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‘When are lies justified in pursuit of a political cause?’

We at The Blaze have been examining the ethics of undercover journalism.

The Washington Post's Michael Gerson -- former policy adviser and chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush and, of equivalent distinction, my roommate in college -- had an interesting write-up regarding the important question: "When are lies justified in pursuit of a political cause?"

Gerson contends:

The ethics of lying, of course, are complex. The prohibition against bearing false witness made the Ten Commandments cut. But I suspect that Moses would allow for lying to hide a Jew hunted by the Nazis. This does not make the prohibition against lying minor or relative. It is a recognition that competing moral duties can be more urgent and compelling — in this case, the moral duty to save a life. A spy tells lies to protect his country. A general engages in deception to defeat an enemy.

But there can be no moral duty to deceive in order to entrap a political opponent with a hidden camera. There is no ethical imperative to provide a prostitute to a weak man and then videotape the scandal, or to provide drugs to a recovering addict and then report the result — or to promise $5 million to a radio executive to get him nodding to leading questions.

Click here to continue reading his op-ed at The Washington Post.

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