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Comments about ‘Join the discussion: Should lying be protected as free speech?’

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Published: Thursday, June 19 2014 8:00 a.m. MDT

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JoeCapitalist2
Orem, UT

If lying was a crime then Rep. Cummings and a whole lot of other people in all branches of government (from both political parties) would be in jail.

Good luck on getting congress to pass laws that make lying a crime (unless they exempt themselves of course). As Pres. Clinton proved, even purgury won't cost you if you have enough power and friends in high places.

UtahBlueDevil
Durham, NC

There are various levels of being dishonest - there is lying to someone who asked you out, and you really just don't want to,but don't want to hurt their feelings. Then there is lying where by you try to gain either property or influence through lying... and in most cases this is illegal. In Utah specifically the law that covers this is 9.1-7 Larceny by Obtaining Property by False Pretenses -- § 53a-119 (2) and §§ 53a-122 through 53a-125b.

In between these two examples there is a whole lot of grey space. Is knowingly misrepresenting another's view so that you can gain office legal? If it raises to the level of defamation... yes. If it is just differing views... no.

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

With the force and conviction of a political campaign, plus the money some of them have available now, the official sanction of the long unofficial practice of lying is not a positive thing. Even if a lie is immediately exposed, it will persist and damage is done. Plus, it doesn't say much about the process or its' practitioners, does it? On the other hand, free speech is unassailable. It seems that soon we shall be able to yell 'fire' in a crowded theatre.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"As Pres. Clinton proved, even purgury won't cost you if you have enough power and friends in high places."

What? He was impeached. What did you want them to do? Hang him?

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

An honest politician is one who only lies when he absolutely has to. A dishonest politician lies all the time, just to keep in practice. (I wish I could remember who said this so I could give him or her credit.)

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Fox News gets away with it. So does the Dnews.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Pres. Johnson was the best to come up with, accuse his opponent of a shameful thing so the rest of the time is trying to prove his innocence. Bearing false witness should be ageist the law.

Redshirt1701
Deep Space 9, Ut

To "JoeBlow" yes, Clinton got away with his Purgery conviction. Typically when people do what Clinton did, they end up in jail for a few years. He was even convicted of obstruction of Justice. Another crime that typically carries with it some jail time.

How much time did Clinton spend in jail?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I seem to remember an administration not too long ago that lied through its teeth!

It lied about tax cuts that were supposed to help us, banks too big to fail, it lied about keeping us safe, and it lied to get us into a war in Iraq.

Why doesn't the dnews talk about that administration I wonder?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Who decides if a politician is lying? Should we trust Obama to give us the absolute truth about Benghazi? Should he have the authority to jail anyone who gives opposing "facts"? Government is not in the business to censor speech. Government is not a clearing house for political speech. If a politician lies about his opponent, the facts will eventually come out. If a politician falsely denies accusations, the facts will eventually show that he lied about the accusations. In any case, the wrong person may be elected, but that person will face public humiliation when the facts are known.

Lying about your legal status to buy firearms is a different matter. It does not matter if you believe that the government has no authority to restrict ownership of firearms, the law requires that you meet certain qualifications. Repealing the law is the proper method to handle those restrictions. Lying is not an option.

one old man
Ogden, UT

Outlaw lying and 90% of our politicians would be in BIG trouble.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"Outlaw lying and 90% of our politicians would be in BIG trouble."

Only 90%? C'mon Old Man. You are being far too generous.

Feliz
Kaysville, UT

Free speech is only tolerated when supporting left leaning causes.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@RedShirt1701

"How much time did Clinton spend in jail?"

Almost as much as Richard Nixon.....

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

JoeBlow,
He was impeached, but not convicted. He should have been convicted and removed from office.

Maverick,
Thanks for remembering the Clinton administration.

Banks DID fail, where was the too-big-to-fail lie?

Tax cuts DID help, we had unemployment rates below 5% for most of the bush years.

And there is a difference between misinterpreting and lying – but I guess that does not fit you political bent.

CHS85,
At least Nixon had the decency to resign. Was Nixon ever impeached?
But thanks for admitting Clinton lied.

SEY
Sandy, UT

Why is it legal for a police officer to lie to a suspect but illegal for the suspect to lie to the officer?

patriot
Cedar Hills, UT

It aleady is protected. Barack and his Democrat buddies have built up a Mount Everest pile of lies with zero consequences. As long as the media and politians provide smoke screens for each other then lying is open season. "If you like your insurance you can keep your insurance period".....the lie of the year which will live in infamy...thanks to Barack!!

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

And remember Hillary said that she and Bill were broke when they left office.

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

I once caught a fish this BIG!

Famous Utah lie.

samhill
Salt Lake City, UT

"In one case, Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus, the court held that the anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List (SAL)..."

First, I'm pretty sure SAL would prefer to being referred to as a "pro-life" group.

Secondly, the author confused the act of lying with that of speaking falsely. The two are not necessarily the same thing.

One can very honestly and sincerely speak either the truth or something that is not the truth. When one asserts something that is false, honestly thinking it is true, that person hasn't lied, they're simply mistaken.

On the other hand, when one asserts something they know to be false, or says something they know will lead someone else to believe something they know to be false, then they are lying.

In short, the truth or falsehood of what someone says has no bearing, per se, on whether they person is lying. It is the congruence of what a person asserts is true versus what they knowingly lead others to believe is true that determines whether a statement/assertion/insinuation/etc. is a an act of dishonesty.

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