Ethics Hero: Joe Concha at Mediaite

Berman and Romans: mystery solved. Well, not really a mystery, maybe "Marshall incompetence addressed" is more accurate,..

Berman and Romans: mystery solved. Well, not really ” mystery solved;” maybe “Marshall incompetence addressed” is more accurate,..

Lots of kind readers pitch in here to help Ethics Alarms do its lonely job better and more efficiently. Some of you e-mail me with typos, which are getting fewer thanks to a new a new proofreading regimen, others send me links to stories that raise ethics issues, and others still offer off-site critiques and comments that are helpful and thought-provoking. I do not expect that kind of generous assistance from major media blogs that get more traffic in the time it takes me to post an article than Ethics Alarms gets in a week. Thus it was a nice surprise to wake up this morning to Joe Concha’s post at Mediaite, properly chiding me for getting the CNN anchors wrong on the recent Simon Cowell egging story, and best of all, giving me the right names, which I had failed to find, as in “didn’t do my due diligence and look hard enough.”  [For the record, it was not Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan who I heard cheering on the woman who threw eggs at Simon Cowell during “Britain’s Got Talent,” but John Berman and Christine Romans, who now inherit the Ethics Dunces honor that should have been theirs from the beginning.]

The fact that Concha enlightened me while taking full advantage of the egg angle (“Blogger’s Got Talent? In Egg-Filled Irony, Ethics Alarms Gets CNN Hosts Wrong” is the headline) and chiding me for my fact-checking inadequacies is beside the point—-I deserved it. What matters is that I’m grateful that 1) he’s reading about ethics, which should be discusses on Mediate every day, given the state of the news media, 2) that he found the right anchors and 3) told me, so I could finally get that post right….which I will do as soon as I post this.

Again, my apologies to Chris Cuomo and Kate Bolduan for unjustly labeling them Ethics Dunces. I wish them good luck on their new show, and may I never have the occasion to mark them as Ethics Dunces again, in contrast to Soledad O’Brien, whom they replace.


Facts: Mediaite

12 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Joe Concha at Mediaite

  1. Mistakes happen. The response is what makes the difference. Dress up, fess up and do your best to avoid the next mess up.

    Nice response, Jack.

    • On the topic of proofreading, do you prefer to be e-mailed with caught typos or to have them left in comment on the post?

      Oh, and while I admire your restraint in your correction, I’ll say it: DANG, Concha’s piece is a snarky bit of non-story.

      • I prefer the private e-mails, first, because I see them faster, and second, because proofing notes are not very edifying comments.

        Joe sent me a very nice personal e-mail complimenting the post. I think the key word is “ethicist.” If I’m going to hold people and institutions to high professional standards, I can’t slack myself. It’s wrong to call anyone an “Ethics Dunce” without knowing for certain that I’ve got the right person—in this case, I jumped to several sloppy conclusions because I was dealing from a broadcast rather than a printed source, and rushed it onto the blog before CNN’s transcript was available. Then, when I learned about the wrong ID, I was busy and just made the story generic, when I had an obligation to take the time, busy or not, and track down the right anchors. I rationalized my choice, of course, by convincing myself that the names of the anchors were secondary, since the post was really about cultural messages that signal acceptance of unethical conduct.

        These were all bad, unethical, lazy, careless calls on my part, and I deserved to be slapped around and embarrassed, especially so given my profession and the blog’s purpose. I actually thought Joe was rather restrained, given that I gave him the hook of the century with the egg connection.

        • Fair enough. Without knowing about private e-mails it just looks like a guy playing Gotcha, but if he was gracious then I guess he gets a pass. THIS time. 😀

  2. Guess you’ll just have to pay your fact checkers and proof readers and copy editors more, huh Jack?

    Hah! You do just fine.

  3. I don’t always completely agree with you, but I have, at this point, never been able to completely disagree with you. I am pretty much addicted to your page. Good job on that. You have influenced my ideologies a a bit. I hate when that happens. Change is great and necessary and all that, but when I look back at what was relevant in my life 20 years ago it can be embarrassing. I was a hippie. Being in High School in the early 70’s was a joke. We smoked pot in class. I pulled out of that devastating dive. Most of my peers from that era are dead. Now I have adopted a little girl. My values have changed. In my dotage I may be an arch conservative. Life does NOT get simpler as we age.

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