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Letter: Truth and lies, news and fake news

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at their meeting in Helsinki, Finland, earlier this week.

So now the world knows the truth, Russia did not interfere with the U.S. elections. President Donald Trump has accurate information from a reliable source, his new best friend, President Vladimir Putin. Is it too cynical to suggest that liars lie and honest people are honest? The truth should be an absolute but the practical reality is not that simple.

There are times when the truth should be held back for some time. There was nothing to be gained by immediately telling the Thai soccer players trapped in the cave that a brave and experienced diver had died helping to rescue them. In fact, this truth would have been very dangerous.

There are the trivial and amusing truths — do these clothes look good on me? Sometimes telling the truth may have not be beneficial in the long run.

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There may be two truths to choose from. Should a teacher tell a student who has improved their test result from 10 per cent to 40 per cent that they have made a great improvement or that they are still a failure?

Trump has called out CNN, NBC and lately the Sun in England as being “fake news,” although most people consider them honest and accurate reporters of the news.

All of these examples prompt the questions, why can’t we just tell the truth and when did we lose faith in our news sources?

A newspaper that has been publishing for decades or even centuries should be believed whereas the so called social media should generally be ignored.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

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