Value of Moral Ethics in the Life of Ex-President Clinton
In today’s world, working in organizations means working in an environment with people from multicultural backgrounds. If one were asked what type of organization they would like to work in, the chances are the reply will be “ethical organizations.” So what exactly is an ethical organization and how positively does the ‘code of ethics’ apply in a professional working environment? Are they really functioning to benefit the workplace such as the government, which was constantly plagued by lawsuits of sexual harassment, especially during the terms of the Clinton administration or are they just operational in the documents where they rest for the staff to read on new employment?
In today’s political world, leaders are looked up to for creating a healthy social environment that is a pre-requisite for a healthy governing environment. More over, a growing population of the working class Americans is taking greater interest in ethics and values these days. Most voters link bad ethics with a person’s character. Many are of the view that a few “bad apples” can spoil the working environment for the rest of the nation. Speaking of ethics, an individual who is well groomed should be able to act ethically without special training.
According to Carl Skooglund, vice president and ethics director at Texas Instruments:
Ethics is the ground rules of how we are going to relate to other people — the expectations and understandings that define how we are going to deal with others. And by others we mean customers, suppliers, governments, communities, but most of all, one another. When you think about ethics in that context, ethics can be taught because we sure can teach what our expectations and understandings ought to be.”
Ethics is an old issue, its nothing new. There are many large companies including
The government officials have gotten in trouble because of breaking the code of ethics. Its not the companies or the government that are bad, but it’s the people who commit the wrong acts that get everybody into trouble. The hot subject of ethics is nothing new.
Ethics is basically a set of moral principles and values that we use to decide on questions regarding what is right and wrong. Moral choices have to be made by individuals in their relationship with others.
From the history of the 1960’s, we all know that if John F. Kennedy were to be alive today he sure wouldn’t be the president. His administration would have fallen because of the numerous reporting of his flings with actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Angie Dickinson, and other not so famous people such as mob moll Judith Campbell Exner, who was allegedly suspected to be an East German spy, Ellen Rometsch, and the several twenty-something White House staffers known as Fiddle and Faddle. Back in the 1960s, the men’s clubs of reporters kept the nation in denial on rumors of Kennedy’s adultery since they made sure those stories were never printed in the newspapers. However, the truth is that everybody knew what the former president’s character was like but it just was never exposed to such a great extent.
However, in the 1990’s, the reporter’s had a field day when they found out that President Clinton was secretly having a ball with many women working in the White House as well as having women escorted to his various other locations. This time the men’s club of reporters made sure they revealed every little detail they possibly could to make it the best selling story tabloids and other magazines had to offer. In today’s world it has become a journalistic truism that the club has been dismantled; this is why the press pursues rumors of blatant infidelity by a president.
Anyone who is looking for the slightest proof on the President’s philandering just had to look at the various scandals that were the talk of the town and caused his administration to look down at him. There are several “links” to the ex-President’s sexual life that notably account for his wrong doings. For him, Monica was not the first one he chose to have an extra-marital affair with. But what seems to be rather peculiar is the fact that the story of the alleged affair between Clinton and his very own internee, Monica Lewinsky took six years to come out of the closet. If this story is true that it just makes the normal man wonder why did it take so long for it to be made public? How come when reporters got to know about his promiscuous relationship with Lewinsky, they decided to find out about Clinton’s voracious sexual appetite that had never been questioned before? During the time Clinton was under pressure due to the White Water case and with cases of sexual harassment the press surely highlighted much suspicion about Clinton’s misbehavior as it did of Kennedy’s but chose to print it in newspapers and other print media.
The truth is that during his candidacy Clinton addressed the issues of his past infidelities, but the fact that the public chose to elect him twice meant that the public had given him a pass from which he felt that he could continue with his flings as long as he kept the nation happy with his good leadership. The Lewinsky scandal is a violation of a tacit agreement between Bill Clinton and the American electorate in 1992.
The public would ignore what he did in his term in Arkansas as long as he refrained from such acts in the White House.
In 1993, the New York Times decided not to print the allegations of the ex-President’s many simultaneous affairs made by four Arkansas state troopers who guarded Clinton when he was the governor. However, this part of Clinton’s life was kept hidden because it was unanimously decided that since he was elected by a majority vote it wouldn’t make any difference to the public in how he ran the country as long as he did a good job, which the very well did. This part of his life can be questioned to an extent since the public very well knew about the extent of Clinton’s womanizing abilities. Newsweek also carried out a story, which exposed the story of how the campaign paid $100,000 to private investigator Jack Palladino to find and the alleged Clinton detractors and keep their mouths shut. This campaign was working eagerly towards suppressing information that could eliminate his chances of becoming president of the free nation. One reporter even declared that Clinton had hundreds of lovers.
