It's amazing how lies become the accepted truth. The spin overpowers the truth, and even intelligent people will parrot it because they won't take the effort to find out.
Napoleon: the short man who was so upset about his shortness that he decided to conquer Europe to prove he was as great as anyone else? Not true. He was 5'7" tall, which was 2 inches taller than the average height. His enemy, England, put out the short story. Cartoons and editorials by English papers continued it. And it stuck.
The Crusades: horrible wars caused by Christianity. Certainly that was the press put out by the kings, princes, knights, and popes, but in their war talks, they discuss spices and land and gold and jewels. No reputable historian discusses Christianity as a primary factor these days, because it's plain from historical records that greed motivated this thrust into the Holy Lands. But Christianity made such a better story than saying, "We want their money."
Manifest destiny: Those horrible Indians will be better on reservations. We want their land, and we deserve it. It's our destiny. Thank you, newspapers, and Horace Greely. "Go west, young man! Don't worry about all those people you will kill on the way."
Slavery: "We have to have slaves so that our crops can be sold at competitive prices. We have a way of life to maintain. They're savages. We're their kindly masters." The newspapers and novels and movies portrayed slaves as being grateful, and masters as being kind and benevolent. For a long time, the American people bought the story. Some still do.
Environmentalism: crazy people who rather let other people starve to protect a snail darter. They also hate jobs, eat bark, live in huts, and smoke pot. You wonder how they ever get anything done.
The list goes on and on and on. The oldest human profession is actually that of an liar ... leaders who lie for the sake of money and power. Why must we continue to be so gullible?
A friend of mine recently said something that has stuck with me: "The lie is all that matters. It's all that survives."
I hope not. Dear God, I hope not.