immense swamp of musical lies continue to expand. I just added a bunch of new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There are certainly lots of liars, falsehoods and self-deception in this group of songs. My favorite includes the classic Queen song, Liar, written by Freddie Mercury at the height of his powers.

This week’s other additions to the Post*factua!ly post-truth playlist include: Confessions Part II by Usher; Cry Me a River by Justin Timberlake; Facts Don’t Lie by Bone Thugs-N-Harmony; I Love You So I Told You a Lie by Ted Nugent; and, Why I Lie by Liz Phair.

This continues my plan to catalog, for the first time in once place, every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars.

As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep swamp of human deceit to sift through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

The Lies and the Power

The Lies and the Power

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If you’ve followed our current president during his time in office or during his short campaign you’ll know — regardless of political persuasion — that he lies incessantly. Various media outlets have catalogued Trump’s falsehoods since taking office in the thousands. If you’ve followed him since his early days in New York real estate and splashed across the tabloids, you’ll, again, know that he is a pathological liar, perhaps without equal. Greg Sargent (@theplumlinegs), over at The Plum Line blogger, shows us that this is central to shaping his reality (however distorted) — he writes:

“Trump plainly views the act of lying, or making things up, or contradicting himself with relentless abandon, as an assertion of power — that is, the power to render reality irrelevant, the power to roll right over constraints normally imposed by expectations of consistency or fealty to basic norms of reasoned, factual inquiry.

As Jacob T. Levy has written, these “demonstrations of power undermine the existence of shared belief in truth and facts.” The whole point of them is to assert the power to say what the truth is, or what the truth should be, even when — or especially when — easily verifiable facts dictate the contrary. The brazenness of Trump’s lying is not a mere byproduct of his desire to mislead. It is absolutely central to the whole project of declaring the power to say what reality is.”

I think there is something to this. After all, when we lie, it really is to exert some form of control over both ourselves and those to whom we lie. It’s just that Trump has take this to an entirely new, global level. We all know, that eventually, the mountain of lies and the house of cards crumbles.

Image courtesy of Google Search.

Spotting a Liar – Hint: It’s Not in the Eyes

Spotting a Liar – Hint: It’s Not in the Eyes

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You probably learned from your parents that they could spot you lying by watching your eyes. Or, you may have heard that your tiny facial movements will give away your falsehoods. Or, did you once read, in old Cosmo magazine at the dental office, that it’s your nervous laugh or blushing cheeks that signal your deceit? Well, it’s really not quite that simple. But, recent studies by security researchers in Europe do show come consistent ways to spot liars, and it requires a shift from looking for simple body language signals to engaging subjects in open-ended conversation. Check out this fascinating research here.

Image: Daniil Kuželev on Unsplash.

Post-Fact Politics and the Pro-Truth-Pledge

Post-Fact Politics and the Pro-Truth-Pledge

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Three sad facts for our post-truth political age. Fact number one: all politicians lie. Fact number two: lying increases the likelihood of a politician getting elected. Fact number three: social media helps spread lies faster and further. Some argue that our liberal democratic systems of government are thus doomed. So, it’s time for a long overdue intervention before we plummet headlong towards a lie-induced, autocratic future. Scientific American to the rescue — good luck with that, I say. First, we’ll need to re-establish the public’s connection with science, which remains rather tenuous at the moment.

From Scientific American:

Tilting the scale toward truth requires a two-pronged approach, one targeting both private citizens and public figures. Research shows that without any intervention people tend to ignore information that goes against their beliefs, and are more likely to deceive both when they see others do so and when it benefits their in-group. However, increased risk of suffering negative consequences, being reminded about ethics, publicity about and committing in advance to honesty all decrease the incentive to lie for ordinary citizens. For public figures, research suggests that transparent, clear information about who is truthful, coupled with reputational rewards for socially beneficial behavior such as honesty and enforced with penalties for dishonesty are the most vital interventions.

To solve the problem of systemic lying, a group of behavioral scientists, along with many concerned citizens have launched the Pro-Truth Pledge. This asks all signees to commit to a set of truth-oriented behaviors. Whenever they share a news article, signees are encouraged to add a sentence stating they took the Pledge and verify that they fact checked the article, which serves to remind people of their ethical commitment.

Image courtesy of Google Search.

The Golden Age of Lies

The Golden Age of Lies

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Over the last 12 months or so we — the global population — have entered into a new Golden Age. Some have argued that this is the second Golden Age of television; the first — I’m told — ran from the late-forties to the early-sixties. But, this isn’t about TV or Netflix or streaming, I have a much more consequential subject in mind, lies.

