Remember Raymond Zack? In 2011, 50-year-old Raymond Zack waded into the surf at an Alameda, California beach and stood calmly in the 54-degree water, apparently waiting to die. His suicide took nearly an hour, but eventually he drowned, with no rescue attempts from any of the 75 San Franciscans, including firefighters, who gathered on the shore to watch the entire tragedy. I am so used to reading about bystanders allowing desperate people, sick, wounded or otherwise in peril, to perish because they “didn’t want to get involved” that a story like this one, the opposite of the Raymond Zack tragedy from St. Paul, Minnesota, comes as a shock.
How sad is that?
Motorist Angela Martin saw a woman climb onto a concrete wall and scale a chain-link fence above Interstate 94 in St. Paul, Minnesota. Martin could have continued driving, but she acted immediately, parking her car and calling 911. But she sensed there was no time to lose. Martin ran over to the woman, who having climbed over chain-link fence was now clinging to it with her fingers above heavy highway traffic.
“ No, honey. Don’t do this,” she shouted. Martin told reporters that the distraught young woman kept repeating, “My mom don’t love me. My mom don’t care for me.’”
“No, we love you, ” Martin told her. Martin reached through the links and grabbed the woman’s shirt and belt, just as the would-be suicide released her grip so she could fall to her death. Other motorists on the overpass saw the unfolding scene and came to Martin’s aid, and joined her in reaching through the fence to keep the woman from falling. Continue reading
The question here is a simple one.
On the scene of the devastating flooding in South Carolina, Today Show weather man Al Roker tweeted a selfie of him and NBC colleagues beaming happily in front of a collapsed highway and a trapped car, with the caption “My crew and I getting ready to report on East Coast flooding from S. Carolina on @NBCNightlyNews with Kate Snow.”
Yes, after many complained on social media about the discordant juxtaposition of cheerful self-promotion and tragedy, Roker apologized, but not before. The basic question is “What the hell is the matter with these people?“, or as today’s Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz asks,
Is Roker’s insensitivity signature significance of a malfunctioning ethics alarm, or just an excusable one-time mistake?
This morning, as I rush to get my act to together to fly, sick, to Rhode Island where the bar will allow me to teach ethics to its members in the first two of three planned seminars, I made the mistake of checking in on CNN’s New Day to see what trouble Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota could get themselves into. Sure enough, there was Allison interviewing Oklahoma Senator Jim Lankford regarding Republican efforts to de-fund Planned Parenthood over the revelations of the surreptitiously taken “sting” videos showing various Planned Parenthood personnel seeming to haggling over the prices for tiny little human organs successfully harvested from embryos whose tiny wittle heads have been crushed juuuust right. These individuals discuss unborn human beings with the sensitivity a normal person bestows on a Jimmy Dean sausage, but Planned Parenthood acknowledges that they need to practice a more pleasant tone in case somebody who cares about these inhuman organ bags is listening.
Is that an unfair characterization?
Let me know why you think so.
But I digress…
Camerota’s questioning demonstrated in multiple ways just how ethically ignorant the highest levels of our broadcast journalism are: Continue reading