Journalistic Ethics

Jeff Alworth

Two major stories--one national, one local--have drawn our attention recently to the question of journalistic ethics. On the national front, Sinclair Broadcasting is prepared to demonstrate just how dangerous media consolidation is by forcing its 62 affiliates to run an hour-long attack ad on a presidential candidate just two weeks before the election. The calculation is obvious: Sinclair feels its monopolistic interests are far better served by the current administration's oversight of broadcasting, evidenced by the toothless response from the FCC over the whole affair.

Locally, the Oregonian is under fire for running a dubious article about an alleged attack David Wu made on his girlfriend 28 years ago. From the outset, the paper knew it was on thin ice--even as editors printed the story, they attached a sidebar justifying it as responsible journalism, the first clue that it probably wasn't. Then yesterday, the Oregonian's public editor ran an article responding to the resultant public outrage over the article.

The obvious question is: from an ethical standpoint, should the Oregonian have run the article? The answer is no, for reasons I'll detail in a moment. But a more important question is why the editors ran the article at all, knowing as they did that it would provoke such outrage.

Poor JudgmentIn yesterday's column, Michael Arrieta-Walden wrote a slightly strange condemnation of the Oregonian's decision to run the article. He began detailing the criticisms and the editors' position individually (which looked like a point-by-point justification). Specifically:

  • Timing of the article
  • Relevancy of the allegation
  • Second-hand sources
  • No cooperation from the victim
  • Editorial opinion and story (the O endorsed Wu's opponent)
  • Goldschmidt influence
  • If any single point had been the only question in the article, the editors' decision to run the piece might have been justified. But taken as a whole, they should have killed it. Wrote Arrieta-Walden: "Too many hurdles loom for me and many readers: You must accept that the 28-year-old incident is relevant. If you do so, you still must overcome concerns about not knowing with absolute certainty what happened in that room, no public records or criminal charges, no firsthand accounts from the two people most closely involved and no established pattern of behavior."

    Why Run It?
    So what the hell were they thinking? The decision to run an article like this surely involved many considerations, most of which we will never learn. Even as they ran the article, they knew that it would be provocative--which sells papers. But this cuts both ways, and cheapening the Oregonian brand isn't a sound strategy for long-term success.

    My guess is that the paper had already sunk so much money into the story that they felt they had to run it. There's a precedent for that kind of decision. A few years ago, the Oregonian decided to pursue big, expensive investigative reports. In the short term, it panned out with a couple of Pulitzers in 2001. In 2002, though, the paper got into trouble with its channel-deepening series. The most controversial section made dubious claims about the project's cost, refuted by experts and even the paper's own editorial board, who came out in favor of channel-deepening. The series was confused and contradictory, and appeared to run mainly because the O had devoted several salaried writers for months to the story.

    These stories are enormously expensive for the paper. Salaried writers are a precious commodity (look at how many bylines are picked up off the wire or are accompanied by the phrase "Special to the Oregonian"--aka, freelancers writing for peanuts), and when the Oregonian has invested so much in their time to a story, it becomes costly to kill. The paper couldn't have run the story after the election, because then critics would rightly fault them for not getting the information out in time to act on it. Apparently they couldn't complete the story any sooner. When the piece was finally done, it was now or never.

    The paper made the right decision when it began pursuing the kind of long-term investigative pieces that win prizes. But there's a gamble to that strategy, too. Sometimes the stories fizzle. And when they do, the responsible decision is to kill them, which is what the Oregonian should have done with this Wu story.

    • Jonathan (unverified)

      I think it's less a Goldschmidt question and more a Packwood question. If the story had run before the election, Packwood would have lost. So the Oregonian says to itself, "if we break this 'story' after David Wu wins, it will look like the Packwood story all over again." Frankly, if I was a decision-maker at the Oregonian, concerned more about the Oregonian than about whether I am committing political homicide, I would probably do the same thing. Given that Congressman Wu had plenty of opportunity to get this issue dealt with or out in the open months ago, and chose not to, I can only be mad -- not furious -- at the Oregonian.

    • Shetha (unverified)

      This post reminds me much of Jon Stewart's "performance" on CNN's crossfire. While there are clips floating around out there for download (and if you can handle the download -- they're well worth the time) there are also transcripts from CNN. Scroll down a bit to the Jon Stewart part. He holds the host "Journalists" accountable for their journalism (basically "spinning") and they scoff at him for asking serious questions when he's just supposed to be jokester. This is why we TiVo the Daily Show...

    • (Show?)

      These days, journalism has a distinct smell of rot, gutless reporting, combined with lazy fact-checking. Before endorsing Wu's oponnent, the Oregonian could have reported her special selection by the RNC while still living in CA. The reporters could have investigated how many groomers, advisors and special trainers the RNC have provided for her. Speaking with several Iranian Americans living in the Portland would have revealed she is not universially adored.

    • Randy (unverified)

      Oh, for the days of investigative journalism.

      With the exception of NPR and, to a lesser extent, the news weeklies, public journalism has gone the way of USA Today, ER, Oprah etc. etc. etc.

      The most "in-depth" reporting on local news is supposed to come from the daily newspaper (or so I've heard).

      And what were the two most recent "in-depth" reports? Meth labs and State Hospital problems. Not to suggest those weren't newsworthy, but were they front page "above-the-fold" placement?

      And, of course, our state government responded to these outrages by taking some action (are cold medicines now behind the counter). Everyone feels like they have done something significant for the state. In the meanwhile, stories with more impact on larger numbers of people go untold.

      But, then again, drugs and sex abuse have always been popular themes in the entertainment industry.

    • toonprivate (unverified)

      if you are this confused about how newspapers in general and the oregonian in particular operate -- and you ARE confused -- why don't you do some reporting. ask a senior editor at the paper, maybe the editor who runs their investigation team, steve engelberg, to do an online chat. then you can ask him directly.

      on the wu story: the information must be essentially accurate (or wu would have denied it, right?); this is pertinent information on a public figure -- we'd want to know similar information about gordon smith; one of the reasons it's pertinent: wu had never had to answer questions about the alleged assault in a public forum or acknowledge it in any way until the story was published; individual voters will determine whether the information is germane to this election or not.

      the real reason this issue is a problem (besides the months of ducking he did on it) is that wu isn't a strong candidate. why isn't he a strong candidate? because he's not a strong congressman. if i lived in that district, i'd vote for him, but i wouldn't be happy about it.

    • (Show?)


      the real reason this issue is a problem (besides the months of ducking he did on it) is that wu isn't a strong candidate.

      That's not remotely true. This isn't an issue of politics, it's an issue of journalism and ethics. That fact that the story was a "problem" isn't in dispute, otherwise the paper's ombudsman wouldn't have called them out on it yesterday. Wu's status as a candidate has nothing to do with it.

    • Dan Thornton (unverified)

      Journalistic ethics? The ultimate oxymoron.

      Evan your own article slams of political bias. The least you could have done is include some of the unethical reporting focused on republicans.

      If the right wing does it, it is unethical. If the left wing does it, it is just and for the common good.

      Look in the mirror you hypocrite.

    • (Show?)

      If the right wing does it, it is unethical. If the left wing does it, it is just and for the common good.

      I think it's a fair statement to say that while we hopefully try to be logically unbiased, we're all going to be emotionally and politically biased. There's no way around it, it's human nature. And we have no real responsibility around here to be unbiased, IMHO. So while we may look at some unethical reporting having to do with Republicans, most of us may disagree with the means, but we're not going to complain about the ends. I will confess to being that way.

      For example, I think that if it were, say, Gordon Smith instead of David Wu... I'd still be upset about the way that the story was handled, I'd still think it was bad judgement and irresponsible journalism to run a 30 year old story at what seems to be an incredibly "convenient" time. Buuuuuut, if it hurt Smith, I wouldn't lose sleep over it.

      Partisans tend to be defensive of one another - both sides of the aisle and the fringe parties. Doesn't matter. We stand by our own - it's just what we do. <shrug>

      As for bias and Blue Oregon - I dare you to find much around here that isn't slanted one way or another. lol. It's a bunch of people getting together to editorialize and we've all got opinions. Some of them are right and some of them are just plain wrong, but... lol. Just kidding. Couldn't resist. It's all debate - it's opinion that is (hopefully) backed up by facts. That's what debating is about. There's always time for rebuttal around here - no flashing lights to stop anyone. lol. There's no need to get your knickers in a knot, just show us the other side.

    • (Show?)

      FYI, Goli Ameri was a no-show at this evening's Candidates Gone Wild! event.

    • (Show?)

      From my current perspective in a culture that has a different take on journalistic objectivity and political bias, I'd say that part of the issue here is media ownership. There are about 5 major newspapers here, each of whom make their general political slant widely known. The Telegraph = right wing, The Times = center-right, ditto the Financial Times, The Guardian = left. And the Independent tries to live up to its name. (We'll ignore the tabloids here, but they too have their own, openly expressed political biases).

