I joined the Dan Patrick Show again this morning. Click play below to hear that.
The value of honesty in the public discourse continues its curious heel-turn, as demonstrated most recently by the saga of Urban Meyer’s uncertain status as Ohio State’s head football coach.
Meyer’s placement on administrative leave -- the reasons why and the passionate debate around whether he will make it back onto the sidelines any time soon -- illustrate the upside-down relationship we have with the truth these days.
Oh, we say we want honesty from the people who serve in positions of power and influence, but we really don’t require it from them.
Sure, it’s nice to have, but it’s optional.
The truth is, we require full disclosure only from those we dislike.
Because if we don’t get it, then we can weaponize its absence against those in our cross-hairs.
If you listen to Michigan or Alabama fans, Meyer is a lying, duplicitous force of evil that must be exorcised from college football.
To OSU fans, however, Meyer didn’t lie to anyone of consequence in Chicago. He just lied to the media.
That’s an interesting defense, since every lie told by every influencer of any sort in the public realm was a lie told to the media, and then conveyed to the masses.
But if your car bears a, Hope and Change, bumper sticker, it doesn’t bother you that Barack Obama said, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”
That only raises your hackles if your wardrobe includes a, Make America Great Again, hat. But as for, “We’re going to build a wall along the border and Mexico is going to pay for it,” well, that theoretically could still happen. Right?
Did it bother you when Benghazi was explained away as the result of a offensive video, or when we had evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq...until we didn’t?
That depends whether you’re right or left, blue or red.
The faces at the on-campus rally supporting Meyer on Monday night were scarlet, like the Buckeyes’ uniforms, filled with anger over the perceived injustice of placing the iconic coach on administrative leave.
Surely, many more zealots love Meyer than the few hundred who showed up, although their love affair with him is decidedly different than the affection felt for his popular predecessor, Jim Tressel.
Meyer satiates the partisans in a way the sweater-vested Senator never could.
While Tressel won big, he rarely won big enough on the scoreboard to satisfy the Buckeye bloodlust.
Many opponents left frustrated upon coming up short in what became known as a, Tressel Blowout -- a victory in which OSU held a two-score lead in a game where the clock afforded the opposition enough time for only one more possession.
This appeased the scarlet-and-gray masses for a time, but the satisfaction of squeezing life from another foil in Tressel’s field-position vice diminished long before the coach’s aura of authenticity was proven a fraud by his serial lying to OSU and the NCAA amid an extra-benefits investigation into program.
Meyer spectacularly rescued Ohio State from that morass, going 12-0 his first season in a style that stroked his supporters’ egos from the start.
He won his opening game, 56-10, ushering in an era of boot-on-your-neck blowouts by margins of 63-14, 56-0, 66-0, 59-0 and on and on and on.
Such scores virtually wiped all memories of Tressel’s no-running-with-scissors approach from fans’ minds.
Meyer didn't just defeat the opponent, he dunked on them, giving OSU fans license to scream their superiority in sheer delight.
His 6-0 record against Michigan, 2014 College Football Playoff title and three Big Ten championships also helped make Meyer a man who could do no wrong in the eyes of his myriad worshipers.
Certainly lying repeatedly to a bunch of lowly media types in Chicago, even if he did it all day long, even if he did it virtually in the same breath as re-affirming his lifelong commitment to the core value of honesty because of a conversation he had with his dad when he was six years old, that offense is of no consequence to those who love Urban Meyer.
He doesn’t need the truth to set him free with the fan base he thrills virtually every time his team takes the field.
No, the only people who demand the truth from Urban Meyer are those who want to see him fired.
PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES