It was the blog equivalent of coming home and finding that you left the bathtub water running.
At 6: 56 this morning, I read reader Marie Dowd’s comment that said,
“7: ‘This cover’ has no link and a search showed a cover with people in the spray of a fire hydrant?”
Initially I had no idea what she meant, and then, when it dawned on me, I rushed to check out yesterday’s Warm-Up while screaming “NOOOOOOOO!” in slow motion. Sure enough, I had never posted the New Yorker cover showing the President looking flat and arguably dead at the bottom of an escalator, and that was what I was writing about. Thus the post made no sense. Here, for anyone who cares, and apparently few did, is what was supposed to be shown. Does it make sense now?
7. Is this New Yorker cover responsible?
It is perilously close to Kathy Griffin’s severed head: many read the image as the President being dead, and members of “the resistance” have openly alluded to Trump’s death or hope thereof over the past 18 months. (Note the double thumbs up, however.) I rate the cartoon as well within the boundaries of political commentary, but, again, wonder what the reaction would have been if a similar image of President Obama was run on the cover…and it easily could have been, many, many times, with justification.
It’s fixed now, but 14 hours after I posted it.
I apologize to Marie and everyone else who read the post. If you are going to do anything, including writing a blog, and especially writing an ethics blog, you have a duty to do it competently. It is not competent to post commentary about a graphic that you don’t include in the post.
How did it happen? That doesn’t matter: I did it, and you trust me to be better than that. You trust me not to waste your time because I represent myself as not wasting your time. Making a sloppy mistake like that, and not being aware of it for so long, is a breach of trust. For an ethicist, doing this is like a hygienist appearing in public covered in crap.
And in this case, having nobody tell you (or notice?) for 14 hours. (Thank you so much, Marie, for caring.)
For the record, this botch happened because, as has occurred repeatedly this month for personal and professional reasons that are entirely my problem and should not be yours, I completed that post with a hard deadline stalking me, and I was rushing. I’ve been writing Ethics Alarms on the run, under time pressure, while having other deadlines pressing and various people reminding me, often loudly and unpleasantly, to hurry up, we have to leave/talk/solve this/ finish that/ quickquickquick! / ARRGHHHH!. The whole month has been like this,which is odd, because I usually have blog traumas when I’m traveling on business (the ProEthics Family doesn’t take vacations or acknowledge weekends) or have a lot of seminars to teach, and this July has had none of the former and little of the latter. Nonetheless, it has been one mess, crisis or schedule crunch after another, and you, the readers, have suffered for it. I apologize. I apologize for the whole month. It is telling that I haven’t been able to participate in the comments as I usually do (Slickwilly has had more comments than I have) ; I have let some especially bad typos slip by; I have not found as many unique topics as I usual.
There have been 57 posts in July so far, which is a bit under the average. I’m happy with most of them: I do review the product here regularly, and I do check. (I even go back and fix old typos, the ProEthics equivalent of cleaning the toilet.) To the extent that I am not happy, it is that I have missed some important topics, and had to truncate some essays because of time limitations. But “most” isn’t enough or acceptable”: when you define high standards and hold others to them, which is essentially what I do for a living, you have to measure yourself by standards that are at least as exacting. In many of my seminars, I tell professionals that 90% of all serious professional ethics breaches come out of stress, illness, anger, frustration, neglecting mental, emotional, spiritual or physical health, burn-out or time pressure. I need to pay attention to myself more, as unappetizing a prospect as that is.
One more time: I am sorry.
All I can do is try to do better.
Now I’m going to check for typos.