Thou shalt not…

June 20, 2009 at 3:38 am (Uncategorized)

There’s a story brewing here in the Cream City (heh) about our police chief having an affair with a journalist who did a story on him.
And you know what I can’t figure out? Why is it any of our business? Honestly, tell me, why on earth should I care who is sleeping with whom, other than trying to keep the dog we’re puppy-sitting out of my four-year-old’s room, when said four-year-old refuses to have the door shut?
So yeah, I’m going to be skipping that article in tomorrow’s paper…

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7 Comments

  1. Jebedyah said,

    Because if you’re sleeping with the police chief, you absolutely should not be covering him?

  2. New Mama said,

    I agree completely. It’s only the business of the police chief, the reporter, and their families (and also the reporter’s boss, if she wrote the article while involved with the chief).

  3. batsinthebelfry said,

    It’s funny. When I first heard this story, I didn’t think about the ethics involved on the journalism side at all. Latent sexism on my part? I dunno. So yeah, I guess it’s news. Dammit.

  4. Gill0270 said,

    Actually it is news for a number of reasons. The Chief of Police exercised extremely poor judgment in a) deciding to have an affair; and (b) using his work e-mail (which is public data) to arrange the affair. The taxpayer has a right to expect that their employees, one of whom is the Chief of Police, exercise good judgment. It cannot be seriously argued that the exercise of poor judgment in one’s personal life is irrelevant to determining whether an individual is capable of exercising good judgment. Because the public has a right to be informed as to whether pubic officials exercise good judgment, it is news.
    It is also news because the jounalist in question presumably did not follow the ethics of her profession. This is relevant to assessing whether the journalist, and her employer, are accurate coverage of news involving the police.
    Finally, it is news because the ethics violation is one that the journalist presumably knows because she teaches a course on ethics in journalism.

  5. batsinthebelfry said,

    “It cannot be seriously argued that the exercise of poor judgment in one’s personal life is irrelevant to determining whether an individual is capable of exercising good judgment.”

    I don’t know about this. I think it’s possible to look at him and say, “geez, I wouldn’t want to be married to him, but he’s an awfully good police chief.”

    I’m just afraid that the real reason it’s “newsworthy” is that salacious sex stories sell papers and advertising. And because of that, thousands of people are all up in Flynn and McBride’s business…My God, think of their poor spouses! their poor children! and while ultimately of course, the blame for that tremendous upheaval rests squarely on the shoulders of the couple having an affair, we’re all tacitly participating in that upheaval by being glued to our screens and newspapers.

  6. Gill0270 said,

    Let’s take former president Clinton as an example. If more people had questioned his judgment with regards to Gennifer Flowers, he might not have been the Democratic nominee in 1992. This would have spared the country the debacle that was the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the fact that his legal dealings in regards to that matter (and the Paula Jones deposition) made him an ineffectual president for virtually the entire length of his second term.
    You might think he is a good police chief but the same brain that tells him to send emails to the reporter on his work email, and tells him to have the affair, is the one telling him how to do his job. If one is willing to be reckless in his private life he certainly might take reckless actions on the job.

  7. batsinthebelfry said,

    I definitely see what you’re saying. Maybe my reaction is selfish; I would much prefer to be spared the sordid details over my morning java. Instead I’m given yet another opportunity to marvel at yet another idiot’s inability to repay the trust placed in him by the public. Who’s next?

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