Whopper of the Week: Russ Freyman

This week’s entry is, technically, not a lie, but rather a memo urging nonverbal deception. It’s so good, though, that Chatterbox stretched the whopper rules (see below) to accommodate it.

“The theme involves working Americans. Visually, this will involve a sea of hard hats, which our construction and contractor and building groups are working very hard to provide. But the Speaker’s office was very clear in saying that they do not need people in suits. If people want to participate–AND WE DO NEED BODIES–they must be DRESSED DOWN, appear to be REAL WORKER types, etc. We plan to have hard hats for people to wear. Other groups are providing waiters/waitresses, and other types of workers.”

–Russ Freyman, associate director for media relations at the National Association of Manufacturers, instructing business lobbyists how to dress for a rally on Capitol Hill in favor of the Bush tax cut, as reported by Juliet Eilperin and Dan Morganin the March 9 Washington Post. Click here to see the original document.

Got a whopper? Send it to To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguous lie paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:

March 2, 2001: Paul O’Neill

Feb. 23, 2001: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton

Feb. 16, 2001: Oscar spokesman John Pavlik

Feb. 9, 2001: Lynne Cheney

Feb. 2, 2001: Bobby Thomson

Jan. 26, 2001: Denise Rich