Back in August of this year President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani appeared on NBC's Meet the Press. In an interview with Chuck Todd, things went a bit sideways. The two men were discussing if Trump should speak to Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
"And when you tell me that, you know, he should testify because he’s going to tell the truth and he shouldn’t worry, well that’s so silly because it’s somebody’s version of the truth. Not the truth..."
NBC correspondent Todd interjected:
"Truth is truth. I don’t mean to go like―"
"No, it isn’t truth. Truth isn’t truth. The president of the United States says, 'I didn’t —'
Todd interrupted to ask:
"Truth isn’t truth? Mr. Mayor, do you realize, what, I, I, I—"
"No, no, no—"
"This is going to be a bad meme."
"Don’t do, don’t do this to me."
"Don’t do ‘truth isn’t truth’ to me."
And while Giuliani was roundly mocked for his comment and it did become a bad meme, why bring it up in December?
The end of the year is the time to reflect on all events of that year. And Giuliani's statement of 'Truth isn't truth' was deemed worthy of winning the top quote of 2018 by Yale Law School librarian Fred Shapiro.
Each year since 2005, Shapiro—author of The Yale Book of Quotations—picks a top 10 best. This year the competition was stiff, but Giuliani came out on top. Shapiro's book of famous and infamous quotes covering a wide range of topics and eras in history can be purchased here.
Remarking on why he chose Giuliani's comment out of all of the contenders, Yale's Shapiro stated:
"I think perhaps the most striking development in our current zeitgeist is a dramatic decline in respect for truth in politics, and this quote fits nicely into that narrative. I thought it was a very representative quote of our times."
In selecting his quotes, Shapiro chooses those he feels best represent the spirit of that year. In an age where multiple publications track the lies told by the President of the United States, "truth isn't truth" seemed the perfect fit.
Shapiro, who has drawn sports and entertainment as well as politics in the past found this year's list dominated by politics. He added:
"I may choose quotes because they have negative characteristics, or because they have positive characteristics, or just because they are striking or revealing."
The Associated Press published the following full list on Tuesday.
A quote from the confirmation hearing for Trump's Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh came a close second to Giuliani for its absurd nature considering the venue and the audience for the comment: the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The 2018 top 10 quotes are:
- “Truth isn’t truth.” — Rudolph W. Giuliani, interview on Meet the Press Aug. 19.
- “I liked beer. I still like beer.” — Brett M. Kavanaugh, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee testimony on his Supreme Court nomination, Sept. 27.
- “While all pharmaceutical treatments have side effects, racism is not a known side effect of any Sanofi medication.” — Sanofi drug company, in a tweet responding to Roseanne Barr’s blaming of its product Ambien in explaining a tweet that led ABC to cancel her show, May 30.
- “We gather to mourn the passing of American greatness, the real thing, not cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly, nor the opportunistic appropriation of those that live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served.” — Meghan McCain, daughter of Sen. John McCain in a eulogy for her father, Sept. 1.
- “We’re children. You guys, like, are the adults. You need to take some action and play a role. Work together, come over your politics and get something done.” — David Hogg, a survivor of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting, in a CNN interview, Feb. 15.
- ”[I am] not smart, but genius . . . and a very stable genius at that!” — President Trump, in a tweet, Jan. 6.
- “You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone.” — Kanye West, in a tweet, April 25.
- “Our country is led by those who will lie about anything, backed by those who will believe anything, based on information from media sources that will say anything.” — Former FBI director James B. Comey, in a tweet, May 23.
- “I have just signed your death warrant.” — Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, addressing former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar upon sentencing him to up to 175 years in prison for sexual assault, Jan. 24.
- “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd! And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.” — Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), in remarks at a rally in Los Angeles, June 23.
Watch the full exchange that won Rudy Giuliani the crown here.