What Constitutes A Lie”. Dr. Jess on Rob Ford”

Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford, has admitted that he smoked crack cocaine during a drunken stupor. But he insists that he didn’t lie to the public. When asked “do you use crack-cocaine” in earlier interviews, he has been insistent that he doesn’t use the drug. It seems that he is following in the footsteps of Bill Clinton and utilizing semantics to justify his dishonesty.

Just as Clinton steadfastly denied having “sexual relations with that woman” on the grounds that he never actually had intercourse, Ford claims he didn’t lie, as he doesn’t use crack cocaine. He admits that he has tried it in the past, but use implies a habitual act. He may be able to use semantics and grammatical accuracy to his advantage to a small (mostly unsucessful) degree, but the bottom line is that he purposefully deceived the public, which is tantamount to lying.

In our intimate relationships, we expect honesty from our partners and the withholding of key information often precludes honesty. If your lover shares a kiss with a co-worker at an office party and doesn’t tell, s/he may not have explicitly lied, but s/he was purposefully deceitful which is on par with lying.


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