It has been suggested that bloggers should impose upon themselves a code of ethics. I attempt to do so here. This blog owner admits to leaning left, but willingly subcribes to the use of a code of ethics whenever a thought becomes a written word.
- About me
Editorializing The Supreme Court Confirmations / Nominations
OP-EDAs a confirmed democrat, an outspoken liberal, a member of a minority, perhaps oppressed group (a woman and a lesbian)...I am not afraid of John G. Roberts.
Let us set a high and noble standard for those we appoint to the top bench. Where should that bar rest? It should rest where we find reasoned excellence in the center of any debate. Intelligent answers to complicated issues can only be found with objective voices from both sides.
The Robert's confirmation has been politically motivated, let us make no mistake. Even understanding that Bush appointing Roberts was politically motivated should not sway us from evaluating what the confirmation will mean to the notion of constitutional justice. Constitutional Justice. Understanding the importance of that does not lend itself to extreme views. Would a true liberal who is not an ideologue be more apt to support Roberts or Ginsburg? I have challenged my fellow liberal intellectuals with this question.
My argument is this: stop supporting the mentality of the person and start looking at the methodology of the judge. I find a perfect example in noting that Ginsburg, who represents my political leaning, attempts to set precedent with little constitutional foundation because it will further the liberal agenda. Ruth? Try defending for one moment, a concept that wholly goes against your politics. Only then, are you exercising constitutional objectivity.
John G. Roberts is our Chief Justice...and I am not afraid. Now, Harriet E. Miers has been nominated to fill the Supreme Court seat left empty by Sandra D. O'Conner and everyone seems afraid. The left is baffled at the moderate choice, the right is angered at the moderate choice. Is she a quiet but radical evangelical? Is she a Christian with a sympathetic agenda favoring pro-choice and homosexuals? Please let her be all of the above. Only then, can she lend a true ear to both sides of critical arguments.
Those who desire true constitutional justice will be those who wish for the greatest minds to oversee the interpretation of constitutionality in an ever-changing environment. Those left standing will not be the Ann Coulter or the Michael Moore of this era. Our Constitution has outlived those of their ilk. Our Constitution remains a living document and thrives under the care of absolute gifted objectivity.
A moment of silence for Peter JenningsABC News Anchor Peter Jennings died today at his home in New York City. He was 67. On April 5, Jennings announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer.He is survived by his wife, Kayce Freed, his two children, Elizabeth, 25, and Christopher, 23, and his sister, Sarah Jennings.
And So It Begins
ethicaLeft - NEWSAnd So It Begins
Yesterday in D.C., cries for a Presidential Impeachment could be heard far and above the typical whispers that have until now surrounded the Downing Street Memo and supporting evidence. The events do have some major media outlets offering reasons for the lack of coverage until now.
On Thursday, June 16th, Rep. John Conyers, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member, chairs a meeting on the Downing Street Memo and pre-Iraq War intelligence. Witnesses include: former ambassador Joe Wilson, CIA analyst Ray McGovern, Cindy Sheehan, mother of fallen American soldier, and constitutional lawyer John Bonifaz.
To get a feel for this dramatic hearing, listen to a portion of Ray McGovern's opening statement outlining this "anatomy of a lie".
Also, visit this video clip of Rep. John Conyers, Rep. Maxine Waters, Cindy Sheehan, and others, lashing out at President George W. Bush, and what they refer to as his lies, that maneuvered the country into the Iraqi War. The rally was held after the hearing on June 16, 2005, at Lafayette Park, in Washington, D.C.
The hearing examined the question of whether there is good cause to investigate possible impeachable offenses by the President in his justification of the war. It was quite an enormous achievement considering what the Democrats call stonewalling on this issue. This hearing was held in a tiny room of the Capitol Basement. Despite the cramped quarters, dozens of Democratic Representatives showed up (122 signed on to Conyers' letter), but only about 15 could make it into the room at any one time, so they came in shifts.
John C. Bonifaz, co-founder of www.afterdowningstreet.org, offered testimony that can only be described as direct and objective. He calls for an investigation in the interest of "asking the questions". John C. Bonifaz is a Boston-based attorney specializing in constitutional law. In February and March 2003, Mr. Bonifaz served as plaintiffs’ lead counsel in John Doe I v. President Bush, a constitutional challenge to President Bush’s authority to wage war against Iraq absent a congressional declaration of war or equivalent action. Mr. Bonifaz represented a coalition of US soldiers, parents of US soldiers, and Members of Congress arguing that the president’s planned first-strike invasion of Iraq violated the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution.
Actions by Republicans regarding this hearing unavoidably raise questions, they:
- Refused to call a full hearing themselves
- Refused to give Democrats a room to hold their hearing
- Scheduled a number of votes timed to intentionally disrupt the Conyers' Hearings. (At approximately 2:15 PM, with hearing scheduled to begin at 2:30, the Republicans scheduled 11 consecutive floor votes, lasting until approximately 4 PM.)