Now, let’s face it, we humans have been weaving tall stories and telling lies for millennia, and politicians above all other living things have certainly established it as an enduring art form of sorts. However, we’ve now entered an era where telling and spreading falsehoods is worn as a badge of honor rather than one of shame. This Golden Age of Lies began in the U.S (where else would you expect?) several years ago. However, I think the defining moment came on January 20, 2017 — the inauguration of the President of the United States. On this day, the brazenness and shamelessness of these falsehoods, conspiracy theories and “alternative facts” reached an entirely new level, which we’ll call global gaslighting. Deceit has so pervaded our national discourse that we couldn’t even agree upon a figure for the crowd size attending the event.

Check out this FactCheck article of this defining moment here.

Image: 2009 Obama Inauguration, 2016 Trump Inauguration. Courtesy of AP.

New Songs About Lies, Including Liar by Queen

New Songs About Lies, Including Liar by Queen

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The vast swamp of musical lies continue to expand. I just added a bunch of new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There are certainly lots of liars, falsehoods and self-deception in this group of songs. My favorite includes the classic Queen song, Liar, written by Freddie Mercury at the height of his powers.

This week’s other additions to the Post*factua!ly post-truth playlist include: Miserable Lie by The Smiths; Don’t Ask Me No Questions by Lynyrd Skynyrd; Gimme Some Truth by John Lennon; and, You Lie by Reba McEntire.

 

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep swamp of human deceit to sift through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

New Songs About Lies, Including White Liar and Better Man

New Songs About Lies, Including White Liar and Better Man

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The vast mountains of musical lies continue to rise. I just added a bunch of new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There are certainly lots of liars, falsehoods and self-deception in this group of songs.

This week’s other additions to the Post*factua!ly post-truth playlist include: White Liar by Miranda Lambert; I Could Have Lied by Red Hot Chili Peppers; Liar in the Glass by Eyes Set to Kill; Better Man by Pearl Jam; and, Baby I Lied by Deborah Allen.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

New Songs About Lies, Including The Policy of Truth

New Songs About Lies, Including The Policy of Truth

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The ocean of musical lies continue to swell inexorably. I just added a bunch of new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There’s certainly lots of lying and self-deception in this group of songs.

My favorite of the current crop is the electro-synth classic Policy of Truth by Depeche Mode.

This week’s other additions to the Post*factua!ly post-truth playlist include: Lyin’ To Myself by Louis Armstrong; Young Liars by TV on the Radio; Mama Didn’t Lie by Jan Bradley; and 3’s and 7’s by Queens of the Stone Age.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

New Songs About Lies, Including Livin’ A Lie and Living The Lie

New Songs About Lies, Including Livin’ A Lie and Living The Lie

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The river of musical lies continue to flow inexorably. I just added a bunch of new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There’s certainly lots of living a lie, living the lie and living with lies in this bunch.

My favorite of the current crop is appropriately enough Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis.

This week’s other additions to the Post*factua!ly post-truth playlist include: The Biggest Lie by Elliott Smith; Acid Tongue by Jenny Lewis; Living the Lie by Dio; Alibis by Tracy Lawrence; and, Livin’ A Lie by The-Dream.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

Monday Movies About Lies, Including The Usual Suspects and Infernal Affairs

Monday Movies About Lies, Including The Usual Suspects and Infernal Affairs

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Break out the popcorn, again, get comfy and make sure your subscription to Netflix is up to date. I’m adding more flicks to Post*factua!ly’s unique movie catalog all about lies, deception, fakery, cheating and alternative facts. I currently have over 30 movie trailers in our deceitful database, as I plan to grow it into the definitive source. Please hang in there. Just like our growing collections of books and songs about lies, lying and liars this will take some time — there’s just sooooo much misleading material, and it’s growing daily!

This week’s additions to the Post*factua!ly movie library includes: The Usual Suspects and Infernal Affairs.

The Usual Suspects is a 1995 noir mystery directed by Bryan Singer, written by Christopher McQuarrie and starring Kevin Spacey, Pete Postlethwaite, Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne and Benicio del Toro. The movie is an intricate and convoluted series of lies that grows from a seemingly simple con into an enormously complex deception. McQuarrie and Spacey won Oscars for best screenplay and actor, respectively.

