Truth Or Dare

Entry by: quietmandave

18th January 2017
Gail Henderson slammed down her coffee in exasperation, the Starbucks mug cracking on the thick wooden table. 'Nothing he says is true'.
'You're right,' replied Dean McCoy. 'We write what he says but we know he's lying.' He leaned forward for comic effect. 'We live in a post-truth world, you know.'
Gail laughed; this had become Dean's catchphrase since the inauguration. 'Post-truth journalists, that's what we are. And what does that mean anyway? Have we lost the truth forever?'
Dean sat back, locking his hands together in resignation. 'Perhaps we have. George Orwell will be turning in his grave. Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. We're PR monkeys for liars.'
'But what if we could find the truth?' Gail's eyes lit up. 'What if we found a way for Trump to tell the truth?'
'Holy grail, Gail, holy grail now. It'll never happen.'
'I have an idea.' They leant closer and Gail whispered whilst Dean started to smile.

Gail had managed to bag a front row seat for the press conference. She'd had to arrive early, pull a few favours, and make some promises she might not be able to make good on later. But it would be worth it. She smoothed her skirt, made sure her collar was even and adjusted her lapels. Later, when the cameras were all focused on her, she wanted to be immaculate. She wanted to make the most of her moment.
Her turn came quickly. For a second she hesitated, but what is life without a few risks? What is life without a dare? What is life without the truth?
'Good morning Mister President'.
'Good morning Gail, can I rate you a nine this morning?'
She shrugged off the daily remark, although noting that he had increased her rating by one point. 'Mister President, this might be an unusual question, but I hope that you will appreciate that sometimes journalists need to try unusual methods in this new and positive world we find ourselves in.'
The President pushed his lips together to spread the corners wide in his trademark self-satisfied smile.
'Mister President, will you play a game of truth or dare?'
He laughed, but it was clear to the whole room that he could not turn down the invitation. In the same way a schoolchild cannot turn down a dare to steal a chocolate bar, or to run across a busy road, when faced with the threat of disapproval of their friends, the President could not weaken in the face of the media.
'Sure,' he replied confidently. 'Fire away.' Was that false confidence, or was the President somewhere else? Perhaps in a college party amongst drunk students playing a reckless game that required only one skill. The ability to be convincing.
Gail had discussed at length with Dean what she should say if she got this far. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Would it be truth or dare?
'If I said dare,' the President said, 'you'd probably challenge me to press the button. Which of course I would have to do if it was a dare. Because Donald Trump never backs down from a dare. So under those circumstances I think it'll have to be truth.'
Gail looked down at her question and knew only one thing. For the first time in his political career, Donald Trump would have to tell the complete truth.