Lies and Politics

Do politicians lie more today?


When Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., shouted “You lie!” during one of President Obama's early addresses to Congress, the outburst was unprecedented. Yet, in the charged political climate of the past two years, hot partisan rhetoric has continued, and accusations of lying have been rife. Historians say that false charges by competing candidates and lies by government officials to hide their actions from the public are a staple of politics going back to the 1800 presidential campaign between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams. Some legal scholars point out that the First Amendment broadly protects political speech, even when it's false. Some blame a lazy media — and clearly partisan media outlets like Fox News and MSNBC — for allowing more misinformation to flourish today. And some ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles