Recent Media Commentaries

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When Does Satire Go To Far?
Answer:  When it depicts a national, political candidate with a boatload of misconceptions that many still believe to be true. The cartoon on the latest cover of New Yorker magazine has Senator Barack Obama standing in the oval office, dressed as a Muslim, a picture of Osama bin Laden above the mantel and a flag burning in the fireplace.  His...
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July 18, 2008
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The Integrity of Restraint
It’s easy to criticize reporters when they go too far, but what about the times when reporters are pressured to go farther… and they don’t. Charles Lewis founded the Center for Public Integrity after eleven years as an investigative reporter at ABC News and CBS News, as well as a producer for 60 Minutes. The following story comes from my...
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June 13, 2008
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Genuine Experience and Integrity
It’s interesting to see the direction these commentaries take.  I never have a preconceived plan.  I go where the story and the ethical issue take me. In Monday’s post (June 10) I had strong feelings that “Vanity Fair” editor Todd Purdum’s use of anonymous sources to insinuate that former President Bill Clinton’s “…appearances of impropriety” on the road campaigning for...
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June 13, 2008
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The Value of an Apology
The CBS news show “60 Minutes” ran two compelling stories last Sunday (May 4).  I’m not sure if the producers were aware just how similar, yet ethically different the first two stories were. Both segments talked about mistakes that were made.  Both discussed the tragic, personal costs of those mistakes.  However, that is where one story took a “right” turn....
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May 7, 2008
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It’s Good To Be Honest!
Well… maybe with this guy, you could make the case for too much honesty. But the reality is that in the last several years we have seen an unsettling number of ethics scandals.  And every time another indignity is reported, our level of trust and confidence in individuals and institutions declines. In 2006, I wanted to know if these events were...
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March 26, 2008
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The Elmer Gantry Effect
The bloggers, the media and everyone in-between are having a field day over the recent sex-scandal involving, soon-to-be Ex-Governor, Eliot Spitzer. Cable news channels are bursting with lawyers, politicians, and pundits as well as former targets of Spitzer’s legal wrath – all weighing in with their own views and analysis, most of which are negative.  And there’s a part of...
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March 13, 2008