KINGSOLVER, Barbara. US writer: "newspapers have a duty to truth... [but] they tell the truth only as the exception"

Barbara Kingsolver (born April 8, 1955) is an American novelist, essayist and poet. Major works include “The Poisonwood Bible” and “The Lacuna” (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Kingsolver ).

Barbara Kingsolver in her great novel "The Lacuna" (lacuna meaning hiatus, blank, missing part, gap, cavity, or empty space) has  Russian Communist revolutionary and theorist Leon Trotsky (Lev) and his assistant Van have the following discussion about media (2009): ""But newspapers have a duty to truth", Van said. Lev [Trotsky] clicked his tongue. "They tell the truth only as the exception. Zola [French novelist of "J'accuse" fame] wrote that the mendacity of the press could be could be divided into two groups: the yellow press lies every day without hesitating. But others, like the Times , speak the truth on all inconsequential occasions, so they can deceive the public with the requisite authority when it becomes necessary." Van got up from his chair to gather the cast-off newspapers. Lev took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. " I don't mean to offend the journalists; they aren't any different from other people. They're merely the megaphones of other people" … [Trotsky observes to his assistant Shepherd] “Soli, let me tell you. The most important thing about a person is always the thing you don't know”” [1].

[1]. Barbara Kingsolver, “The Lacuna”, Faber & Faber, London, 2009, part 3, p159.

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