Hey, Etch A Sketch Conservatives: Time to Resurrect Some Honesty
spring awash with Etch A Sketch conservatives, camera-wielding GOP con men and a bogus deficit reduction budget from House Republicans shows that for the right, wrong is justified when it achieves the desired results.
A perfect example of this political philosophy is the work of James E. O'Keefe III, a right-wing, unsupervised, unaccountable, self-appointed and self-styled "investigative journalist" who has violated federal law, lied about his identity and deceitfully cut and pasted video to destroy what he perceives as liberal institutions.
Oddly for the party that claims conservative Christians as key constituents, O'Keefe's misbehavior is celebrated by GOP talking heads -- the likes of Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. That encourages copycats. The New York Times last week told the tale of one. John M. Howting, a bungling video scam man, sees himself as an O'Keefe apostle.
Honorable journalists abide by an ethics code forbidding lying to secure a story. For them, the end does not justify the means. By contrast, for O'Keefe and today's Etch A Sketch conservatives, the end they want vindicates any scheme to secure it. Deliberate lying, cynical deceit, cut-and-paste deception -- all of that is rationalized by conservatives to get their way. It's a lovely escape clause they've written for themselves from that annoying Judeo-Christian thou-shalt-not-lie commandment.