Twelve Ethics Observations On “The Scandal Trifecta”


1. “The Scandal Trifecta” may be gaining traction in D.C. and in the news media as the hot term to handily describe the Obama Administration’s three instances of serious and significant misconduct: the Benghazi deceptions, the I.R.S. harassment of conservatives and conservative groups, and the Justice Department’s surveillance of Associate Press reporters. It should be rejected. I know conservatives and Republicans are especially smug and gleeful right now to have their suspicions and warnings confirmed, but this is a national crisis, at a time of dire challenges to the nation, and tragic in many ways. It is not a game, and should not be likened to one. Nor should the three situations be lumped together, though they have, to some extent, common seeds. They are each important in and of themselves, and packaging them like stop-light peppers risks allowing all or some of them receive less than the individual attention they must have. This is the first and last time I’m using the term, and I urge everyone, in the media or out of it, to similarly drop it. Labels matter, in this is a bad one.

2. Here’s someone Democrats and the rest of us can blame, in part: the left-biased news media. You see, knowing that the news media is looking to expose them when they make mistakes, blunder, show corruption and otherwise do a bad job when entrusted with the welfare of the greatest nation on earth makes our leaders better, more responsible, more objective, and more competent, out of fear, if nothing else. The media does nobody any favors when it lets its biases take over and lies down on the job—not the public, not Republicans, certainly; not the nation, not their profession, but also not even those they are desperately trying to help succeed. Continue reading

Accountability Alert: The “Embarrassment” Was the Nation’s, Not Colbert

In a stunning failure of perception, accountability and responsibility, the second most powerful Democratic House leader, Steny Hoyer of Maryland, actually had the gall to criticize Stephen Colbert for Hoyer’s own party’s disgraceful conduct, which was egregious enough to humiliate the institution of Congress, the democratic process, and the nation as well.

“I think it was an embarrassment for Mr. Colbert more than the House,” Hoyer told “Fox News Sunday.”
“What he had to say was not the way it should have been said.”

Unbelievable. Hoyer’s party’s own committee invited Colbert, a comedian whose shtick is mocking conservative Republicans, to testify about the wisdom of allowing illegal migrant workers to harvest crops despite the fact that he has no special expertise or credibility on the subject whatsoever. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Rep. Zoe Lofgren

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, chairman of the House immigration subcommittee, has called Comedy Central’s Stephen Cobert to testify before the committee on illegal immigration policy. Colbert, who reportedly will testify as his TV persona, a pompous, none-too-conservative talk-show ideologue, has no particular expertise in the topic, other than a gag interview he had with United Farm Workers (UFW) President Arturo Rodriguez on his show. Continue reading