It happened one day that after ages of tireless work in the field of journalism, truth took a vacation.
It was noticed almost at once. Truth had long been employed in the news business, and while it had never exactly been what you might call a “full time employee”, it always worked hard when it did show up, and its work was of a noticeably higher quality than its competitors. The difference between, say, a nightly newscast with a little truth and one with none was as obvious as the difference between soup with a little flavor and soup with none… or a visit from a friend with a little charm and one from a friend with none.
The result was that people who had always swallowed what was set before them began to question it. They became skeptical. They learned to recognize lies, to reconcile conflicting statements and sort out impossibilities and implausibilities and work out what must be from piles of what could be while ignoring what most certainly wasn’t.
Truth eventually returned, of course, as even the best-deserved vacation must come to an end, but it came back to a world that was a little wiser and a little more receptive to it.
It is true that a lie may travel halfway around the world before the truth has put on its pants… but when the truth is already lounging on a clothing-optional beach on the other side of the globe, it can get a leg up.