I received the following short email from a retired Admiral who works at the Naval War College:
There’s a saying that the first report is always wrong. We know from behavioral economics that we are influenced by what we hear – whether it is right or wrong. A similar saying, attributed to many from Winston Churchill to Thomas Jefferson is: a lie can travel around the world before the truth can get its pants on.” Wrong information can impact us, and do so quickly.
As a counter, President Truman once wrote “The dictators of the world say that if you tell a lie often enough, why people, will believe it…Well, if you tell the truth often enough, they’ll believe it and go along with you.” The truth matters, but the consistent repetition of the truth is the only way to get around the world, maybe not faster than a lie, but with a more lasting impact.
This email is on a distribution list that I am a part of and it was sent shortly after the whole fiasco with the USS Theodore Rosevelt Commanding Officer being fired.
The email didn’t come straight out and say anything about either side, but I appreciated the thought provoking quotes nonetheless.