Thursday, May 15, 2008


Professor Carter,

    I'm writing you this brief note as a self-motivator to write a thorough review of "Integrity".   I'd read "Culture of Disbelief" when it was new, and find myself in general, if not considerable agreement with your arguments.

    However, this note is to call into question one thought in the book, on p. 99 where you say:
 "That this is so is probably obvious to the reader; indeed, only a journalist or an undercover spy would imagine for a moment that there is nothing morally bankrupt about lying or breaking one's word in order to obtain information".

I trust you have had others point out to you that this must be among the most outrageous statements in your book.   I see no way to interpret this other than _only_ journalists _and_ undercover spies lie without moral restraint.  I accuse you of lazy thinking.   To go unchallenged, your statement, if true implies the frequent examples of prevarication for information I see on "Law and Order" are the figments of a screen-writers imagination.  Is there not a profession, many detailed in the book, which could not be included in this select list? 

    I think you'd like to update this book, if not to correct this rather absolute pronouncement; there are scant few others, giving your appropriate willingness to characterize some of your frank opinions.   The other area needing updating is your  non-partisan naivete, born of the '90s origin of the book that both political parties are equally culpable in the demise of comity.  We liberal Democrats have been weak and ineffective at responding, and our leaders are still behind what the public demands.   No, I don't _need_ a Bush/Cheney impeachment, but it would be just.  I think the Republican Party owes the republic an apology for their assault on democracy.   As a practicing Catholic, I'm holding out hope that a great number of our bishops will precede their resignations by humble, heartfelt apologies for the damage they have done.   From the Republicans, for equally grave sins in their own sphere, I hold out no such hope or expectation.

   You should know that I come from a family of rural journalists, persons whose integrity i never felt the need to question, notably my grandfather, and father, not to overlook my grandmother and mother.   I also spent my first seven years from college working for our nation's intelligence services.  So I naturally take exception to both sides of your characterization.

-- Marty McGowan   24 Herning Ave
                           Cranford NJ 07016

p.s. i've copied my weblog:   and share this with some of my correspondents.

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