      What's interesting is that almost no one reads only one paper. They look at several, gathering a multiplicity of views, and make their own decisions accordingly.

      With only one Republican-leaning statewide newspaper to choose from for the past few decades, is is no wonder that (to quote the post-Packwood bumper sticker) "if it matters to Oregonians, it's in the New York Post."

    • ajournalist (unverified)

      C'mon. Cost had nothing to do with whether this story ran or not. The O's got a couple hundred reporters. A couple of them broken off to spend a few months on a story is hardly a "big, expensive" investigative report. At most it's a couple grand for some trips to California and some lawyer time. Big whoop. They probably spend more every year on toner. And even so, it wouldn't have been "costly to kill" the story. The money's spent whether the story runs or not.

    • Anthony (unverified)


      Very well said.

      On Shetha's post: I don't understand why pundits (as opposed to newsmen) can't "spin," or otherwise express their biases. Crossfire is all about opinion, and in fact its purpose is to be a slugfest between polar opinions, whatever that's worth.

      Let John Stewart complain to the networks and the news editors of the nation's newspapers. And for God's sake, let John Stewart stick to comedy and leave off his own embarrassing attempts at advocacy. The worst thing that ever happened to that guy is that people started taking him seriously. A quick wit is a wonderful gift, but it is often the most superficial of intellectual capabilities. That this is the case with Stewart has been amply demonstrated in the interviews he's done recently.

      As far as Jeff's original post, it's just amusing how "dangerous" the media becomes when its bias is no longer exclusively favorable to one's own point of view. In the season of Fahrenheit 911 and all the support it has received from various types of media, Jeff's argument smacks of special pleading.

      Something similar could probably be said about the Wu piece in the Oregonian, though I'm more sympathetic to an outcry about that.

    • Betsy (unverified)

      (One minor pedantic note: Rachel meant to reference <cite>The Washington Post</cite>, and not <cite>The New York Post</cite>, I'm sure...the latter is a right-wing tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch, and largely uninterested in Oregon.)

    • (Show?)

      I generally consider it poor form to respond to every critique of a post, but I can't let this go by:

      In the season of Fahrenheit 911 and all the support it has received from various types of media, Jeff's argument smacks of special pleading.

      Two questions. What do you think my argument is? Where do you identify "pleading" in the post--or any call to action?

    • Anthony (unverified)


      "Special pleading" is a rhetorical term (though I think it also has a specific legal meaning too). It means, basically, holding the other side to a higher standard than your own side.

      You're concerned about the dangers of media consolidation. Fair enough, but I think it's interesting that concern is triggered by activity unfavorable to the political side you favor.

    • (Show?)

      I think it's interesting that concern is triggered by activity unfavorable to the political side you favor.

      Hey man, it's a liberal blog about politics, whadya expect??

      I may be a bit touchy on the question of bias, though. I've been blogging for almost two years now, and one of the things that irks me is the assumption people hold that blogs, by their nature, must be less honest than the mainstream press. While it's true that I may not have written this post if the target had been Gordon Smith, that's mainly because I can only comment on 1% of the political news of the day. You pick your battles.

      But I take issue with the notion that this means the commentary I do write is biased on its face. (The selection is biased, obviously, but again--liberal blog.) Had it been Gordon Smith, the post would be no less accurate--the O botched this.

      In fact, idealist that I am, I think blogs may actually restore a little honesty to journalism. With the erosion of the "fairness doctrine," Americans increasingly distrust the motivation of media outlets and therefore the news they report. Blogs are an antidote to this trend by their very lack of objectivity. At least with a blog, you know where you stand--the motivation isn't hidden. We also have a far greater ability than regular media to show our work. In this post, for example, I have six links you can follow to check my work. With blogs, you don't have to second-guess my motivation: I tell you what it is.

      This is partly why I found the article on Wu so frustrating. It failed the basic ethical test all articles should meet (so says its own ombudsman). This naturally raises the question: why? We can never know. By not revealing its motivation in printing the article (helping Ameri?, selling papers?, settling a score with Wu?, trying to right its Goldschmidt wrong?), we are left guessing. My own political views do not change any of those facts.

    • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

      Nowhere have I seen mentioned any poll after the one that had Wu ahead like 50 to 30, with 20 undecided. The scandal screed did nothing to affect voters' votes. The crippled brains who recite rightwing histrionics and the lies they live by are never going to heal as long as mass media continues dishing up the lie that authoritarian convulsion is a socially acceptable disease. Get at the root cause and kill it. Peer pressure and opprobrium can then take care of healing the wounded and brain lame, (same conformance peer pressure that inpaired their mental faculty in the first place).

      BOYCOTT Cable TV, and throw out all subscription to The 'O' while we're at it.

      Of course it's the money. Your money, paying them for lies. Nothing you say reaches them; all that is only shouting at their backs turned to you in their fast direction to the bank with your money, laughing all the way.

      An analogy: If the restaurant served food with poison in it, you surely know to not go there and instead to grow your own food. But then to see others eating the poison and tell yourself you can feed them good food fast enough to counteract the poison food from the restaurant, is simply deluding yourself and letting them get sicker and sicker -- perhaps because you don't want to get involved, healing the sick is such hard work. Whatever energy you do have -- You are alive, aren't you? -- the first effort to make is shutting down the restaurant.

      When the subject is 'food for thought' the restaurant is the 'mass media.' Simply BOYCOTT Cable TV and with any strength you have left post and carry picket signs out in front of it.

      It actually takes less effort to start making a reader today, and redress the mass media and its poison lies, than the effort needed to remedy the 'global harming' condition that comes when the sicko's are ignored and left deteriorating in their brains and programmed bad behaviors.

      BOYCOTT Cable TV and the sensation-addicted newspaper in this town, too. Save the money. We're going to need it.

    • Anthony (unverified)


      I'm with you on most of what you say. Blogs are meant to be opinionated, and I think that's a good thing. That doesn't make them dishonest in the least, especially as they have no pretensions to objectivity, as newsmen tend to, at least in the prevailing journalistic ethos in this country.

      I would just submit that one can uphold one's opinion while arguing fairly. One makes stronger points in favor of one's partisan interest when most scrupulously addressing objections that can arise from either, or any, side.

      Sure, one picks one's battles; and in this instance you haven't made any inconsistent arguments that I can detect. It's just that I sense your indignation is selective and that I think it's possible to do better than that, and by doing so arrive at a more powerful, more defensible position.

      Getting back to the Wu thing, as I've already said, I'm inclined to agree with your take on it.

    • (Show?)

      John Stewart does have a quick wit, it is also a penetrating wit, less superficial than most of what passes for serious discussion these days. That's what many of us like about him and it is the basis for his complaint.

      He's nailed it dead-on, too much of the mainstream media, particularly the TV guys, are devolving into nothing but circus-level entertainment. That there is so little attempt at real objectivity is one thing but that there is so little attempt even at honest advocacy is even worse.

      Advocacy is becoming no more than a case of who can get the most people to believe the most outrageous lies. A debate should involve discussions of the real strenths and weaknesses of programs or ideas. That's getting harder and harder to find and harder yet to hear above the noise of the circus.

    • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

      And there's a perfect example of the impairment that swallowing lies does to the brain.

      It shows in the thoughtless nonsense that "One makes stronger points in favor of one's (self)" when "addressing objections." False. Stronger points are those that build the idea, the self. Getting left at it by a process of elimination, (of "objections" at everything else), often ends where it does with what is there because no one else wanted to, or would, have it.

      And, the healthful direct logic that adds two to two and gets four, or point to point and gets understanding, all goes unknown and mentally deficient where the programmed fear-reflex preempts it to fill brain cycles with overwrought attention solely on 'what I can sense.'

      I mock Liars Larson swallowers: 'Oo-oo-oo, every person is your enemy, competing against you for food, clothing, shelter, and social acceptance, be afraid, be very afraid, give us your money and we can protect you, don't think about it, concentrate on how terrified you are in your unknown future prospects, object, object to all reasoning, shout, shout at the ones who stop you to think, run over them, know this, know this one thing, you are powerless and rightly should be afraid, be afraid, be very afraid, afraid for yourself.'

      Nevermind you haven't defined what that self is or where it stands.

    • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

      Here are a couple of points.

      One. Two.

      Who sold the Gang Of Psychos (GOP) administration's lies instead of reporting on them? Who bought that?

      There's a connection between the two. Buyer beware.


      ---------- Text version below, for the linking-challenged ----------------


      The Case of Reality Vs. Bush: "We are losing guys left and right," says Marine Cpl. Cody King, 20, of Phoenix, not hiding his anger. "All we are doing around here is getting blown up."


