To Tell The Truth


Frasier: Dad, we are talking about perjury! When is that ever acceptable?

Martin: Oh, you want an example? Fine! Let’s say, uh, what if there was a comet hurtling towards the earth—

Frasier: Oh, for God’s sake!

Martin: And you were the only person who could save the earth, but the only way to do it is by lying under oath. Would you do it then?

Frasier: Who am I lying to, the comet?

Martin: Oh, just answer the question!

Frasier: All right, I suppose in certain extreme cases—

Martin: So, then you’d lie?

Frasier: To save mankind from a talking comet, yes!

Martin: But you won’t lie for Niles.

Frasier: Oh, for God’s sake, you make me sound like some sort of insensitive lout who’s not aware that his brother’s out there in pain!

[Frasier takes a sip from the glass]

Martin: Isn’t that Niles’s water?

Frasier: I’m just checking to see it’s not too cold!

[…]

Frasier: You know, I can’t believe you’re being so casual about this! Do you realize you’re asking me to do something completely unethical?!

Martin: Oh, for God’s sake, nobody’s even going to know!

Frasier: Yes, but that’s the point! Ethics are what we do when no one else is looking! For heaven’s sake, I learned that from you! Are you saying you wouldn’t have any trouble with this?

[…]

Martin: Let me tell you something. One time when I was on the force, I saw a guy shoot somebody. When we caught him, I started to read him his rights, but he slipped out of his cuffs and he swung at me so I didn’t get a chance to finish. Two months later, I’m on the stand, and his lawyer asks me if I’d read his rights in full. Now, if I say no this guy walks, and this guy has been in and out of jail all his life, he could have read ME his rights! So I say, “yes, I did. I read them in full.” I lied under oath. Now you might think that I did an unethical thing but there’s not a doubt in my mind that I did the right thing.

 – Rob Hanning: Frasier (1993-2004)

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4 thoughts on “To Tell The Truth

  1. I’ve lied under oath as well, but the other side was also lying – it all boiled down to who was the better liar. I won – I’m not sure what that says about me —

  2. Unless I tell a REALLY bad joke, I don’t otherwise mind anyone copying ANYthing I say!

  3. I neglected to mention, Sha’Tara, that over the months, I’ve come to know you somewhat, and trust that my words, inadequate as they may be, won’t wind up on some bizarre meme somewhere on FaceBook —

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