What Do We Do With Jeffrey Previte?

Jeffrey Previte is –last I checked—the co-CEO of EBI Consulting in Los Angeles. That’s him on the left, and that’s also him on security footage where he lives, abusing his little dog. There’s a video too. You can view it—if you have the stomach– here.

The Daily Mail broke the story after it obtained the video from the concierge at the Seychelle Condominiums building in Santa Monica, California, where Previte lives. The  concierge passed along the film–why to a British tabloid I don’t know (it probably paid him)  and asked to remain anonymous in case he wanted to be a source for an Atlantic Monthly hit piece on President Trump. He told the  Mail that he heard the dog whimpering from the front desk, saw the video,  and filed a report with the police about the incident. “I heard the dog screaming and when I looked on the camera, I saw him beating the dog,” he said. The concierge claims that the building’s management did not take his report seriously.

Previte has only made himself more despicable since the story came out, and revealed himself as an individual without ethics alarms.

“I think this is very unfortunate that this has come across your desk. I don’t even know exactly what to say but I will say this: [The concierge] called me the evening of this interaction with my dog and that was at nine o’ clock at night and he attempted to extort money from me so that he wouldn’t report it to the building,” said Previte in a statement.

All absolutely irrelevant to the issue at hand, which is what we see on the video. How does someone think impugning the character of the person who reports his misconduct mitigates the conduct?  Dead ethics alarms. Then he said, “There’s nothing illegal about what I did.”

This might be the best example of Rationalizations #4, Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical,”and #5, The Compliance Dodge I have ever seen, except that I’ll want to gag every time I think about it.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is..

“What is a fair and proportionate way for society to treat this creep?”

I’ll poll it, but the question deserves discussion.  Should a proven animal abuser be “cancelled”? I think he’s fired, or about to be: his company removed his name from its website. Michael Vick managed to rehabilitate himself  after his dog-fighting disgrace; would you hire someone with a video showing him abusing a little dog?  Would you want him as a neighbor? A friend? I admit to being biased on this topic, but I regard cruelty to animals as signature significance: I don’t believe good people abuse dogs. Ever.

But should Previte be shunned by society for life because of a single video?  What if the dog is okay? Does that matter? His comments are almost as damning as the incident. I wouldn’t believe an apology, not for a second.

Here’s the poll…


33 thoughts on “What Do We Do With Jeffrey Previte?

  1. It may be that his action was cruel, but only to a slight degree. Some people spank their young dogs with a folded newspaper when they misbehave. I watched the video expecting something far more violent.

    In our hysterical age, and in a nation on the verge of group- and mass-hysterical reaction, I would suggest that one needs to be watchful for those *opportunities* presented to exteriorize a violent frustration. That is what *Twitter mobbing* is about.

    It seems to me that we are forced to bury within our selves the reactions we have to so many different distressing sights. Then, when an opportunity arises, we seem to take advantage of some event, often a story we read or in this case a video, and then, like an inner avalanche, something like *40 tons of unleashed sentiment* cascades out in what seems justifiable anger. One need only refer to any of the recent videos where a (supposed) Black victim is abused.

    So, the man himself is really not that guilty. Why am I even being presented this as an issue to be concerned about? For if one could get genuinely concerned about what this dog feels, then all the arguments of PETA and the mass-cruelty of modern meat production should be brought out for exposure to the ethical & moral gaze.

    Yet *you* (a plural and general you) are totally silent on that account. You will actually ridicule and also condemn those activists who are ethically and morally engaged with the abuse of millions and millions of animals. I am not myself such an activist by any means. But what I wish to point to is the select employment of some smallish event (this man punishing his dog) which is used as a vehicle to arouse, and in a real sense to indulge, some sort of projected rage about man’s cruelty, or more accurately perhaps the very nature of suffering in this world.

    Now, the concierge that reported this incident and who might have caused this man to be *cancelled*, that man must be punished. Nothing should be held pack. No punishment is too severe! If he could be pinned to the wall by his skin with 100 ice-picks and then — somehow, I don’t know how — some sort of video arrangement be devised where the Hysterical Mob could inflict on him a small, a tiny little cut by tapping their iPhones, which would be minor if it were just one cut, but then multiplied by as many people who viewed the video and clicked *torture!* — let the whole world participate! — and if this would go on for say a week or so until the man expired in writhing, agonizing pain … well that THAT would be real justice!

    • You have got to be joking. Do you think this is ALL he does to that dog? Or any other animal for that fact? He says he didn’t do anything illegal. Like so what, big deal. I do not agree with cancel culture but this man needs to be punished. If he does this to an animal how do you think he treats others in his life ie a wife, girlfriend, children?? Violent people are usually violent to any living being they think “deserves it”.

  2. I don’t condone the treatment of a dog that way but this big brother/cancel culture concerns me far more. The owner needs to cancel the concierge employment. No way this should be anything other a than a community issue with the video only made available to law enforcement.

    • 1. #22
      2. It you agree to live in a building with security cameras, you can hardly complain when it catches you misbehaving.
      3. Two different issues. Once information that would normally be private is out, it’s out—there’s no Exclusionary Rule in life.
      4. What if video surfaced of a public official psychologically terrorizing his family? Ignore it because nobody had a right to see it?

      • 4) I think psychologically terrorizing family combined with being a public official changes the scope of invested parties and certainly justifies a larger body of people interested in knowing about the behavior. In this case, while not absolving him of being scrutinized and shunned by an appropriate section of society, “it’s just a dog” does guide the level of this man’s infamy as compared to your hypothetical.

