Hollywood: The lying stops now. Or at least, fairly soon…

Good news for you in Hollywood exhausted from constantly trying to discern which mendacious bastard has been screwing you over: In this weekend’s New York Times Magazine, correspondent Robin Marantz Henig reports that the federal government is investing in a schmantzy new lie detectors to help fight The War on Terror. actually.jpg

As Marantz Henig points out, the current method isn’t exactly working.

“Unfortunately, most of the devices now available, like the polygraph, detect not the lie but anxiety about the lie. The polygraph measures physiological responses to stress, like increases in blood pressure, respiration rate and electrodermal skin response. So it can miss the most dangerous liars: the ones who don’t care that they’re lying, don’t know that they’re lying or have been trained to lie. It can also miss liars with nothing to lose if they’re detected, the true believers willing to die for the cause.”

The ancillary benefits that will accrue to Hollywood will no doubt be many and substantial. Besides getting to ther truth of whether a terrorism suspect is telling the truth about, say, a dirty bomb that might leave our dear Los Angeles a glowing cinder of death, screenwriters will finally be able to decipher what a studio executive means when he says, “We love the new draft!”

Getting a return phone call from your agent also will cease to be a problem.

“I’m sorry. He’s actually in a meeting.”

“In a meeting? I think you meant to say he’s actually standing right behind you, waving frantically to indicate that he doesn’t want to take the call, right? …Right?”

“Um. Right.”