CBS’s “Blue Bloods”: Endorsing the Saint’s Excuse and Polk County Justice


Time for the department ethics training, Chief. You should sit in on it too...

Time for the department ethics training, Chief. You should sit in on it too…

“Blue Bloods,” Tom Selleck’s New York police family drama on CBS, began as a paean to the core values of public service, nobility, justice, courage and honesty as it chronicled the work and lives of three generations of the Reagan family. The Reagan men are all cops, the one female is a DA, and Selleck is the paternal Chief of Police. Based on last night’s episode, “The Truth About Lying,” series creators Mitchell Burgess and Robin Green have permitted the show’s writing staff to be infiltrated by the Dark Side in its fourth season, and now its calling cards will include the enthusiastic promotion of the abuse of power and the celebration of lying as long as it’s all for a good cause. That’s the Saint’s Excuse, one of the most deadly of the rationalizations, in which “good” people decide that they are empowered to do unethical things in the pursuit of what they believe are worthy goals. The Saint’s Excuse is something of a theme in the United States these days. Now “Blue Bloods” is making sure popular culture spreads the word.

The episode, which you can watch here, was ostensibly about Selleck’s Chief’s efforts to foil the city’s newly appointed “inspector general,” installed in the wake of a “ripped from the headlines” court rejection of an effective “stop and frisk” program by New York’s finest. Continue reading

Hitler’s Ethics, and Ethics Malpractice From A Health Activist

I am sure “Ellen S.” is a sincere, caring, lovely person, but the Ethics Police need to put an electric monitor on her tongue that sets off a warning every time she tries to utter the word “ethics.” There are many divergent ethical systems and many legitimate ways of analyzing an ethical problem, but Ellen’s sincere, caring blog illustrate why so many people’s eye glaze over when ethics comes into a conversation, and worse, it shows why so many otherwise educated people let their conduct be governed by rationalizations. The latest post on Ellen S.’s blog for the WEGO Health website illustrates my point; I didn’t have the courage to read more, and you will see why.

The post is entitled “Was Hitler More Ethical Than You?” Continue reading