Loose Lips…

Published: October 7, 2013

By Jim Lichtman
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Okay, boys and girls, it’s ethical dilemma time!

Last week, two politicians were caught, on an open mic, sharing strategy points.

Moments before Senate Minority Leader McConnell was due to be interviewed on MSNBC, this brief conversation occurred with Senator Paul:

McConnell (as Paul walks up): I’m all wired-up, here.

Paul: I just did CNN, and I just go over and over again, “We’re willing to compromise. Were willing to negotiate”… I don’t think they [the Democrats] poll tested “we won’t negotiate.” I think it’s awful for them to say that over and over again.

McConnell: Yeah, I do too and I just came back from that two hour meeting with them, and that was basically the same view privately as it was publicly.

Paul: I think if we keep saying, “We wanted to defund [Obamacare], we fought for that and now we’re willing to compromise on this,” I think they [the Democrats] can’t, we’re gonna, I think, well I know we don’t want to be here, but we’re gonna win this, I think.

Conclusion: Republicans are caught saying one thing, but privately confirm that they’re unwilling to compromise.

But this commentary is not about that point. Most Americans agree that the government shutdown is about partisan gamesmanship and have a strong distaste for it.

I want readers to respond to this question: From an ethical standpoint, is it fair for the media to air, what intended to be, a private conversation between colleagues, or do they have a duty to report any and all remarks – even those which may have been intended to be private – in order to let the public witness, firsthand, the real motivation of politicians?

Also, based on your opinion, how would you finish the title of this commentary: “Loose Lips…”

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