The allegations made by the troops were made public when they were written about in various forms of print media. In December 1993, the Los Angeles Times and the American Spectator published similar versions of the story. Some of the TV channels also aired shows on this issue but CBS declined even to air the allegations. The New York Times wrote about it unwillingly while the Washington Post made it seem like a media story. Only the Los Angeles Times, publication was controversial.
Somehow many politically inclined people also believed that the publications were actually a conspiracy by right-wingers against the Clinton administration.
Columbia Journalism Review writer Christopher Hanson even called for a return to the standards of Kennedy’s day. He wrote: “In the 1960s, after all, just a few dozen national reporters could define what is news, and they were able to decide that JFK’s sexual adventures (an open secret) did not qualify. Today, unfortunately, the rationalists have lost the power to set standards of relevancy.”
The troopers basically alleged that the Clinton after being elected president had the troopers bring a woman to the basement of the governor’s mansion to meet him in the early hours of the morning while Hillary was left sleeping just upstairs. When the unnamed woman was contacted who met Clinton in the basement, was asked about her relationship she answered that there was no improper relationship.
The American Spectator ran a story on Paula Jones, who wanted to become Clinton’s girlfriend after her first encounter with him but ended up filing a suit of sexual harassment against Clinton in 1994 when Clinton bared it all for her. She gained a lot of attention and fame through her allegations but many also dismissed her for sounding so irrelevant. The words used by Newsweek’s Evan Thomas, described her as “some sleazy woman with big hair coming out of the trailer parks,” though he took his words back after a while. After this incident, the media further threw in stories about other woman named Jennifer Flowers, who was a Yale Law School graduate!
There were also stories about Clinton’s consistent sexual adventures with the White House volunteer Kathleen Willey. The allegation, reported in Newsweek, is that when Willey met with Clinton at the White House in 1993 to ask for a full-time job, Clinton made a pass at her; however, the president’s attorney denied this. Whether the woman made a response to his pass is not known though. Many magazines printed this story when Lewinsky made her allegations as a way to prove that Clinton has had an eye for extra-marital affairs.
Although the Willey case went by unnoticed by many the only one to take this seriously was the president himself who felt that he needed to part ways with Lewinsky because of the mess the Willey story would create for him and his administration.
The Lewinsky story exploded the President in a way that he never thought it would because if the fact that the president’s behavior was not just sexual but it translated into criminal with questions of false swearing and violation of justice.
Historian Thomas Reeves believes that, despite the media’s reluctance to look into Kennedy’s private life, if he had lived to have a second term: “[T]he realities of his lechery and his dealings with Sam Giancana might have leaked out while he was still in office, gravely damaging the presidency…. Impeachment might well have followed such public disclosure.” In other words, the careless only stay lucky for so long
There are many books on ethics in public administration; one of them is Terry Cooper’s “The Responsible Administrator.” This book is about how the administrator plays a crucial role in shaping the future for many other people that look up to him as the role model. The book also focuses on the common ethical problems faced by the administrators and managers and how these problems can be handled through studying various cases, analysis and theories provided in the book.
To an extent, I agree with what the author has to say about the role of an administrator but if one thinks about the role of the president of the United States, one definitely agrees how important it is to be a good role model because the millions who elect the candidate to such a prestigious position also expect that person to be fit for the seat in every way possible. What Kennedy and Clinton did during their term[s] as President is obviously not pardonable but keeping in mind that they are normal human beings and above all they are men, so I suppose with the way American culture is and how Americans are with relationships, why should Clinton be charged for something that almost every American is doing everyday? Is this justified? Just because he was the president does not make it necessary that he will also have a good character he was elected to run the country and from what I see I believe he did the best job he could have done in all the public sectors and otherwise. Besides being famous means that people will pry into one’s life and talk about that person as much as they possibly can.
Terry L. Cooper, The Responsible Administrator, 4th edition.
NANCY BENAC, Former intern’s account gains credibility with Clinton’s admission, The Associated Press, Tuesday 18 August, 1998, Website: http://www.slam.ca/CNEWSClinton/aug18_lewinsky.html
Linda K.Trevino, Katherine A.Nelson, Managing Business Ethics, 2nd edition, pp.12
Stuart Taylor Jr., The Case — For and Against, The National Journal, January 31, 1998
Emily Yoffe, How the media (reluctantly) came to report on Clinton’s sexual behavior, Website: http://slate.msn.com/id/2491
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