Reserved for those individuals and organizations who display a complete ignorance of ethics through their persistence in, defense of, or comfort with blatantly unethical conduct.
October 2009 Ethics Dunces
Cincinnati Bengals receiver Chad “Ochocinco” is a talented professional football player whose specialty is self-promotion and media buzz. (His silly name change to reflect his uniform number is an example: his real name is the unspectacular “Chad Johnson.”) Several of his stunts have gotten him fined by the NFL, but he has received generally good reviews for his latest: a “Lambeau Leap” into the hometown Green Bay Packers crowd following a touchdown.
September 2009 Ethics Dunces
NL Umpire Bill Hohn
Disney owns The View, that usually infuriating, occasionally provocative, girl-talk afternoon TV show that regularly features Barbara Walters defacing her reputation, Whoopi Goldberg making pronouncements about matters she knows little about, and Elizabeth Hasselbeck doing her job, which apparently is to make politically conservative arguments in the least articulate and persuasive manner imaginable. It also features occasional guest hosts, and its recent get was none other than Kate Gosselin, the control-freak, gunslinger-eyed mom on TLCs cable hit, John & Kate plus 8..
July 2009 Ethics Dunces
NL Umpire Bill Hohn
Want a great example of what people mean by “the appearance of impropriety”? As related by Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Bill Hohn, the home plate umpire in the July 30 Atlanta Braves-Marlins game, performed a celebratory “fist bump” with Marlins catcher John Baker after the Marlins got the final out to win the game.
The Washington Post
Heres the problem: money. When money gets tight, thats when we find out whose ethical values are real and whose are just window dressing.
May 2009 Ethics Dunces
The Electronic Privacy Information Center
Yes, torture goes too far. Profiling is unfair. We don’t want domestic surveillance. But somewhere, somehow, the self-appointed guardians of our rights need to get a grip, and accept that it is reasonable and right to make some concessions when the government has to ensure that another hijacked airplane doesn’t knocks down a building full of Americans. The new “full body scan” machines are an extremely useful and convenient tool for that purpose, speeding up the security clearance process significantly and also eliminating those humiliating wanding, “now I’m going to touch some sensitive areas with the back of my hands” massaging pat-down sessions when you happen to set off the gate alarm.
could also be this month’s Liar of the Month, but we are over-run
with liars lately.
April 2009 Ethics Dunces
The Disney Channel
The Ethics Scoreboard officially enters fogeydom with this rueful observation: why doesnt the Disney Channel insist that its biggest star, 16-year-old Miley Cyrus, stop appearing in provocative outfits, situations and locales with her 20-year old male model boyfriend? A recent well-distributed photo showed Miley, showing ample cleavage, jogging shoulder to shoulder with her bare-chested main squeeze. Other paparazzi photos show the adult hunk leaving the teen idols home in the early hours after an apparent sleep-over.
Just when I start to think that the Ethics Scoreboard is being too hard on the ethics of journalists, something comes along like the jaw-dropping broadcast of CNN reporter CNN correspondent Susan Roesgen from a tax day tea party in Chicago. Then I know Ive been too lenient. Every day Roesgen remains on the air is an indictment of CNN, as she demonstrated that the core ethical values of detachment, competence, fairness and absence of bias are entirely missing from her concept of journalistic duties.
March 2009 Ethics Dunces
Nickelodeon and Rihanna
No doubt about it: running a kids TV show in 2009 is a lot more complicated than when Uncle Walt had children glued to the screen watching Annette, Darleen, Bobby and Doreen on The Mickey Mouse Club. That still doesnt excuse rank irresponsibility, however. Nickelodeons brain-dead refusal to acknowledge that a man who beat up his girlfriend and the enabling girlfriend he beat up are unacceptable nominees for a televised awards show catering to teens is irresponsible and more.
January 2009 Ethics Dunces
Judge Willie Singletary
YouTube strikes again! This time, the on-line video collection has sparked an official reprimand and probation of a judge. Perhaps we should say, alleged judge.
While running to be elected as a Philadelphia traffic court judge, Willie Singletary attended a biker rally, and passed the hat while asking for campaign contributions. "Now, you all want me to get there [Traffic Court], you're all going to need my hook-up, right?" Singletary can be seen saying on the YouTube clip.
Mark McGwire, the former baseball slugger who was the toast of the sport when he was on the way to breaking the all-time record for homers in a season, now resides in Baseball Purgatory. Ever since a combination of published exposés and his shame-faced refusal to answer questions before the Congressional committee investigating steroid use in baseball marked him as a steroid-user, McGwires reputation has deteriorated to that of a coward, a phony, and a fraud.
But now his estranged brother, a former champion bodybuilder down on his luck, is peddling his own revelations of his brothers steroid use — use, Jay McGwire says, inspired by his success building himself into a trophy-winning 300 pound tower of illegal muscle.
2008 Ethics Dunces