The Ethical Take… Hash Tag, I’m Back!

Published: September 4, 2013

By Jim Lichtman
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O’Reilly apologizes, Trump doesn’t, a Montana judge needs some fresh air and the NFL steps up. –

That’s the little-known bylaw in the N.C.A.A. rule book that said that former Marine Steven Rhodes had to forfeit two years of eligibility due to his former participation in an organized football league – “with publicized schedules, official scoring and predetermined rosters” while he was stationed at the Marine Corps base in Miramar.

Needless to say, when news of this hit the media sphere, everyone and their brother condemned the NCAA’s actions including Arizona Senator john McCain, who tweeted, “NCAA should allow Steven Rhodes to play – don’t penalize him for serving his country.”

“As the groundswell rose,” The New York Times wrote (Aug. 19), “the N.C.A.A. reversed course Monday afternoon when the vice president for academic and membership affairs, Kevin Lennon, issued a statement announcing that Rhodes could play immediately and would maintain four years of eligibility.

“Lennon added that there would be a review of N.C.A.A. guidelines regarding organized competition for those serving in the military, the sticking point in what became a national embarrassment for the governing body of collegiate athletes.”

Cheers to the N.C.A.A. for doing the right thing!

Trumped –

Donald Trump never does anything quietly. So, when New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a civil lawsuit accusing Trump and his for-profit “university” of engaging in “persistent fraudulent, illegal and deceptive conduct,” needless to say, the Donald had a few words of his own – calling Schneiderman “a political hack looking to get publicity.”

According to The New York Times, Schneiderman said, in a statement, that Trump “appeared in advertisements for the school making ‘false promises’ to persuade more than 5,000 people around the country… ‘to spend tens of thousands of dollars they couldn’t afford for lessons they never got.’

“The advertisements claimed, for instance, that Mr. Trump had handpicked instructors to teach students ‘systematic method for investing in real estate.’ But according to the lawsuit, Mr. Trump had not chosen even a single instructor at the school and had not created the curriculums for any of its courses.”
According to the attorney general’s evidence, one advertisement said, “Just copy exactly what I’ve done and get rich.”

For someone who began his real estate career with a sizable inheritance, that would be a neat trick for most of us. One thing we can all count on: somewhere in this mess is another Trump-branded reality show.

Move over Bean –

Early Texas Judge Roy Bean was reported to have said, “I know the law… I am its greatest transgressor.”

I thought of that quote when I first heard the story of G. Todd Baugh, a Montana district judge criticized not only for sentencing a 54-year-old former teacher to just 30 days for raping a 14-year-old girl who later committed suicide, but for his reasoning behind his sentence.

Said Judge Baugh of victim Cherice Moralez, “[she was] older than her chronological age, [and] as much in control of the situation” as her teacher.

After newspaper reports released the judge’s statement, Baugh apologized. “I don’t know what I was thinking or trying to say… It was just stupid and wrong,” adding, “…and irrelevant to the sentencing.”

According to USA Today (Aug. 29), Baugh told the Billings Gazette that “The sentence came after Rambold [the former teacher] was terminated in November from a sex-offender treatment program that was part of a deal to defer prosecution for felony rape…

“Rambold had been having unsupervised visits with minors, who were family members, and did not inform counselors that he had been having sexual relations with a woman.
The judge said he wasn’t convinced that the reasons for Rambold’s termination from the program warranted the 10-year prison term recommended by prosecutors.

“After his 30-day jail term ends, Rambold will be on supervised probation for 15 years and must register as a sex offender.

“Wednesday, the newspaper reported, Baugh reiterated that the sentence was ‘appropriate given the nature of the case.’ He compared Monday’s hearing to ‘a probation violation in which a defendant is resentenced for violating terms of a suspended sentence,’ the Gazette wrote.”

Maybe Donald Trump should contact the judge to see if he’s available to hear his New York fraud case.

Trust Factor –

On Friday, August 30th, political commentator Bill O’Reilly issued “a bold and full-throated apology,” The Washington Post wrote, for a factual error he made in a conversation with Democratic pundit James Carville. On his Wednesday night show (Aug. 28), O’Reilly told Carville that Republicans and conservatives had not been invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s March on Washington.

On the following night’s program, O’Reilly set the record straight.

“Last night during my discussion with James Carville about the Martin Luther King commemoration I said there were no Republican speakers invited. Wrong. It was wrong. Some Republicans were asked to speak. They declined. And that was a mistake. They should have spoken. Now, the mistake, entirely on me. I simply assumed that since all the speakers were liberal Democrats, Republicans were excluded. So, here’s the ‘Tip of the Day’ — always check out the facts before you make a definitive statement. And, when you make a mistake, admit it.”

That should be a daily tip for everyone with a media presence. For someone adept at tooting his own horn, O’Reilly has my respect for stepping-up and making a public apology.

Everyone makes mistakes. However, when it comes to the political arena there appears to be a genetic predisposition to avoid admitting them.

Kudos to O’Reilly for raising his trust factor.



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