Publication Details

Martin, B. (2014). Tactics of political lying: the Iguanas affair. Journal of Language and Politics, 13 (4), 837-856.


Political lying recurrently becomes a major issue in the media. Audience members seldom have first-hand information and hence rely on media stories to assess claims. Although background information may not be available, the tactics used by key players are more likely to be reported. Two models for analysing tactics are introduced, one based on methods of deception, detection and response, the other based on methods to reduce or increase outrage over something perceived to be wrong. Each model is applied to claims and counterclaims concerning the behaviour of two Australian politicians. Most of the tactics used in the case study fit the deception-detection-response model, but some do not; the outrage management model overcomes these limitations: nearly all tactics used fit into the model's categories. Media audiences, by being aware of likely tactics, can better judge whether lying is involved.



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