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OPINION | OTHERS SAY: The right to lie

by St. Louis Post-Dispatch | February 1, 2023 at 4:08 a.m.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Long before his #MeToo demise as a U.S. senator, Al Franken wrote an exposé of politicians and pundits who don't always tell the truth. "Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them" caused upheaval in Washington.

Yet lying got worse than ever, including the election of a president who reportedly lied more than 30,000 times in his single term. People don't know whom to believe anymore. Millions bought the lie that coronavirus vaccines are part of a government plot. Millions more believe the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Fox News is defending itself for having advanced the lie that Dominion Voting Systems helped rig the 2020 presidential election against President Donald Trump. Fox questions whether the lies caused actual harm.

Fox's Tucker Carlson defended himself in a 2020 slander lawsuit by arguing that the things he says on television are clearly exaggerations and aren't supposed to be believed by viewers. He won.

The big question hanging over Congress these days is whether Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) should be ousted over his serial lying to win election.

Lies provoke outrage. But unless physical or financial harm can be proven, Americans will have to live with all these lying liars and the lies they tell.

Print Headline: The right to lie


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