“Lawmiss” and the Plain Dealer’s Dilemma

The Cleveland Plain Dealer made one of those fateful first steps that ends in a journey to ethics no-man’s land when it decided to check the e-mail address of a repeat anonymous commenter on the paper’s website. “lawmiss” had been especially abusive in comments about one of the newspaper’s reporters, so instead of just deleting the comment for violating the site’s rules against personal attacks, an enterprising editor tracked down its source. Continue reading

Provocative Ethics Reading for a Sunday

If your endangered Sunday newspaper is as shrunken from cost-cutting as mine, you may need some extra reading material as you wait breathless for the results of the House vote on health care reform. Here are some provocative ethics pieces from around the web:

Wising Up to The Cognitive Dissonance Game

Wade Rathke, ACORN’s founder, is using his blog to attack James O’Keefe, whose bizarre pimp-and-prostitute charade exposed the culture of corruption in the organization he created. O’Keefe, who was arrested for trying another sting on a U.S. Senator, certainly deserves criticism. But it is safe to say that Rathke’s purpose is a little different than that of most pundits, for O’Keefe’s stunt hurt his baby. Rathke’s intent, other than  revenge, is to use the power of cognitive dissonance to make ACORN’s ethical failings seem less serious by making making O’Keefe look worse. Continue reading

Ethics, Irony, and James O’Keefe

James O’Keefe, the young freelance conservative operative who exposed the systemic corruption in ACORN by posing as a pimp in need of tax advice for a hidden videocam, was one of four men arrested yesterday for trying to tamper with Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu’s office phones. It appears that he was attempting to pull off another sting operation, with O’Keefe’s compatriots posing as telephone workers. Continue reading