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Opening Monologue: The Truth and Lies Show

The following is a transcript of the opening monologue I do at the top of each show on WGN Radio. My show, the Saturday Night Special, is a single-topic program on which I discuss one topic all night. This week, I talked about truth and lies.

The truth is right and lies are wrong. Right? Could it be that these simple nursery school concepts are far more complex than we think? Or course they are– otherwise, we wouldn’t struggle throughout our entire lives with the grey area between them.

Truth and lies are in our headlines so much that they themselves seem to be losing their meaning, turning into malleable things awaiting our interpretation in a given moment.

So obscured and subjective has our language become– that when we catch glimpses of straightforwardness or radical truth telling it can open the speaker to accusations of being too brusk at worst, and can be radical and deliciously shocking at best. Take the social media reaction to recent events with Sally Yates and James Comey– truth, and the prospect of it revealing itself, is irresistible.

Yet, lies have their place, if you believe that the occasional white lie to spare feelings about, say, a terrible outfit, is not just acceptable but the high road. But, there reaches a place in which white lies become sinister and we develop an almost expectation of them. Take, for example, the ubiquitous, yeah no yeah let’s totally hang out, where neither party has any intention of doing so. So pervasive is the practice of casual lying that in some instances, telling the complete truth doesn’t even occur to us as the first option– think about it, how many times have we all struggled with how to navigate a tricky conversation, and tried on different scenarios only to later realize that the full truth is the best course of things.

So then, do others and the reactions we anticipate them having push and and pull us into this grey area between truth and lies? Maybe so. Clearly we have a lot to discuss tonight, but that’s our aim — to talk about truth, lies, and why we might find ourselves in those in-between areas from outright un-truths, to white lies to keep the peace or spare feelings.

I’m Amy Guth and that’s all coming up tonight on the Saturday Night Special on 720 WGN.

(Break for show opener music)

Tonight we are talking about the concept of truth, and perhaps it’s a

We’ll be joined by many experts to talk over many different aspects of it with us– a professor of leadership studies, a jornalist who wrote about the not-very-effective use of sexual harassmetn hotlines in the workplace, and another who wrote about the perils of female uber drives. We’ll also have an expert joining us to talk abuot the legal and ethical issues in the workplace for both employees an empployers.

We’ll be right back to get the conversation underway, on 720-WGN.

(Listen to full show)