Ethics Dunce: Eric Wemple

Talk about ethics blindness.

Find that loose screw, Eric, and then tell Spike where it is...

On his Washington Post blog, Eric Wemple gushes like Old Faithful about sweet, contrite, courageous Spike Lee, who appropriately apologized (and paid an undisclosed sum) to the Florida couple whose address he had accidentally tweeted to help get George Zimmerman harassed, attacked or killed—that being his clear intent by trying to send Zimmerman’s address to the world, or more specifically, the New Black Panthers’ vigilantes. Wemple was blown away by Spike’s willingness to accept responsibility for his boneheadedness and admit he was wrong:

“Yet his reaction to the mishap rehabilitates the good name of an honest apology. Lee used no qualifiers, no minimizers, no excuses — and no ‘I am sorry if anyone took offense to my actions.’ Just plain regret and shame. Score a victory for the apology.”

So “I’m sorry I nearly got you killed; honest, I was trying to get that other guy killed!” is an impressive apology, is it?

I don’t know what screw is missing from Wemple’s ethics alarm (though it is clear that Lee is missing the same one), but the primary conduct Lee has to apologize for is his arrogant and reckless irresponsibility in attempting to publicize an individual’s home address when that individual is the object of a campaign of hate across the country.He owes the McCains an apology, sure—he also owes George Zimmerman an apology, as well as the nation and every person in it named “Spike” or “Lee” for abusing his celebrity and attempting to circumvent the justice system by facilitating unlawful vengeance.

Lee apologized only for the unintended result of his intentional unethical act; he has yet to apologize for the act itself. Lavishing praise on him for that is a travesty.

(Thanks to Newsbusters for the tip)

4 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: Eric Wemple

  1. Whew! I just missed being an ethics dunce. I was thinking of doing a piece about Spike. His original tweet was indeed horrible. But after doing something horrible it’s still right to apologize and do your best to make it right. His apology and monetary settlement were the right things to do, and I think mitigate his blame just a little bit.

  2. Pingback: Ethics Dunce: Eric Wemple | Ethics Alarms « Ethics Find

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