Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Getting Some Perspective: Bush vs. Rather

Has anyone else noticed the gross in-proportions between the reaction the country and media are having to an honest oversight by Dan Rather (the Alabama documents), versus the deliberate disregard for truth that Bush used as a means to pursue his own agenda. Have 1000+ people died because of Dan Rather's honest mistake?
I learned in philosophy that deontologists believe that what makes an action moral is the the intent that drove the action, and utilitarians believe that it is the outcome that determines the morality of the action (if it was for the greater good it was moral). Lets look at both situations presented with this perspective.
Dan Rather's action was not moral by a utilitarian's standard, but his intent was to inform the american people and deliver news to the best of his ability. A deontologist would consider his actions moral. President Bush would be considered immoral by that standard because he intentionally misled Congress and the American people, and the outcome is more foreign animosity towards the USA, a situation in Iraq that is getting worse by the day, a loss of basic civil liberties,and a dangerous precedent set for preemptive war.
It would be one thing if the media were giving the two situations equal coverage, but they continue to completely saturate their primetime slots with stories of the horrible atrocities at CBS. I'm glad that George W. Bush was able to suceed President Clinton in the White House to restore morality and dignity to the office, but not as glad as I am that the media is doing it's job of making sure that he is seen as doing nothing less.