The Spectacle Blog

Re: In the Real World…

By on 12.5.05 | 1:13PM

Bill Richardson has been dining out on his draft story for decades. When the Albuquerque Journal contacted people who had described Richardson as a drafted baseball star in written material and asked them why they had done that (the lie found its way into at least one book via Richardson's yarn-spinning to a sports writer), their response was to say that Richardson had told them that and they believed him. So when Richardson says that he got the impression that he was drafted from "a program" produced by the Cape Cod summer league team he played for he is blowing more smoke: Who supplied the bogus information that found its way into the program? Richardson did, or Tufts university baseball officials he had misled. Not wanting the facts to get in the way of a good story, Richardson couldn't bring himself to tell people a more scaled-down version of being almost drafted.

Richardson's Clinton-era formulation, "In my mind that meant I had been drafted," is reminiscent of another weasel from the Clinton years, Robert Reich. In his memoirs, Reich just made stuff up, concocting heated dialogue he says took place in meetings that C-Span tapes exposed as bogus. Caught out, Reich said that his invented dialogue "captured" something true about the meetings, a "mood" and so forth. "These are my perceptions," he said. Subjectivism covers a multitude of sins.

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