        But yes, once the video is out the video is out. But, if, after appropriate demonstrations of genuine remorse, repentance and change of character and appropriate consequences are leveled against this man and…such as reduction to mere data entry job…I don’t think I would “take my business elsewhere” if I discovered he happened to be the man entering the data I need entered.

        I mean at some point the “shunned by society” is clearly disproportionate…should grocery stores refuse his ability to buy food?

        • He can’t be trusted. I don’t have to trust someone to sell them food. Since that conduct suggest that the individual lacks compassion, is cruel, is a bully, betrays trust…and since his statements show he has the ethics of a tuna, it’s irresponsible to have him as a part of a staff, a family, or a neighborhood.

          And there can never be genuine remorse. Those ethics alarms are busted, or he wouldn’t treat a living creature like that. I doubt that Michael Vick was genuinely remorseful.

          • This: “I don’t have to trust someone to sell them food”

            and this: “it’s irresponsible to have him as a part of … a neighborhood”

            are incompatible statements.

            And if the “never” in “And there can never be genuine remorse.” this is true, then he should be locked away for life…or maybe executed. Likely a better solution than a de facto exile in one’s own community.

            • Michael, a community cannot accept conduct like that. Serial killers treat animals like that. We alert communities that child predators are in the neighborhood. The two statements are definitely not incompatible. Being a member of a community means more than “living there.”

              Why would you think someone who treats a helpless dog like that is capable of understanding what’s wrong with the conduct? Most people figure that out instinctively—if they don’t something us broken, my guess is, beyond repair.

                • No, child molesters live. They work from home; they are isolated; they have few friends. Personalize it: would you be comfortable around an unapologetic animal abuser? Child abuser? Wife beater?

              • Confession: in Western Panama where once upon a time I lived, I threw a rock as a violent little dog that always rushed out and nipped my calf when I was out walking. The rock hit him soundly in his hind quarter. And he ran away yelping. I felt terrible all day. But that dog never did bother me again!

                Why would you think someone who treats a helpless dog like that is capable of understanding what’s wrong with the conduct? Most people figure that out instinctively—if they don’t something us broken, my guess is, beyond repair.

                The more compelling question, the more difficult question, has to do with people or a person who confines her or his concern to a smallish incident while failing to be concerned about, or failing to grasp, other and far more significant ethical and moral failures.

                I cannot conceal my puzzlement toward your concern in this instance. And I locate it within the general, hysteria that is rampaging through the American psyche. As I said above, a smallish thing is invested with a mood of moral horror so repugnant that if it were carried through the man would be skinned alive and roasted. I know that you would not do this, yet many others would.

                And this *mood* (or whatever it is) is quite common. In my view it involves a sort of transference or projection of emotional content onto an incident that is seen, in this sense, remotely. It causes a whole cascade of emotional affect.

                This treatment of this dog in this instance was not really that bad at all. And it is sometimes necessary to punish dogs and to create an impression that lasts. I simply cannot quite see the man’s crime.

                I tie this to what I perceive of a *general social hypocrisy* but, often, to one that is uniquely American in this instance and in the wider circumstances of our present. A vast ethical and moral concern for a minor incident into which a great deal of emotional stuff is released … while far more distressing abuses or violations of social and other contracts is on-going.

                What is interesting to consider in the wider context, but also in the specific context, is the notion of *punishment*. In former times punishments were unbelievably brutal. In Medieval times, according to Nietzsche’s essays in Genealogy of Morals, the punishment for ‘broken social promises’ were so over the top as to be incomprehensible to us. Yet they did have a function, and Occidental man in many ways, is the outcome of 1,000 years of the infliction of punishments. And it is that man, the result of that incessant social training circumscribed by punishing violence, that is a man capable of making social promises. That man has memory. His word is confiable.

                Now, all around us people are charging forward in a spirit of retributional assertion & violence. When they find someone to blame, blame they do, with incredible emoted power. What I most notice is the emotional force. It is a desire to punish and to see punishment enacted.

                It might be Brock Turner or any one of a number of police officers as of late. There is a whole range of potential and actual victims that are just waiting for their accuser to come along. And then there is the ritual of exacting punishment. The slow boil or the death by a thousand cuts.

                Meantime, in many different areas, many of them invisible or hidden — and here I reference commercial meat production not because I am concerned about it but as a point-of-reference related to cruelty toward animals) — that is not seen, not focused on, as if by an act of the will.

                This points to certain forms of absurdity.

                Nevertheless, it is still *good & proper* to cut off the hands and the feet of the concierge. I feel that is the only way that he will learn. And learn he must.

  3. “But thus I counsel you, my friends: Mistrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful. They are people of a low sort and stock; the hangmen and the bloodhound look out of their faces. Mistrust all who talk much of their justice! Verily, their souls lack more than honey. And when they call themselves the good and the just, do not forget that they would be pharisees, if only they had—power.”

    — Mr Rodgers in an unpublished interview with Spanky from “Our Gang“

    • I voted for the apology route because there’s no choice between apology and appropriate punishment that incorporates aspects of both.

      His conduct is gross and indicative of his character, but our society is getting to a point where we don’t allow for any rehabilitation ever. And that’s not a good development.

  4. I don’t think a dog that experiences even one instance of abuse is ever “okay.” I don’t think “forgive and forget” is part of canine makeup.

  5. So his name is deleted from the EBI website…but there being 2 other Previte family members on the Executive Leadership team, my guess is that firing isn’t going to happen…maybe some sort of probationary furlough is what will happen.

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