Infernal Affairs is a fast-paced crime thriller about deception and infiltration. In parallel, a mole infiltrates a police department and an undercover cop infiltrates a Chinese Triad. But their objectives are the same: to find out who is masquerading; who is the mole, and who is the cop.

Some of my choice titles in the Post*factua!ly movie catalog so far incude: Big Fat Liar (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Double Indemnity (1944), F for Fake (1974), Gaslight (1944), Liar Liar (1997), Some Like it Hot (1959), and The Invention of Lying (2009).

Monday Movies About Lies, Including Vertigo and Greedy Lying Bastards

Monday Movies About Lies, Including Vertigo and Greedy Lying Bastards

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Break out the popcorn and make sure your subscription to Netflix is up to date. I’m adding more flicks to Post*factua!ly’s unique movie catalog all about lies, deception, fakery, cheating and alternative facts. I currently have around 30 movie trailers in our deceitful database, as I plan to grow it into the definitive source. Please hang in there. Just like our growing collections of books and songs about lies, lying and liars this will take some time — there’s just sooooo much misleading material, and it’s growing daily!

This week’s additions to the Post*factua!ly movie library includes: Vertigo and Greedy Lying Bastards.

Vertigo released in 1958 is considered to be one of the classic noir psychological thrillers. It was directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. A great lesson in manipulation and self-deception all rolled into one stylish and suspenseful movie.

Greedy Lying Bastards is a feature length documentary that investigates the reason behind stalled efforts to tackle climate change despite overwhelming consensus in the scientific community. The film details the organizations and individuals casting doubt on climate science and climate scientists and claims that greenhouse gases are not affected by human behavior.

Some of my choice titles in the Post*factua!ly movie catalog so far incude: Big Fat Liar (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Double Indemnity (1944), F for Fake (1974), Gaslight (1944), Liar Liar (1997), Some Like it Hot (1959), and The Invention of Lying (2009).

New Songs About Lies, Including Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off

New Songs About Lies, Including Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off

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The musical lies and liars continue to pile up. I just added a bunch of new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There’s certainly lots of falsehood and (self-)deception happening in this bunch.

My favorite of the current crop is, without a doubt, Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off by Panic! at the Disco. A veritable classic from 2006.

This week’s other additions to the Post*factua!ly post-truth playlist include: Don’t Play That Song (You Lied) by Aretha Franklin; Pretending by Eric Clapton; I Just Can’t Live A Lie by Carrie Underwood; and, Little Liar by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

This Week’s New Book About Lies: Everybody Lies

This Week’s New Book About Lies: Everybody Lies

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I just added a new book to Post*factua!ly’s growing resource library about lies, alternative facts and fake news. Today’s fascinating, and lengthy, title:

Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.

The book by author and former Google data scientist Seth Stephens-Davidowitz proposes that most of our notions about human behavior and motivations are wrong. Why? It’s simple really. We all lie. That said, tracking people’s trails online and applying the analytical tools of big data helps uncover some startling, and disturbing, truths.

I’m busy making the Post*factua!ly library the definitive place to visit for every title devoted to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed, with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit, misinformation and post-truth to dig through, it will take me a while. So, please bear with me as I expand the ever-growing catalog.

Monday Movies About Lies, Including The Great Lie and Would I Lie to You?

Monday Movies About Lies, Including The Great Lie and Would I Lie to You?

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Break out the popcorn and make sure your subscription to Netflix is up to date. I’m adding more flicks to Post*factua!ly’s unique movie catalog all about lies, deception, fakery, cheating and alternative facts. I currently have around 30 movie trailers in our deceitful database, as I plan to grow it into the definitive source. Please hang in there. Just like our growing collections of books and songs about lies, lying and liars this will take some time — there’s just sooooo much misleading material, and it’s growing daily!

This week’s additions to the Post*factua!ly movie library includes: La Vérité Si Je Mens! and The Great Lie.

La Vérité Si Je Mens! translates to Would I Lie to You? This French romantic comedy features an unemployed Parisian named Eddie Vuibert who feigns being an Ashkenazi Jew in order to secure a job with a Jewish clothing manufacturer and then woo his daughter.

The Great Lie stars Bette Davis, George Brent, and Mary Astor. There’s lots of lying going on in this 1941 American movie classic: a faked death, a deceptive love triangle and even the maternity of a new born.

Some of my choice titles in the Post*factua!ly movie catalog so far incude: Big Fat Liar (2002), Catch Me If You Can (2002), Double Indemnity (1944), F for Fake (1974), Gaslight (1944), Liar Liar (1997), Some Like it Hot (1959), and The Invention of Lying (2009).

