Statements From Politicians: True or False?

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” 

Attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881).*

Teddy-was-a-popular-president-throughout-his-two-terms-in-office

US President Theodore Roosevelt giving what must have been one hell of a speech. Circa 1906.

 

Politicians lie. We all know this. Part of the reason is we as citizens don’t want to know the truth. Nonetheless, it is always interesting to know if political statements made by well known politicians are true, or sort of true or just wrong.

A great site to check on this is    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/ 

This site is run by the Tampa Bay Times and is non-partisan. If you lie or shade the shade the truth they point it out no matter which party you are in.

 

teddy-roosevelt-speech-making-a-point

US President Theodore Roosevelt in full cry against his opponents. The teddy bear is named for him.

 

 

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” *

Historians have been unable to substantiate that Disraeli said this. I spent 30 minutes on the net researching this and the most common conclusion is that no one seems to know who exactly said it.

Mark Twain is said to have used the quote and attributed it to Disraeli but the Quote Investigator at the link below says the first use of this quote was in 1913 and Twain was dead by then.

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/11/15/liars-figure/

This is disputed by the Wikipedia entry which claims Twain wrote this in 1906 in an essay taken from his autobiography and attributed it to Disraeli.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lies,_damned_lies,_and_statistics

The author of the Wikipedia entry cites Twain’s autobiography. The source cited is available for free download from the Gutenberg Project here and you can download it for free since the copyright has expired.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19987?msg=welcome_stranger

Published by

Charles McCain

Charles McCain is a Washington DC based freelance journalist and novelist. He is the author of "An Honorable German," a World War Two naval epic. You can read more of his work on his website: http://charlesmccain.com/