Dropping a dossier of lies and falsehoods told by the leader of your country is never going to go down quietly on social media, and the reaction to Crikey‘s 16 documented lies (technically now 17) and 11 falsehoods ignited debate.
At the height of the day, the hashtag #ScoMosDossier was trending at number five on Australian Twitter, with Crikey itself at number seven — proof enough that people are indeed still very much bothered when the prime minister lies.
Here’s a selection of the main reactions.
It’s about time
The most common feedback from the dossier was that it’s about time someone did this. While none were surprised that the PM had lied (in fact, a lot of people were surprised that we only had 27 lies and falsehoods), there was a feeling of relief that finally it was out there.
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Author, journalist and media provocateur Mike Carlton tweeted the dossier along with his comment: “A grim litany of Scott Morrison’s lies. About time somebody did this.” Professor Jenny Hocking, Gough Whitlam’s biographer, called it a “devastating compilation of Scott Morrison’s greatest fibs”.
For many, seeing the lies laid out one after the other, carefully sourced and with videos attached, truly drove home just how public the PM’s lies are.
Comparisons to other
Of course, you can’t write about lying leaders without some international comparisons coming up, and readers were quick to label Morrison as “Trump-lite”.
But the dossier really seemed to hit a chord with those also following the campaign of Peter Stefanovic in the UK, whose video highlighting what he calls Boris Johnson’s “lies” has reached 11 million views and prompted the Green MP Caroline Lucas to write a letter signed by five other parliamentary party leaders urging a vote on an inquiry into Johnson’s “consistent failure to be honest”.
We can only hope for that kind of action here. (Side note, please view and share our video, detailing four of Scott Morrison’s lies.)
With a list so long, people will naturally pick their “favourite” lies. Many punters were very quick to point out that the only apology that was given in relation to any of these lies or falsehoods was to Rupert Murdoch (i.e. number five). Veteran political journalist Malcolm Farr choose lie 22 as his top one, tweeting: “If one can have a favourite mendacity, mine is #22. It suggests when Morrison’s commitment to Christian values of honesty crosses paths with protecting his political posterior, politics likely to prevail every time.”
Mainstream media, where the bloody hell are ya?
A common theme in the responses to Morrison’s lies and falsehoods was: where the hell are mainstream media and why aren’t they covering this? To be honest, we at Crikey have often asked the same question.
Many journalists from other organisations did share the dossier along with praise. Guardian Australia political reporter Paul Kar tweeted:
And journalist and pioneer in media literacy for kids Saffron Howden wrote: “This is a refreshing approach to journalism befitting a new world of ‘alternative facts’ where lies have become the norm.”