Anti-Truth in Journalism

This exchange between characters on Mad Men perfectly captures the dysfunction exemplified by the obsession with ‘truth’ in journalism.

Prof. Sandy Orcutt: “It’s the study of the way things are true or false. Somethings are possibly true, some are necessarily true, some used to be true, some will be true.  Some are true on this planet but not necessarily on others.”

John Frank: “So there’s no good and bad because the truth is relative?" 

Prof. Orcutt: "Even if the truth is what you call relative, good and bad are not relative. Your mistake is that you’re assuming that because something is true, that it’s good.”

Roger Sterling: “Professor’s got ya there.”  

Jane Sterling: “I think the truth is good because it’s always real…on any planet." 

Catherine Orcutt: "I have patients who spend years reasoning out their motivations for a mistake. When they find it out, when they think they’ve found the truth, they probably have. And then they go and make the same mistake! It’s a myth that tracing logic all the way down to the truth is a cure for neurosis, or for anything else.”