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50 million lies – the Shearer urban myth


More than once in the last few days Adam has read or heard variations of the comment made by Matt McCarten in his HoS column today:-

He has an amazing personal story, leading UN humanitarian efforts around the world. Shearer’s comparison with John Key is stark. Both men spent 20 years overseas making a difference: John Key working to make $50 million for himself, while David Shearer was working to save 50 million lives from war, poverty and famine. This one sentence tells us everything we need to know about these two.

Adam’s highlighting.

Now from what Adam has read/heard this was originally someone’s ‘smart’ quip and was, on at least one occasion identified as an exaggeration.

Yet now we see McCarten essentially stating this as fact. This then illustrates the validity of Goebbel’s  Big Lie theory, vide:-

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.

McCarten’s piece will be taken as a true source and thus Shearer will be talked up and Key down.

Yet nobody is debunking the crass stupidity of the statement.

Some questions:-

1.  If Shearer had saved 50 million lives, why has he not received a Nobel prize?

2.   Why is he not a candidate for sainthood?

3.    Why is he not running the UN?

The fact that David Shearer has not put the record straight demonstrates another thing:-

1.     Shearer is happy to benefit from a lie designed to put him in a good light

2.     Shearer is happy by comparison to attack Key on a personal level by effectively condoning a viewpoint that business and success in business are somehow wrong/evil

So, the 50 million lies story must be corrected at every opportunity.

The fact the lie has gained currency is a sad commentary on NZ media and indeed some in the blogosphere.


Update 17 December – the Urban Myth/Big Lie repeated again to day and copied by letter writers to the papers in various forms

  1. 04/12/2011 19:17

    The “story” was first recited by Shearer himself in the 3 Davids Close-Up interview on Tuesday. I doubt though that it was spontaneous.


    • 04/12/2011 19:26

      Ah so he lies directly and perhaps with aforethought. David Shearer is a man of dubious morality then.


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