The White House has, to date, refused to answer congressional requests for an explanation of the Downing Street Memo. On Thursday, June 16th, White House spokesman Scott McClellan dismissed the allegation in the Memo. He said the Democrats were "simply trying to rehash old debates that have already been addressed. And our focus is not on the past. It's on the future and working to make sure we succeed in Iraq."
ethicaLeft Blogging Code Of Ethics:
NOTE: This is taken from the Society of Professional Journalists code of ethics. It is altered slightly for the following reasons: (1) to allow for the medium used by bloggers. (2) to recognize those areas of established ethics codes not fully followed by the main-stream media but followed by this blog.
NOTE: Any alterations to the society of Professional Journalists code of ethics will be noted in blue type
Ethics:Journalists should :Be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.
Test the accuracy of information from all sources and exercise care to avoid inadvertent error. Deliberate distortion is never permissible.
Diligently seek out subjects of news stories to give them the opportunity to respond to allegations of wrongdoing. (It should be noted that subjects will likely not avail themselves for comment to a blogger. An attempt to secure comment from a subject will always be made)
Identify sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.
Always question sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Clarify conditions attached to any promise made in exchange for information. Keep promises.
Make certain that headlines, news teases and promotional material, photos, video, audio, graphics, sound bites and quotations do not misrepresent. They should not oversimplify or highlight incidents out of context. (It is important to note that in the age of sound bites, the main-stream media does not always comply with this particular dictate of the code of journalistic ethics. This blog will strive to do so)
Never distort the content of news photos or video. Image enhancement for technical clarity is always permissible. Label montages and photo illustrations.
Never plagiarize. (This blog owner is a writer of her own word. There will be many articles that include quotes, other reporting or information from other media. These will always be quoted properly and include a link to the full text)
Tell the story of the diversity and magnitude of the human experience boldly, even when it is unpopular to do so. Examine their own cultural values and avoid imposing those values on others.
Avoid stereotyping by race, gender, age, religion, ethnicity, geography, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance or social status.
Support the open exchange of views, even views they find repugnant.
Give voice to the voiceless; official and unofficial sources of information can be equally valid.
Distinguish between advocacy and news reporting. Analysis and commentary should be labeled and not misrepresent fact or context. Distinguish news from advertising and shun hybrids that blur the lines between the two. (This blog will act as a medium for both news, commentary and opinion. Each article will be labeled as such. This will never be unclear on this blog.)
Ethical journalists treat sources, subjects and colleagues as human beings deserving of respect.Journalists should:
Show compassion for those who may be affected adversely by news coverage. Use special sensitivity when dealing with children and inexperienced sources or subjects.
Be sensitive when seeking or using interviews or photographs of those affected by tragedy or grief.
Recognize that gathering and reporting information may cause harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news is not a license for arrogance.
Recognize that private people have a greater right to control information about themselves than do public officials and others who seek power, influence or attention. Only an overriding public need can justify intrusion into anyone’s privacy.
Show good taste. Avoid pandering to lurid curiosity.
Be cautious about identifying juvenile suspects or victims of sex crimes.
Be judicious about naming criminal suspects before the formal filing of charges.
Balance a criminal suspect’s fair trial rights with the public’s right to be informed.
Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public's right to know.
Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived.
Remain free of associations and activities that may compromise integrity or damage credibility. (This blog, or it's owner has no such relationships)
Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and shun secondary employment, political involvement, public office and service in community organizations if they compromise journalistic integrity.
Disclose unavoidable conflicts.
Be vigilant and courageous about holding those with power accountable.
Deny favored treatment to advertisers and special interests and resist their pressure to influence news coverage. (This blog will not feature paid advertisements of any kind)
Be wary of sources offering information for favors or money; avoid bidding for news.
Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.
Clarify and explain news coverage and invite dialogue with the public over journalistic conduct.
Encourage the public to voice grievances against the news media. (This blog and it's owner will always encourage this)
Admit mistakes and correct them promptly. (Please see retraction policy)
Expose unethical practices of journalists and the news media. Abide by the same high standards to which they hold others. (This blog and its owner will strive to hold to the highest standard and will freely discuss and expose unethical practices of any media)
ADDED FOR THIS BLOG ONLY1. This blog / owner / author does not reveal her full name only for the purpose of internet anonymity. Personal safety dictates this. A valid email address is given for any comments, clarification, complaints, requests for re-publication, or general inquiries. A prompt reply will be offered to all of the above. Flames, spam or inappropriate requests will not be answered. 2. Each article will be sub-titled either "NEWS", "COMMENTARY", OR "EDITORIAL" - "OP-ED".
A subject may notify this blog owner of any misquote or misrepresentation. Should that information be found valid, a correction will be posted immediately as an update to the original post. The subject of an article may subsequently offer a quote or comment on said article (after originally declining to comment). That comment will be posted as an update but will not replace the original article.
A reader who claims any "statement of fact" made on this blog is incorrect, may provide proof of such via email or by comment on the blog. With that proof, a correction (retraction) post will be made immediately (within 24 hours). The retraction post will include the name (or internet personae) of the person making the correction and supporting data or links. (Retraction requests will only be honored on statements of fact proven to be false. Statements of commentary or opinion will not be retracted)