Ah, that’s where it comes from

his apparent adoption of Claud Cockburn’s dictum on the correct attitude to be adopted whenever one talked to a politician — which was to ask oneself, “Why is this bastard lying to me?” —

Or as I’ve been known to copy it: “Why is this bastard bastard bastard lying to me? The bastard.”

5 comments on “Ah, that’s where it comes from

  1. Seems short sighted to restrict this policy to politicians. I apply it to everybody in come in contact with, as a first principal. First question I ask myself. “Why are they telling me this?”

  2. Another one to bear in mind is the, “oh, by the way…”, as the door is about to be exited.

    See also: the final paragraph of emails.

  3. It was my GCSE history teacher who told me the first question to ask oneself when assisting any source is, “Why is this lying bastard lying to me?”

  4. I’ve always thought it amusing that journalists say such things. Politicians may be a bunch of liars, but so are journalists. (I still remember doing work experience at a newspaper and the journalist looking after me actually told me that he was hugely beating a story up, and I watched him do it).

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