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Letters: Are all liars created equal?

January 23, 2013
  • Lance Armstrong has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career.
Lance Armstrong has admitted using performance-enhancing drugs during… (Michael Paulsen / Associated…)

Re "Like him, we are all liars," Opinion, Jan. 19

Not all lies are of the same breadth, depth and impact. Size does matter. By his own admission, Lance Armstrong is a liar. But lying only matters if you get caught — right, Bernie Madoff?

Wall Street cleared trillions by lying about the value of worthless loans, making the money lost in the savings and loan scandal of the 1980s and '90s look like chump change. Not only did Armstrong give Oprah Winfrey a scoop to boost her network's sagging ratings, Paramount Pictures is reportedly going to make a (probably profitable) biopic about him being a liar.

We all may be liars, but only some of us make society pick up the bill.

Thomas Feldman

La Cañada Flintridge

The article makes the trivial point that to be tactful is to lie, but it misses the heart of the matter: Truth is beauty, as John Keats wrote. The key is the intention behind the words.

I tell my mother she looks beautiful as she smiles up at me, her body gripped by cancer, to affirm the truth of who she is at heart. Armstrong, my former hero, denied doping to create a false image, willfully harming anyone who crossed him.

To say we are all like him minimizes the wrong he has done to himself and others. Unlike him, we are not all sociopaths.

Charlie McClung

Laguna Beach

I deeply resent the implication that we are all liars. It has been a lifelong obsession of mine to always tell the truth no matter what.

I lie.

Anthony Lawrence

Woodland Hills

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