Thursday, April 14, 2005

C-SPAN: An "Ethics Dunce"

The Ethics Scoreboard has a Dunces Corner which is "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."

Here are some excerpts from the Scoreboard's assessment of C-SPAN who received top billing on the list of March 2005 Ethics Dunces:

What really puts the "Dunce" in this Ethics Dunce is a seemingly obvious truth: lies do not provide balance. The laudable objective of balance in discussing public affairs or any other controversial issue is to promote fair analysis and broad-based understanding by presenting varying and legitimate points of view on the topic at hand. Lies do not promote either. Lies foster un-fairness and misunderstanding. Is it possible that C-SPAN doesn't know this? The mind boggles.

The contention that the Holocaust occurred is not controversial, any more than the contention that the Pacific Ocean is wet or that the Confederacy lost the Civil War. Since David Irving has made a reputation by claiming the Holocaust didn't happen, there is also no controversy over his legitimacy and integrity as a serious historian: he has none. He is incapable of providing balance to Lipstadt or anyone else.

A fun parlor game could come out of this, called "C-SPAN Balance." The idea would be to find the perfect balance to anyone discussing an established fact. Let's see… [...]

[...] It is too horrible to contemplate that the executives at C-SPAN actually believe that Irving's position isn't a lie, so, with a shudder, we will put that idea aside. Instead, this Ethics Dunce should write on the blackboard a hundred, no, a thousand times:

Lies aren't balance.

Maybe it will sink in.

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