Political Lying
From 'Proposals for printing...a Treatise of the Art of Political Lying...' by John Arbuthnot (1712)

....CONCERNING the Ancient Greek he gives several rules; one of which is, that terrible objects should not be too frequently shown to the people, lest they grow familiar. He says, it is absolutely necessary that the people of England should be frighted with the French King and the Pretender once a year, but, that the bears should be chained up again till that time twelve-month. The want of observing this so necessary a precept, in bringing out the Raw-head and Bloody-bones upon every trifling occasion, has produced great indifference in the vulgar of late years. As to the animating or encouraging lies, he gives the following rules; That they should not far exceed the common degrees of probability, and that there should be variety of them, and the same lie not obstinately insisted upon; that the promissory or prognosticating lies should not be upon short days, for fear the authors should have the shame and confusion to see themselves speedily contradicted. He examines by these rules, that well-meant, but unfortunate lie of the conquest of France, which continued near twenty years together; but at last, by being too obstinately insisted upon, it was worn threadbare, and became unsuccessful.

As to the Ancient Greek , or the prodigious, he has little to advise, but that their Comets, Whales and Dragons, should be sizable; their Storms, Tempests, and Earthquakes, without the reach of a days journey of a man and a horse.

The seventh chapter is wholly taken up in an enquiry, which of the two parties are the greatest artists in Political Lying. He owns the Tories have been better believed of late: but, that the Whigs have much the greater genius's amongst them. He attributes the late ill success of the Whig-Party to their glutting the market, and retailing too much of a bad commodity at once: when there is too great a quantity of worms, it is hard to catch Gudgeons. He proposes a scheme for the recovery of the credit of the Whig-Party, which indeed seems to be somewhat chimerical, and does not savour of that sound judgment the author has shown in the rest of the work. It amounts to this, that the party should agree to vent nothing but truth for three months together, which will give them credit for six months lying afterwards. He owns, that he believes it almost impossible to find fit persons to execute this scheme. Towards the end of the chapter, he inveighs severely against the Folly of Parties, in retaining such scoundrels and men of low genius's to retail their lies; such as most of the present news-writers are, who besides a strong bent and inclination towards the profession, seem to be wholly ignorant in the rules of pseudology, and not at all qualified for so weighty a trust.