This Column Is a Column | Peter Funt

“Things are seldom what they seem,” the playful lyric in Gilbert & Sullivan’s “H.M.S. Pinafore,” could well be an anthem for the Trump White House.

The latest bit of Trump Troupe theater occurred on “Meet the Press” as host Chuck Todd interviewed the increasingly-hard-to-take-seriously Rudy Giuliani. Regarding the Russia investigation, Todd noted that President Trump should have nothing to fear by being honest. After all, Todd said off-handedly, “Truth is truth.”

“No, it isn’t truth!” Giuliani shot back. And then he soared past Kellyanne Conway on the Orwellian Hit Parade — where Conway has held the Number One spot for over a year with her classic ditty, “Alternative Facts.”

“Truth isn’t truth,” Giuliani crooned, placing himself atop the chart that includes golden oldies such as Bill Clinton’s “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Trump holds several spots on the Top Ten list, including his remark to a gathering of veterans last month. “Just remember,” he said, “what you are seeing and what you are reading is not what’s happening.”

Thanks to the dedicated truth-seekers at The Washington Post we know that President Trump averages seven false or misleading claims per day. Perhaps he has trained himself, as George Costanza did on “Seinfeld.” In the world according to Costanza and Trump: “It’s not a lie if you believe it.”

Ah, yes, but as Albert Einstein pointed out: “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” What about that?

Trump explained his position in “The Art of the Deal” by coining the term “truthful hyperbole.” He said that when lies are carefully crafted they become “an innocent form of exaggeration, and a very effective form of promotion.”

Is it any wonder that Giuliani and Trump’s other advisors are scared silly over the prospect of the president testifying under oath in the Mueller investigation? Giuliani, his foot always dangerously close to his mouth, says that Mueller would be setting up a “perjury trap” for Trump.

Such delightful light opera would do Gilbert & Sullivan proud. The President of the United States swears to tell the truth but is foiled when he can’t stop himself from lapsing into truthful hyperbole or alternative facts. He is thus forced to, as Hamlet put it, “Hoist with his own petard,” which is to say blow himself up.

But after all, what is truth? What are facts?

And, Kenneth, what is the frequency?

Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, “Cautiously Optimistic,” is available at and

More in Opinion

The New Abnormal | Robert C. Koehler

Thousand Oaks, California: a city torn apart by wildfire and gunfire. Both… Continue reading

Give Trump Credit When Due | Peter Funt

Stuck in a hotel room watching CNN the other day, I happened… Continue reading

Stan Lee’s Message Lives On | Tyrades!

My lunch got off to a bad start on November 12 because… Continue reading

Blue Wave Meets Red Wall: Split decision for a Divided Nation | Dick Polman

Charles Dickens wrote this about the French Revolution: “It was the best… Continue reading

The Issues That Won’t Go Away | Robert C. Koehler

How much real change manifested itself in the 2018 midterms? How deeply… Continue reading

Dogs Get Their Day in Florida Voting | Peter Funt

FORT MYERS, Florida - Amid the brouhaha over senate and gubernatorial voting,… Continue reading

Hillary Clinton’s Defeat Became a Pink Wave | Matthew Johnson

This year Cambridge Scholar Publishers issued a book edited by Barry University… Continue reading

Activists Looking Beyond Midterm Elections | Rob Okun

Since Donald Trump’s selection as president two years ago, a growing movement… Continue reading

In remembrance: Stan Lee

Cartoonists from around the world penned tributes this week to Stan Lee,… Continue reading

Most Read