      Marines Vent Frustration in Western Iraq

      By FISNIK ABRASHI, Associated Press Writer October 19, 2004, 2:58 AM EDT

      QAIM, Iraq -- The sound of ... Copyright © 2004, The Associated Press


      Gore Charges Bush With Prewar Deceit President Called Reckless, Dishonest

      By Mike Allen, Washington Post Staff Writer Tuesday, October 19, 2004; Page A04

      [full article deleted. copyright violation. -ed.]

    • Anthony (unverified)

      It's "thoughtless nonsense" to advocate entertaining what objections there might be to one's position rather than simply being directed by one's habitual bias?

      I'd be happy to address any of Tenskwatawa's other points, if indeed any can be extracted from that turgid stream of jibberish.

    • (Show?)

      I'd be happy to address any of Tenskwatawa's other points, if indeed any can be extracted from that turgid stream of jibberish.

      I think we're supposed to boycott cable tv.

    • pat hayes (unverified)

      Hi Folks...

      ...hold the other side to a higher standard than our own...

      Of course I do. I am one of those depraved persons who loves and admires his gay elder brother [USMC, Honor Guard, Embassy duty, retired], his dear lesbian grandma friends raising three grandaughters while their mother serves in Iraq, who believes that the strength and nobility of this nation stems from the Constitution, who sees liberty as our single most important value but who is, perish the thought, a secular type, distrusting of organized religion and centralized federal power.

      According to my esteemed adversaries I am so morally and spiritually depraved that there is no hope for me. Is it any wonder that I must tearfully acknowledge the superiority of my adversaries and, thus, hold them to the standards by which they judge me ?

      Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    • ajournalist (unverified)

      Jeff: It failed the basic ethical test all articles should meet (so says its own ombudsman).

      No, Arrieta-Walden did not say that. He said:

      "In this case, while I find the stories reflect exhaustive reporting and editing and are ethically justified, many of the concerns voiced by readers resound with me, causing me to disagree with the judgment of those editors."

      Jeff: This naturally raises the question: why? We can never know. By not revealing its motivation in printing the article (helping Ameri?, selling papers?, settling a score with Wu?, trying to right its Goldschmidt wrong?), we are left guessing.

      You may not agree with it, or you may wish to believe in your own little conspiracy theories, but Sandy Rowe absolutely did reveal the motivation:

      "... in the final analysis, we decided to publish the story because we believe that readers, with the full benefit of the facts we know, want to determine for themselves whether they find an incident from 28 years earlier, involving a much younger David Wu, relevant -- or not relevant -- to his qualifications for office. ... We believe candidates who ask the public for support should expect their past to be scrutinized. For this reason, The Oregonian and most newspapers routinely examine the backgrounds of major candidates. If a resulting story is accurate and ready for publication, as we believe this is, we have a strong bias to publish rather than withhold information voters may need, even if some would consider it minor or too distant in time to be important."

    • Littlevoice (unverified)

      Yup, Rowe revealed the motivation the whole note and you'll see that they ran the decision to print through a filter of "accuracy" and "relevance". Oh, but after admitting that neither the accuracy nor the relevance standards are met, they go with it anyway becuase it's about a politician. I would have paid more attention to the story if they hadn't blatanly admitted to going against their own standards. Weak.

    • (Show?)

      Journalist, if you're falling for that we-hadda-publish-it-cause-the-public-has-right-to-know line, I have a purty bridge that crosses the lovely Willamette River that I can get you a good deal on.

      Incidentally: why the psued?

    • ajournalist (unverified)

      If anyone is still reading this thread...

      I'm sure y'all will scoff, but I absolutely buy that line. I know some of the people involved and I know to my bones that they agonized over this decision and did it because they felt it was the right journalistic call, not because they had some agenda.

      Look, the world could all argue forever whether the media is biased to the left or right. Both are right. Inadvertent bias creeps in all the time. But the fact is, Fox News notwithstanding, journalists in the mainstream media are not out to push a political agenda. I have 20 years of experience in this business, and almost without exception, everyone I know are good folks who believe in what they do and are honestly trying to do a fair job of covering the world.

      And the pseud is because, well, I'd rather not reveal my identity.

    • (Show?)

      Journalist, the Willamette Week's against you on this one, too. This week they ran an article slamming the O.

      That same year [1998], WW reporter Bob Young got a tip about an incident at Stanford but found the unsubstantiated claim too thin to chase.

