Your Weekend Ethics Update

Sure, it's touching..but is it sincere?

Here’s what you may have missed if your attention was focused on non-ethical considerations over the weekend:

  • A Washington, D.C. Charter school has been using scenarios out of horror movies to teach math—to third graders.
  • Saturday Night Live gave fallen child star Lindsay Lohan a chance to be something other than an addict and scofflaw again. Was it exploitation or was it kindness? Kind exploitation, perhaps?
  • Rush Limbaugh became a victim of his own mouth, attacking a Georgetown Law student’s advocacy of insurance-covered contraceptives not by questioning her logic—which is questionable—but her character, and in crude and degrading terms. Indefensible.
  • At least two NFL team, it was revealed, put bounties on the heads of opposing teams’ stars, offering thousands to players for knocking them off the field and into hospital beds. Unethical, a violation of league rules, cheating, and criminal…and the reaction of players is, “What’s the big deal?” A culture problem perhaps?
  • While conservatives were rending their garments in grief over the sudden death of conservative web warrior Andrew Breitbart (and too many liberals were disgracing themselves by applauding an early demise that left his young children fatherless), a far more influential and infinitely more ethical conservative voice left us: scholar, author, social scientist, philosopher, historian…and Ethics Hero Emeritus… James Q. Wilson.
  • Rush apologized after his sponsors began to flee. With great power comes great responsibility, and Limbaugh has more power than he can possibly be responsible for. He still is accountable.
  • Finally…Is a forced apology a “real” apology? It depends.

3 thoughts on “Your Weekend Ethics Update

  1. One thing, Jack. James Wilson’s passing did NOT go unnoticed in conservative circles. Naturally, it was overshadowed by Andrew Breitbart’s sudden and unexpected death at the height of his career. However, I’ve read several tributes to Wilson from major online sources.

    • It didn’t go unnoticed, of course—people like George Will noticed it. It was nowhere on Fox, or talk radio, however. As I said, footnote stuff, and a one-day story. About a week after I wrote this, several other articles turned up making the same point: it does not speak well for conservatives generally if Breitbart is mourned as a hero and Wilson is an afterthought. And that’s how it was.

      • As I pointed out, Breitbart was at the peak of his career when he died abruptly. In television coverage, a story like that is always going to dominate. Had he not died, Wilson’s death would have received more immediate attention. That, however, is the reality of TV broadcasting. It’s also the inherent deficiency that makes it shallow in so many ways, even with the multiplicity of channels in this modern era. Those of us who try to pay attention and read the articles of reputable columnists were not slow in marking the double tragedy.

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