RTE: An untruth is not necessarily a lie

Exchange between Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan and an RTE presenter after the publication of the Mahon Tribunal Report.

Phil Hogan: The Mahon Tribunal has not used the word ‘corrupt’ in relations to Mr. Ahern but it uses the word ‘lies’ on a number of occasions without using the exact words.

RTE presenter: Well hold on a second now. That’s a very specific word, it says it doesn’t believe him, it says it doesn’t accept his evidence, it says some things were untrue; it does not use the word ‘lies’.

In the real world untruths are lies. In real democracies media outlets accept this fact as normal and report accordingly.

In the Alice in Wonderland world of RTE current affairs, where a deep fear of litigation determines all decisions, an untruth is not necessarily a lie.

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