It's not a lie, it's hyperbole!
I grabbed this definition of hyperbole off the Urban Dictionary
hyperbole: (hi-PER-bo-lee) a bowl traveling an excess of 3-8 trillion miles per second
One of the many hats I wear is that of a marketer so I am accustomed to recognizing and using hyperbole. Hyperbole can mean outright lying or merely stretching the truth. I've always liked Lionel Hutz's explanation of truth in an episode of the Simpsons where Marge becomes a real estate agent.
Hutz: You see Marge, there's the truth (frowns shakes his head) and the TRUTH (smiles and nods enthusiastically)
What brought this to mind was a blurb about the new book Columbine by Dave Cullen. Some copywriter seeking to elicit emotion used the word "massacre" to describe what happened there that day. How do we know that it's hyperbole? Because while many students and teachers were murdered, they all weren't (classic definition of massacre). Another word we hear frequently in describing destruction is "decimated" which technically means every tenth person/building/business/whatever was destroyed. If your staff of 20 people is reduced to 10 and you said it was decimated, you'd be understating the situation by a lot. (personally, I like "eviscerated" when describing such things but it too is hyperbole and technically wrong.)
But the most recent and blatant use of hyperbole occurred with the unfortunate death of Sea World trainer, Dawn Brancheau. For years marine biologists have been beating their heads against the wall trying to get us, the public, to stop calling killer whales, killer whales. "They're Orcas," they insist. Technically, Orcas aren't whales at all--they're really great big black and white dolphins with extraordinary intelligence and prodigious appetites. But after this latest incident, orcas will be known henceforth as killer whales. Sorry, marine biologists. You lose.