We’re Human. Therefore We Lie

We’re Human. Therefore We Lie

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A recent feature article in National Geographic explores the science behind our very human lies. Author and National Geographic contributor Yudhijit Bhattacharjee delves into why and how we lie, and offers us some fascinating anecdotes about some highly colorful liars: the art forger, the plagiarist researcher, secret agent and the impersonator.

Bhattacharjee’s meta-analysis of other past psychological studies into lying quite rightly tells us that while we all lie, not all lies are of equal value or consequence; we lie for different reasons.

Research by Tim Levine, Bruno Verschuere, and other psychologists, shows that around 36 percent of our lies are to protect ourselves, while another 44 percent are to promote ourselves. A further 13 percent of our lies are designed to impact others — for good or bad, with the remainder defying classification. Perhaps not surprisingly, though demoralizing nonetheless, I read that “children learn to lie between ages two and five, and lie the most when they are testing their independence”.

Tellingly Bhattacharjee reminds us:

That human beings should universally possess a talent for deceiving one another shouldn’t surprise us. Researchers speculate that lying as a behavior arose not long after the emergence of language. The ability to manipulate others without using physical force likely conferred an advantage in the competition for resources and mates, akin to the evolution of deceptive strategies in the animal kingdom, such as camouflage.

Check out this fascinating National Geographic article here.

Image: Catch Me If You Can, movie poster, 2002.

 

New Songs About Lies, Including Music From Linkin Park, Green Day and The Troggs

New Songs About Lies, Including Music From Linkin Park, Green Day and The Troggs

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The musical lies and liars continue to pile up. I just added half-a-dozen new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There’s certainly lots of falsehood and (self-)deception happening in this bunch.

Sadly, one of my favorites, Lies Greed Misery by Linkin Park, marks the death of the band’s extraordinarily talented lead vocalist Chester Bennington. RIP, Chester.

This week’s other additions to the Post*factua!ly playlist include: Lies by Thompson Twins; Foolin’ Yourself by Styx; Liars by Persephone’s Bees; You Lied by Green Day; and You’re Lying by The Troggs.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

New Songs About Lies, Including the 1965 Hit, Lies, by The Knickerbockers

New Songs About Lies, Including the 1965 Hit, Lies, by The Knickerbockers

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So many lyrical lies, so little time. I just added a new handful of songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There’s certainly lots of falsehood and deceit happening in this bunch.

This week’s additions to the Post*factua!ly playlist include: We’re All Liars by Sent By Ravens; I’m Looking Through You by The Beatles; Don’t Lie To Me by Juliana Hatfield; Lies by The Knickerbockers; and, Tell Me a Lie by Sami Jo.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

New Songs About Lies, Including David Bowie’s Telling Lies

New Songs About Lies, Including David Bowie’s Telling Lies

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I just added a bunch of great new songs — each with a cool and appropriately deceitful music video — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars. There’s certainly lots of lying and story-telling going on in this collection.

This week’s new songs on the Post*factua!ly playlist include: Liar by Nine Inch Nails; Telling Lies by Sick Puppies; Tellin’ Stories by Tracy Chapman; Telling Lies by David Bowie; and, Dance Little Liar by Arctic Monkey.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.

New Songs About Lies, Including: Liar Liar GE2017 by Captain SKA

New Songs About Lies, Including: Liar Liar GE2017 by Captain SKA

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I just added a bunch of great new songs — each with a cool music vid — to our definitive audio-visual playlist all about lies, lying and liars.

This week’s new songs on the Post*factua!ly playlist include: Liar Liar GE2017 by Captain SKA; A Liar and a Thief by Howard Shore; Said I Loved You … But I Lied by Michael Bolton; Telling Lies by Chic; and, Liar by Three Dog Night.

This week’s notable song is Liar Liar GE2017 by Captain SKA. It takes a verbal stab at Theresa May the UK Prime Minister and her many flip-flops and deceits during the 2017 General election cycle — hence “GE2017” in the song’s title. BBC Radio has refused to air the song.

These new songs further my plan to catalog, for the first time, in once place every song or piece of music dedicated to lies, lying and liars. As you might have guessed with such a rich and deep mine of human deceit to dig through it will take me a while. So, please bear with me and enjoy the musical misinformation in the meantime. No songs about “fake news” or “alternative facts” yet, though Liar Liar Ge2017 comes close. I’m sure it will only be a matter of time — please let me know if you hear one.