More Evidence That Word Banning Is Unethical

WHAT did you say?

WHAT did you say?

There is more to discuss, a lot more, regarding what I will now call “The Klosterman Apology,” because it sounds like  a Robert Ludlum novel. For now, however, since it is fresh in my jet-lagged mind, I’d like to focus on the inevitable result of declaring certain words and phrases so objectionable, hurtful, uncivil or politically incorrect that extraordinary means are employed to eliminate them. In the case of The Klosterman Apology, the words were “retard” and “retard,” and a Mom with a blog threatened “The Ethicist” from the New York Times magazine with an onslaught of political correctness bullies if he didn’t immediately express his abject contrition for having used these words in a harsh way a decade ago, in another job that didn’t directly involve ethics. Chuck capitulated, gracefully and well. As I will discuss in another post, I don’t think he had much choice. Still, word-banning is an ugly, and ultimately unethical business. Continue reading

AshleyMadison Finds Its Perfect Symbol

Well, if you run an unethical website, I suppose the most ethical thing you can do, other than shutting it down, is to be transparent about what you are selling, and how wrong it is.

Thus I have to reluctantly tip my ethics cap to the pro-adultery website, AshleyMadison, for finding the perfect symbol. [You can read my earlier commentary on this particularly atrocious site here and here.] Yes, TMZ is reporting that Bombshell McGee, the Nazi-celebrating tattoo model who helped Jesse James wreck his marriage with actress Sandra Bullock just as the couple was adopting a child and while she was proclaiming her trust and love for him to the world, will be promoting AshleyMadison’s adultery services. If seeing Bombshell McGee promoting a service endears makes it attractive to you, AshleyMadison can’t lead you astray: you are too far gone already. Bombshell’s (can I call her “Shelley?”) enthusiasm for adulterous relationships has destroyed a family and devastated another woman who never did her any harm. This is truth in advertising at its best: an irredeemable unethical business, hiring an openly despicable spokeswoman.

“It’s Just Sex”? No, It’s Betrayal

There isn’t much good that can come out of the sordid infidelity Trifecta of John Edwards, Tiger Woods, and Jesse James, but maybe there will be this: Perhaps after the public has observed and measured all the pain and suffering the outrageous conduct of these three men has inflicted on innocent third parties, especially those who depended on them and trusted them, it will not be so quick to accept the facile argument, perfected during Bill Clinton’s ordeals, that adultery is “just sex.”

The latest flagrant celebrity dog, Jesse James, is an especially powerful case for leaving the Clinton Excuse with Clinton. He had a wife who clearly adored him, the late-marrying Sandra Bullock, who touchingly paid a tribute to her supposedly devoted husband in one of her several Best Actress acceptance speeches this year by saying that she knew he “had her back.” Now tattoo models and strippers are coming out of the woodwork to say they had affairs with the chopper-maker, and the revelations may end up sending his six-year old daughter back to her porn star mother, though James and Bullock had been awarded custody.

Destroy a family, devastate the woman who loves you, uproot your child. But hey, it’s only sex. Continue reading