The Right to Lie

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Information about The Right to Lie

Published on November 12, 2014

Author: KevinBrettMA



It's zero dark thirty. The choppers are coming for a landing. You know what is coming next. You are asked by a reporter about rumors of a surgical strike. Your mom told you to always tell the truth. Do you?
Presidential press secretaries Jody Powell and Larry Speakes were both confronted with the same difficult choice.

1. ““TThhee RRiigghhtt ttoo LLiiee””?? Kevin M Brett November 12, 2014 COM 270

2. AA VViieeww FFrroomm AAbbrrooaadd • “Public relations, they called it in America, the multi-billion-dollar industry that could make a talentless oaf a celebrity, a fool a sage, and base opportunist a statesman. Propaganda, they called it in Russia, but it was the same tool.” – Author Frederick Forsyth

3. AA VViieeww ffrroomm tthhee MMeeddiiaa • “Show me a PR person who is accurate and truthful, and I’ll show you a PR person who is unemployed.” – Andrew Cohen, CBS News

4. AAnnootthheerr VViieeww ffrroomm tthhee MMeeddiiaa • “When evil needs public relations, evil has Burson Marsteller on speed dial.” – Rachel Maddow, MSNBC

5. PPRRSSAA CCooddee:: FFiirrsstt TTwwoo VVaalluueess • Advocacy: Serving the public interest by acting as responsible advocates… • Honesty: Adhering to the highest standards of accuracy and truth…

6. PPuubblliicc RReellaattiioonnss iinn WWaarrttiimmee • “I’d rather have bad press than a good eulogy.” – Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu

7. TThhee RRiigghhtt ttoo LLiiee?? “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should be attended by a bodyguard of lies” -- Winston Churchill, 1943

8. 5522 HHoossttaaggeess,, 444444 DDaayyss

9. OOppeerraattiioonn EEaaggllee CCllaaww –– AApprriill 11998800

10. KKeeeeppiinngg aa PPrreessss SSeeccrreettaarryy iinn tthhee DDaarrkk?? • “If a secret is worthy of lying about to protect, it makes sense to come up with the most effective lie possible…Dealing with the press, particularly in ticklish situations, is very much an art. You cannot treat the press secretary like a robot and then expect him to perform like an artist.” – Jody Powell

11. Operation UUrrggeenntt FFuurryy –– OOccttoobbeerr 11998833 • “Preposterous” – Larry Speakes to CBS’ Bill Plante • “Rear Admiral John Poindexter hung me out to dry, and I didn’t even know it.” – Larry Speakes • “I have always preached to members of the White House staff, ‘Tell me everything, so I’ll know not only what to say, but what not to say.” – Larry Speakes

12. TThhoouu SShhaalltt NNoott LLiiee • Your mom told you not to lie • Immanuel Kant subscribed to the notion of Deontology, an ethical doctrine governing that actions must conform to binding rules regardless of the consequences. • And yet …

13. ZZeerroo DDaarrkk TThhiirrttyy?? • May 1, 2011. You are Obama’s press secretary… • You are asked to confirm a rumor of a coming raid against public enemy No. 1 • You know the truth • Would you tell the truth? Or…

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