From the Wall Street Journal Online:,,SB111386025685009961-IBjgINplal4mpymbX6HcK6Gm4,00.html

(as seen at

I’m not sure what astonishes me more–the breach of ethics itself or the blitheness with which it’s blown off. “It should have been disclosed”? It shouldn’t have been done, period.


This surprises anyone?


Yep. Its time for penalties and laws against this stuff. You do it, you get fines. You do it, you go to jail.

Corporate America is losing the ability to police themselves. No problem, we’ll step in and help them out.

Why isn’t there a law against this right now? They’re deceiving the public on a mass scale… how is that ACCEPTABLE?

I mean, just because the presidential staff does it…

“Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

They’re deceiving the public on a mass scale… how is that ACCEPTABLE?

How is that surprising? How is that uncommon? How is that unusual? How is that anything but the status quo?

People are meant for the purpose of continuing deception, and we engage in this practice willfully. There is no way to educate us out of this behavior; it is our natural state, and we fight – to the death – to remain capable of easy deception. And I mean that as I wrote it: It is not merely the current deception we fight for, but the ability to be easily deceived itself.

We humans are vain and illogical. You cannot expect us to make 2 from 1 and 1 any more than you can expect us to spontaneously sprout antlers and begin marching in 5/4 time to the strains of Holst’s “Mars.”

I suspect the most effective way of punishing this kind of behavior is built-in: the likely sacrifice of credibility that comes with its disclosure.


The problem is that there are certain conditions under which this will not work. One such condition is a blanket cynicism (dark cynicism) that results in a paranoia-like state whereby credible people are seen as anything but. If credibility itself is no longer believed in, there is no longer social value in credibility and the manipulative value of deceit has nothing to counter it.

So, fine. Disclosure can work for now. And lets make sure that culture is crafted so that it works into the future.

We have almost four more years to get through the Bush Administration.

Admit it: You’re the reincarnation of a 12th century Catholic Priest. Perhaps you should be canonized as Saint Rimbo.

The Enlightenment hit, and you pretty much blinked and moved right along.

Interesting, though. Perhaps this is one more element of the political Religious Movement. Not happy with democracy whereby the people are in power, they yearn to be put under the yoke of a powerful force, and being willfully deceived is one such sure method…

You hope to resurrect your dead god, or at least his methodology. You hope to counteract culture, to step outside its boundaries… to return to its corpse, to rebuild it in another body.

Any people that does not see with their own eyes, think for themselves, hold their own strength wants someone else to provide that for them. The cost is always too high to pay, yet the most fearful will always pay it.

The great collection of wisdom and science on human relationships, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People, is as heartening and compassionate a tome as you’ll ever read about humanity, but the main theme of it is that people are not interested in the truth; they are interested in their own happiness first.

I think it’s more accurate to say that “The Enlightenment hit, and the world pretty much blinked and moved right along.” For a brief pair of centuries, people were concerned about knowledge and wisdom of the ages. When they looked and saw the mirror, and saw what they looked like in it, they turned away. Ignorance is bliss, and people choose happiness.

I am only describing things as they are, not as how I wish them to be. The fact that you assign this point of view to me and my personal desires suggests that you either missed this distinction, or are unaware of it. Considering the last conversation we had online demonstrated your own need to see things as you wish them to be leads me to believe the latter is the case:

My mistake with you is that I always assume that you believe that things are how you perceive them to be and not as how you want them to be; your mistake with me is that you always assume that I believe that things are how I want them to be and not as how I perceive them to be.

The Enlightenment is not a reality, its an ideal. To end the search for truth is a matter of a shifting in ideals.

Noone embodies their culture in real form. Culture is human interest, human desire, human questing, human experimentation. For culture to stop the search for truth is for culture to reject truth, no matter what excuse it makes.

“As it is” is what humans have already achieved. “As it will be” is the humanity of the future. Culture is about as it will be.

“As it is” is a historical discussion rather than a cultural one.

Exploiting “as it is” is of zero cultural value.

The whole Manipulation, Psychological Control, etc. of today is a shifting in ideals. Its not a battle of “as it is” versus “as it will be”. Its a battle of “as it will be” versus “as it will be”.

Humans do not control the present, they control the future.

For culture to stop the search for truth is for culture to reject truth, no matter what excuse it makes.

Yeah, duh. And our culture is currently rejecting and will continue to reject truth, as it has stopped searching for it in any meaningful way.

It’s all about “Hey, did you see what Paris Hilton was wearing?” now, and that is how it’s always been, and how it always will be.

I don’t see how this is a big deal, or how this is any different than product placement in movies or ad companies that pay people to go on forums and give word of mouth advertising. Who cares.

Commercials in commercial TV those bastards how dare they.

Those are both examples of advertising. And so is this, in essentials … except it’s passed off as news. A fundamental rule of journalism is that, as the story notes, reporters and editors aren’t supposed to have financial relationships with the people they cover.


If you want knowledge of a subject, you usually have to read a couple of books (or similar quantity and quality) on a subject. How many books fit into a show? When it takes a movie 3 hours to fit a substantively abridged version of just one book without commercial interruption, what can you hope for from a 30-minute show?

As a result of the time constraints, TV news is just summaries of what the actual journalists have done; there isn’t enough time available to get into any appreciable depth. It’s more like reading a dictionary definition to learn about a subject. It gives you a little info here and there, but not enough to really know anything.

So I don’t really consider TV news programs to be journalism. They’re really just summarizing the work other journalists have done and trying to keep the TV viewing audience from switching channels (i.e., entertaining them).

Other than the occasional UT football game and (of course) cartoons, I’ve pretty much quite watching TV completely.