Why, I asked, on such a beautiful May day, am I inside writing about ethics? And my wife turned into Hymen Roth…
1. PLEASE stop making me defend Alex Rodriguez, who is one of my least favorite human beings, never mind former athletes, on the planet, and yet…this is a strict Golden Rule issue. The ex-Yankees (also Texas and Seattle) slugger was photographed sitting on his toilet in his luxury apartment’s bathroom. The shot was apparently taken by a rogue photographer in a high rise office building next to the apartment building where A-Rod shares a $17.5 million apartment with Jennifer Lopez, whose movies are now beneath those of Adam Sandler and Tom Arnold on my playlist.
Legal precedent in New York suggests than Rodriquez has no case, because in 2015, an appeals court ruled that a gallery show of images snapped through less famous New Yorkers’ windows by an “artist” was not a privacy violation. (I wrote about that photographer here; perhaps the title gives you a sense of where I came out on my analysis: “Why Photographer Arne Svensen Is An Unethical Creep”]
Fine, I see the legal point. If you don’t want people taking photos of you, then keep your window blinds down. However,just because you can do something crappy to another human being doesn’t make it right.
Even if it’s a crappy human being. Continue reading
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) reports that less than half of America’s colleges maintain policies that severely restrict students’ right to free speech, an all time low since the campus speech defending non-profit started tracking the problem.
Spotlight on Speech Codes 2016: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation’s Campuses reports on policies at 440 of America’s largest and most prestigious colleges and universities.
The report tells us that…
- 49.3 percent of surveyed institutions maintain “red light” speech codes, which clearly and substantially restrict protected speech.
- The percentage of red light schools has declined from a high of 75 percent in 2007, while in the same time period the number of green light institutions has grown from just eight institutions (2 percent) to 22 this year (5 percent).
This welcome news is especially surprising given the explosion of administration capitulations to student demands for restrictions on campus expression deemed “offensive” or “hostile” to minorities. In fact, I wonder how much of the report was complete before Mizzou Madness. Continue reading
Unethical Artist Of The Year
Photographer Jill Greenberg, whose art requires parents to make their children cry. Runner-up: Peeping Tom photographer/artist Arne Svenson
False Allegation Of Anti-Gay Bigotry Of The Year
Kaitlyn Hunt’s parents, who spun a false tale of anti-gay prejudice to portray their sexual predator daughter as a victim after she was accused of statutory rape by the parents of her under-age target. Hunt’s parents even managed to suck the ACLU into their web and the liberal-leaning press portrayed her as a martyr to anti-gay bias. But Hunt’s lies ultimately caused her cover-story to unravel.
Unethical Hoax Of The Year
Oberlin students Dylan Bleier and Matt Alden, aided and abetted by Oberlin College and its president, Marvin Krislov. The two students, self-proclaimed progressives, posted a series of racist and anti-Semitic posters, graffiti and anonymous emails as “an experiment.” Krislov and Oberlin, after cancelling classes and engaging in campus-wide navel-gazing, continued to allow the media and the public believe that this was the work of racists on campus well after it had learned who the real miscreants were. Runner-up: The horrible Meg Lanker-Simons, former University of Wyoming student (now admitted to law school—I don’t want to talk about it) who threatened herself with rape and used the bogus threat to show that her campus was violent and sexist.
Most Unethical Use of Social Media Continue reading
Photographer/artist/ Peeping Tom Arne Swenson as played by Jimmy Stewart in “Rear Window.”
“For my subjects there is no question of privacy; they are performing behind a transparent scrim on a stage of their own creation with the curtain raised high. The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs.”
Believe it or not, this is how photographer Arne Svensen justifies his wildly unethical photographic peeping Tom excursions into his neighbor’s bedrooms for his own profit. This artist has provoked a controversy by 1) stalking the people who live in the New York apartment building across from his, 2) keeping a camera lens on them when they dare not to keep their windows shuttered as if they were vampires, 3) shooting photographs of whatever he sees that tickles his artistic sensibilities, fetishes or perversions, 4) choosing photos that do not show the faces of his subject victim, and 5) exhibiting and selling the results as artwork.
Amazingly, his neighbors object!
Let me cut to the chase here and be direct, because any minute now we are likely to find out that President Obama’s EPA has been secretly causing coal mine cave-ins and assassinating oil execs to forestall global warming, and that the President is outraged and just heard about it when we did, and will take strong action by telling the officials involved that they have to sit in the back during the next White House concert, and I’ll be distracted. Continue reading