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Lying and politics: A culture of dishonesty

In a media landscape where athletes routinely lie about their doping habits and where whole reality-television empires are built on the catty untruths traded back and forth between characters, should dishonest politicians and false campaign ads really surprise us?

Public figures may not be under penalty of perjury for every statement they make, be it to a reporter or in a rare unguarded moment. But it becomes increasingly harder to hold our leaders to a higher standard when voters are, more and more often, in need of groups such as Politifact and the Sunlight Foundation to sort truth from spin-doctoring. And a casual consumer of politics may not jump on Politifact to see if there’s a “pants of fire” rating for an ad that runs while they’re watching “The Bachelorette.” So what happens for

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