26 January 2006

goofy editorial in todays town talk

ya know the town talk has a lot of nerve to print something like this when they are the most truth suppressing excuse for a media outlet there is. nuff said.

Our View: Only truth can send the right message

Oprah Winfrey recently defended author James Frey when it was discovered that some of the events and facts in his book are fabricated. Oprah believes Frey's message of redemption, delivered via his memoirs in "A Million Little Pieces," was more important than whether or not the facts presented were completely truthful.

A message of redemption is important. But can a person who lies so glibly about his travails really have found redemption? That point may be arguable.

Nevertheless, the underlying issue is just one example of a greater problem that can be found everywhere, even here in Central Louisiana.

It's an issue of ethics. Ethics are the principles of conduct governing an individual, group or profession. These principles are generally based on ideas of right and wrong. Basically these ideas of right and wrong come from two sources -- our religious and legal guidelines.
It should be simple then to act ethically -- do the right thing. But in the past two decades or so the line between right and wrong has become smeared. Doing the right thing often has been replaced with doing the "OK" thing or the "well, it doesn't really hurt anybody" thing.

Even Oprah has bought into the idea that lying is OK so long as the right message is getting out there.

But that's the problem. Can any message be a right one if it is based on a lie?

Here at home we have to decide what is the right message. Do we tolerate lying in order to send a message about redemption? If so, when caught in the lie, how will anyone know our redemption is sincere?

We struggle with ethical issues daily as we are confronted with questionable business practices and corruption in government and law enforcement agencies.

Will we allow government to act unethically as long as the result is one of which we approve?

How do we convince anyone we understand right and wrong if we continually blur the line between the two?

How do we convince our children to do what is right if what they see operating is a process of almost right, kind of wrong, but the ends justifies the means government?

Central Louisianians may not see this as a problem. But without accountability, without holding ourselves and our government to a higher standard of truth and being guided by a pledge to fair and balanced treatment for all, the message we send will be met with suspicion and distrust, and will have little value.

In order for this city and Central Louisiana to grow, the message we send by example to the world must be one that says the people here are trustworthy and will treat all who come fairly, equitably and ethically.

There is only one way to send that message and have it be believed -- operating openly with full disclosure and tolerating nothing but the truth, from each other and our leaders.

Originally published January 26, 2006