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James B. Stewart, 'Tangled Webs': How American Society Is Drowning In Lies (VIDEO)

First Posted: 04/19/11 01:27 PM ET Updated: 06/19/11 06:12 AM ET

James Stewart

James B. Stewart made an appearance on the Today show this morning talking about the most famous cases of perjury that he's written about in his new book "Tangled Webs: How American Society Is Drowning In Lies."

What "Tangled Webs" examines is people at the pinnacle of their professions--Martha Stewart, Barry Bonds, Scooter Libby, people from Wall Street right up to the White House--"brazenly lying." They're role models, and their behavior trickles down to society. "Why do they lie," asks Stewart? "Because they think they can get away with it."

Stewart makes the case that the judicial system is breaking down when oaths mean nothing and prosecutors are examining people for their skill at lying, instead of whether or not they are lying. Stewart says Marion Jones was considered the best liar of the bunch, including Bernie Madoff, Barry Bonds and Martha Stewart.

While James Stewart says there are no statistics showing an increase of lying, he feels it's an epidemic, happening at the highest levels and that as a society we've become too tolerant of lying in our homes and in the world. When you take an oath, you must tell the truth: "Our justice system depends on it."

Watch the interview below and read an excerpt of the book here.

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Filed by Amy Hertz  |