Integrity is such a funny thing. As is taking a stand.
And, this week, a funny troika of men were in the news, not necessarily because they have integrity--in fact the word really did not come up with any of them--but integrity is largely a function of how one comports him or herself in the face of accusations, as opposed to something transitive a person commits.
This does not mean that taking a stand on a social or political issue is not also and act of integrity as well, but, acts of integrity can be as much a response to something, as they can an act that ilicits a response in the first place.
Let's start with MSNBC's Keith Olberman, suspended this weekend for donating money to three democratic campaigns, thus violating a clause in his contract that requests Olberman obtain special permission from the head of NBC news prior to making any such potential donation.
Apparently, Olberman failed to do this, and the lightening rod host of Countdown was relieved of duties till further notice.
I do like Olberman, though I am as clear as the next guy he can be arrogant and self serving. Anyone who witnessed Olberman's separation from ESPN years ago, when he and Dan Patrick were sidekicks, has to remember this.
He can cross over calling public figures such as Sarah Palin and Bill O'reilly and Rush Limbaugh idiots, publicly. Not that the trio don't say foolish things, or are not deserving of some pushback, or that I disagree with him. However, in my view very little is gained by ridiculing and demeaning people no matter how stupidly their actions.
Although I also have to agree with Woody Allen's character in Manhattan. During a cocktail party the fact that Nazis are going to march in Skokie, Illinois, is noted and reference is made to a "devistating satiric piece" in The Times on the march. Allen notes Nazis don't understand satire, rather bricks and boards are more of the vocabulary of the Luftwaffe.
In writing this, I agree with Allen, and I may be a hippie, but I am no pacifist. I believe in fighting for what I believe in if that becomes necessary.
Though there is a groundswell of support to get Olberman back on the air soon, Keith has not spoken publicly about the incident, and that is to his credit. He is not defending himself, nor criticizing the suspension, which apparently is within the guidelines of his contract. So, loudmouth or arrogant or not, unlike many, he is not making excuses. Something the party of personal responsibility never does.
To compound the issue, Joe Scarborough, a former Republican congressman from Florida who co-hosts Morning Joe on MSNBC apparently also made contributions to Derek Kitts, a congressional candidate in 2006, and Scarborough the issue passed un-noticed.
I do watch Morning Joe, but I don't like Scarborough, whom I have seen on political shows for years, and who is two-faced in his reporting of his stands on issues ranging from the war in the middle east, to even listening to the possibility that evangelical Christians, such as Erik Prince of Blackwater, are just as evil and narrow minded as any jihadist (in fact they are eerily similar).
Scarborough is a good example of someone who has strong convictions--which is fine--but will not own his own flip floppy beliefs and nature, being happier to point the finger elsewhere.
Which brings us to Randy Moss, the ex-Patriot ex-Patriot, swapped to the Vikings a few weeks back. A talented received, with a world of baggage, Moss had not bounced from team-to-team (he is now with the Tennessee Titans) because he was a sought after commodity.
Aside from the fact that football has made him rich and famous, Moss seems to think like so many pro athletes that his beliefs and opinion are not just important, but beyond reproach.
This latest infraction started when Moss derided the Vikings coaching staff for not listening to him prior to a game with his former New England team. As part of the process, Moss decided had the coaches listened to him, and thrown the ball his way more than one eight-yard completion's worth, the 28-18 loss the Vikes suffered would have been different.
Apparently Moss also noted to the opponent Patriots that he missed playing with them--always a brilliant way to alienate one's new teammates in Minnesota--and then refused to answer questions from the press which resulted in a $25,000 fine from the league. Moss also purportedly dissed the food catered by the team after game, giving him a trifecta "F" in public relations, and resulting in the Vikings waiving the wide out.
Now, Moss may be right about the Vikes coaching staff's intelligence as they traded a third round pick for him, and promptly waived Moss, meaning the Vikes gave a third rounder to New England for nothing. This was something Vikings coach Brad Childress referred to as a "poor choice" (you think?).
Now, I am not suggesting Moss should not have opinions, or have his voice heard, but, well, again, football has made him rich and famous so exercising a modicum of self control, following the basic rules in responding to the press, and simply trying to stay on the good side of his new bosses does not seem like such a stretch to me.
Good thing I am not Randy Moss. Too bad he is not me.
Apparently Olberman did not do this and as a result
Randy Moss is cut.
Keith Olberman is suspended.
Joe Scarborough skates under the radar.
Illinois and Michigan...