Principled Profit: The Good Business Blog

Musings on the world-wide movement for ethical business, frugal marketing, and how honesty, integrity, and quality combine with deep relationship building to create business success. By the originator of the Ethical Business Pledge campaign and award-winning author of Principled Profit: Marketing That Puts People First and five other books

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Saturday, March 12, 2005

LA Times on Ethics in Government and the Press,1,4171595.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

"If you aren't going to create an ethics committee right, don't create it at all," says Rep. Alan B. Mollohan of West Virginia. "Otherwise, it is a great farce on the body, not to mention the American people."

Mollohan's concern is that the US House of Representatives has eviscerated its own ethics rules. While I usually write about ethics in the business sphere, and it seems to me that business has been cleaning up its act, the political dirty tricks seem to get worse and worse with time. We thought Nixon's people were the masters of political dirty tricks--but we hadn't met the late Lee Atwater or Karl Rove, who have "elevated it to a high art"--which is to say, debased themselves to the point where one wonders how they can sleep at night. And the Democrats are not so clean-handed either, as witness some of the dirty pool regarding Nader's presence on the ballot or their lack of willingness to face protestors at the convention (that particular spinelessness extended to both major parties).

This particular chorus of "I didn't do it, or at least you didn't catch me" seems largely to benefit House honcho Tom DeLay, who was up to his ears in ethics problems last year. So now the Committee wants to procedurally sandbag any investigation just by stalling for 45 days. Yuck! DeLay's ethics problems are so widespread that a search for [ethics rules "tom delay" "house of representatives"] (without the square brackets) brings up 12,400 hits on Google, many from within the last few days that the House has been discussing this.

Well, some of us are watching, and we are not pleased.


Lecture by John S. Carroll, Editor of the Los Angeles Times: A remarkably candid, if somewhat rambly, look at journalistic ethics, the importance of disclosing a financial relationship, and the monster Orson Welles created by inventing pseudojournalism with his famous War of the
Worlds broadcast.

I happened to notice this as I was clicking on the above story, and went back to have a look afterwards. I liked it enough that I'm going to ask for permission to put it up on my Ethics Articles page at -- but whether or not I get permission, you can follow the link. (You may have to be registered.)


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