the greater the truth, the greater the libel

the greater the truth, the greater the libel

The more damaging or incendiary a fact is, the greater legal ramifications its publisher will face. Based on seditious libel laws of England in the 18th century. The Crown aimed to stamp out any and all seditious or rebellious publications that would aim to undermine or discredit the empire, truth being considered no defense whatsoever. In their eyes, the greater the truth, the greater the libel.
See also: greater, libel

The greater the truth, the greater the libel.

Prov. It is more offensive to say something damaging and true about someone than it is to tell a damaging lie. Jill: Fred's really upset. Someone's started a rumor that he's unfaithful to his wife. Jane: But it's true. Jill: Yeah, but the greater the truth, the greater the libel.
See also: greater, libel
References in periodicals archive ?
(32) At common law, it was axiomatic that, "'the greater the truth, the greater the libel.'" (33)
The rule of thumb is the greater the truth, the greater the libel.
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