Topic: Media

Ethics Scoreboard Banishes Wonkette

It has always been a bit anomalous for this web site, dedicated as it is to illuminating ethical issues in the daily like of the United States, to include a link to Wonkette, the blog of D.C. Gossiper Ana Marie Cox. Gossip in itself has unethical overtones, and Wonkette maintained its tenuous hold on a Scoreboard link (not reciprocated, of course) by occasionally highlighting some ethical misdeeds of the Washington power elite that would otherwise get under the radar. But in a recent interview with Newsweek’s Richard Wolfe Ms. Cox showed her own ethical stripes, and they weren’t pretty:

Question: What did you think of the bloggers‘ role in the Dan Rather affair?

Answer: I think they did a disservice to the debate because they made the debate about the documents and not about the president of the United States. There was another half to that story that had to do with verifiable events of what Bush may have been up to.

Thus did the author of Wonkette embrace an “ends justify the means” journalistic ethic. There is no point in re-hashing the Rather story now, except to say that the only people who genuinely feel that the fraudulent character of the supposed National Guard memos didn’t matter as long as they supported credible allegations against the President are those who endorse the use of lies and deception as long as they agree with the goal. Such people have no business appearing on ethics web sites, or writing blogs, for that matter. That attitude is seductive enough without having it promoted by pundits, even small-bore ones like Ana Marie Cox.


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