      Later, they quote UO's Tim Bivins:

      "The endorsement coming just before this piece--that alone draws criticism," says Tom Bivins, who teaches ethics at the University of Oregon's School of Journalism. "It looks like conflict of interest even if it wasn't." "This is absurd," Bivins says. "It doesn't meet the relevance test. And when I read what they went through to get this, I was appalled, because in the end they couldn't prove anything. It was all hearsay."

      Article here:

    • ajournalist (unverified)

      No, I don't think they're against me. Reasonable people can disagree on whether publishing was the right thing to do. I happen to think it was. But my main argument is that those who say the decision to publish was based on some desire to "take down" Wu or promote Ameri are way off base.

      (And speaking of fairness, where the quote in WW from somebody agreeing with the decision?)

    • Tenskwatawa (unverified)

      ajournalist, Yeah, we're still reading. Old threads never die, they just weave knots into tapestry into context into the background, which can wrinkle up and become foreground at any point of 'optical illusion' reversal.

      I first worked at The 'O' in 1972, so I've got a few years on you "in the business." Accordingly, I can prepare you for a time ahead of you when, somehow, the cocoon of years we all wrap around ourselves transforms us, rips open, and we fly out a butterfly. In metaphor. In effect, the feeling is a sense of transcending time. Better explanation is sorta more than is interesting, so, cutting to the chase, you might wind up where it feels I am, without a sense of self-identity that matches the strength of a sense of universality, or human-identity; kind of a way-of-all-flesh feeling, (different from a morbid ashes-to-ashes sense, in the way that moral presence of mind is diffferent from mortal fatalism).

      So I know some of the people personally, also. I agree with you, ajournalist, that they, like we, are 'good folks.' I disagree that there was 'agonizing over the decision.' Oh, there was agony, maybe, only there was no 'decision.' In my view, very few things are 'decided' in their precept and many many most things eventuate in an unexamined, unreflected, path-of-least-resistance development as a matter of course gone with the flow. Habit, in a word, not decision.

      In second, I agree with you that journalists (people) "believe in what they do." And that what that 'doing' is is "do a fair job," or trying to. I disagree that that is the appropriate grade for it. So much is not a fair job. It's a poor job. Or a failing job of it. (Either of the latter two being my judgment of the Wu work-up.) So who gets to grade or judge the jobs, as excellent, good, fair, poor, failing?

      My reflexive answer is that we all get to judge. Bolstering my notion that it is an aim and one purpose of childhood development to learn to be able to judge, and grade. Able with a discipline set hard enough that we are able to grade others as well (or as poorly) as we are able to grade ourselves. These thoughts in my mind always wend back to a repeated dictum of my dad's which I remember, (not for how many times he said it, which wasn't that many, but remember it for the shock to me of the vacuum in my thoughts when I didn't understand what he meant -- remember by how many many times I repeated it to myself, wondering what does this mean?, what does he mean by this? -- without an answer I kept repeating the question). Whatever it means, here's what he said: "You've got to learn to be a judge of character."

      What the hell is 'character.' You mean like a character in a movie or a book? No, that's not what it means. It means character. Whatever that means. It's somewhat in my phasing above; character is about presence of mind, it is not about unalterable pre-destiny. It is about humanness not about personness. Whatever. We all get to judge. You did learn how, didn't you?

      (Maybe 'judge not lest ye be judged' is better rendered 'judge not less than ye judge ye be.' If so, then by holding everyone in higher esteem than ourselves we have standing to judge everyone.)

      To end with, they believe in what they do and that is that they do (are doing) a fair job. The self assurance is noble, the self assessment is mistaken. It's not a fair job. The only fairness in it is that it fit in the flow of things, the pragmatics were solved, but that is only one solution. Up against deadline, one solution may be all there is time for, the first solution. (We find things in the last place we look because when we find them we stop looking. It's a koan. Paraphrasing Kerry: 'You can be confident in your opinion but you can also be wrong.') To get along, go along, it's said, but I challenge the value in getting along, especially the fashion in which we have been getting along.

      If life is a journey, not a destination, how's the ride been, so far, for you?

    • (Show?)

      But my main argument is that those who say the decision to publish was based on some desire to "take down" Wu or promote Ameri are way off base.

      <h2>I agree there, and I hope the post didn't sound like I was arguing that point. My issue is that the O ran a story they shouldn't have and it's not clear why.</h2>

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