Quiz: Who is More Unethical, Jayson Blair or Dan Rather?

Yes, it's time for another ETHICS QUIZ!!!

Be careful! This one is tricky.

Jayson Blair, as most of you will remember, was a spectacular fraud in the New York Times newsroom, a star reporter who was sacked in 2003 after it was discovered that he had fabricated numerous stories

Dan Rather, in contrast, was a distinguished and respected reporter and CBS anchorman who  earned his accolades, but who was felled by a disgraceful episode in 2004 in which he conspired with a “60 Minutes” producer named Mary Mapes to use forged documents in support of a critical story about President Bush avoiding his duties when he was in the National Guard, which Rather presented on the air two months before the 2004 election. Continue reading

Summer Rerun: “Ending the Bi-Partisan Effort to Destroy Trust in America”

[TV is full of reruns these days, and sometimes I am grateful for them, for it gives me a chance to see episodes of favorite shows I had missed for some reason or another. Back in early March, I posted the following essay about the origins of America’s current crisis of trust in our government, and how it might be cured by our elected leaders. Since then, the crisis has deepened, and as I was doing some routine site maintenance, I reread the post. It is still very timely (unfortunately), and since far fewer people were visiting Ethics Alarms in March, I decided to re-post it today, with just a few minor edits. I promise not to make this a habit. Still, trust is the reason why ethics is so important in America: if there is a single post of the more than 700 I have written here since October 2009  that I would like people to read, this is it.] Continue reading

Essay: Ending the Bi-Partisan Effort to Destroy Trust in America

Both the Pentagon shooter and the Texas I.R.S. attacker were motivated by a virulent distrust of the U.S. government, the distrust mutating into desperation and violence with the assistance of personal problems and emotional instability. We would be foolish, however, to dismiss the two as mere “wingnuts,” the current term of choice to describe political extremists who have gone around the bend. They are a vivid warning of America’s future, for the media, partisan commentators, the two political parties and our elected officials are doing their worst to convert all of us into wingnuts, and the results could be even more disastrous than the fanciful horrors the Left and the Right tell us that the other has planned for us. Continue reading