Many believe that Martha Stewart went to prison due to insider trading. To the contrary, Martha went to jail for committing the felony acts of perjury, conspiracy and obstruction of justice. She was treated harshly because of a lack of judgment and truth, lied under oath resulting in five months of jail time, five months of home confinement, probation, and fines and fees. Many believe she was targeted and made a sacrificial lamb for the rich and famous. Nonetheless, she paid dearly for her crime.
Martha, our queen of "living," impacts our lifestyles but not our livelihoods. If we choose to follow her advice and entertainment, so be it. It is our choice.
But kicking it up a notch, our collective livelihood is impacted by the honesty and integrity of our elected officials and appointees. Should they be held to the same standard?
It is a very different ballgame when public officials lie under oath. It stretches our common sense to see political posturing and outright lies that affect our everyday living. Passing the Pinocchio test has become American news media's way of holding officials to the test of honesty. Stunning Pinocchios are revealed about those in public office who we must entrust with the future of our country. Eric Holder has been "awarded" Pinocchios for his involvement in the yet unresolved Fast and Furious Scandal.
On May 15, 2013 in a Congressional Hearing to investigate intrusion into press reporters' personal records, Attorney General Eric Holder was questioned about his knowledge and personal involvement in this inquisition.
In response to questioning by Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) "In regard to potential prosecution of the press for the disclosure of material -- this is not something I've ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy," Holder said under sworn testimony.
But "NBC News reported that Holder personally approved a search warrant that labelled Fox News chief Washington correspondent James Rosen a co-conspirator in a national security leaks case."
Is this a conflict resulting from parsing of Holder's words concerning the potential prosecution of the press or is this perjury about his knowledge and involvement?
Amidst calls on both sides of the aisles for Holder's resignation, the House Judiciary Panel will be investigating Holder's alleged perjury. Did NBC lie, misreport, or was it Eric Holder that lied under oath? Or have we reached a point that oaths don't hold the same weight; it's one of them.
The issue will likely evolve into how we define lies in our society. Is it a small-nosed Pinocchio? Is it a lie to save face, someone's political career, espionage, coverage of a truth to cover facts? Our society demands truth and maintains the right to hold their officials to operate within the tenet of transparency and honor. It is wholly unacceptable to expect otherwise and we should demand truth from our elected officials and their appointees, and hold them accountable, period.
Shouldn't we expect the same level of honesty that we expect from entrepreneurs like Martha Stewart? Martha paid dearly for her lack of judgment; we should all learn from that lesson including those in Washington, D.C. Whether this is a "gotcha" or not, from the standpoint of perjury, we must demand honesty.
After all, if there is an evolution of expected standards of truth and oath in the midst, the effects will be imparted on the next generations. They are watching.