Comparative Analysis

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From any of our categories involving information ethics, select two current cases and do a comparative analysis of ethical issues involved. No format this time, just your analysis of both situations and the challenges of message-making/information-sharing. OR find a substantive resource that addresses multiple course issues such as season one of TRUE DETECTIVE. This
dark, disturbing thriller uses period-accurate photos & film to advance the story but contemporary music, carefully selected to create moods & become virtually a character in the series. Although the story is fictional, it reflects crimes of our times. For the information-ethics aspect here, you would research current numbers of the types of crimes the program describes, perhaps the level of corruption on the part of law enforcement in rural areas, etc. The program invites new examinations of our concept of heroes and, of course, ties in to the ethics of A&E. The series has been criticized for its negative depiction of women.

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From the items below, choose 4, first organizing your analyses using Bok’s framework of consulting your own conscience, searching for alternative ways to meet goals without compromising ethics, and researching and/or imagining how others will respond to your proposed act. It’s helpful to imagine dialogues among key stakeholder groups, but you do not need to include the imaginary conversations in your written analyses. Then use whatever ethical frames seem best to you to take a position you consider ethical, always including our base framework of accuracy, access, accountability, trust.
2.    From cases/issues in the current NYT, choose any case study of information ethics and analyze.
3.    From an issue or case in the current NYT re: advertising or advocacy, do a comparative analysis of another organization with a corresponding ethics issue.
4.    From an issue or case in the current NYT re: information-sharing through photo/video, choose any case study for analysis.
5.    From an issue or case in the current NYT re: new media, choose any case study for analysis.
6.    Wild card—an analysis of an ethics case from the news with article/s attached.
Content is more important than specific length, but do comment on overall strategy, any impact of policies/procedures, channel choices, and quality of relationships with impacted publics.

Portfolio of Case Analyses
Boyana Todorova
COM 4900: Ethical Issues
Professor L. Lopez05/18/11

Table of Contents

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  1. Case 1: Comparative analysis. 3-6
  2. Case 2-B: Is it News Yet?
  3. Case 6-A: Cable News:24/7 Political Speech or Something Else?.


  1. Case 2: Case 2-D The Spouse is Squeezed 7-9

III.       Case 3: Comparative analysis 10-12

  1. Case 3-F: In the Eye of the Beholder: Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty
  2. Axe “Self-Esteem” Campaign.


  1. Case 4: Case 5-C Blind Justice?. 13-15


  1. Case 5: Case 10-E Hate Radio: The Outer Limits of Tasteful Broadcasting. 16-17


  1. Case 6: Wild card Assignment: Releasing Osama bin Laden’s Assassination Photos.18-20

VII.     Case 7: Flourishing Person Analysis. 21-22
VIII.   Appendix. 22-29
Case 1: Comparative Analysis
Case 2-B: Is it News Yet? vs Case 6-A: Cable News; 24/7 Political Speech or Something Else?
In my experience, some of the most debated cases often include an issue of the freedom of speech and the ethicality of certain type of announcements and comments in the social media. The two case: “Is it News Yet?” and “”Cable News…?” present the same type of dilemma. Both are very familiar due to the fact that the comments in question were made by two public individuals employed by reputable news channels. In evaluating the ethicality of the information given by the two, I wish to first introduce the two aspects of the case as I see them. The first aspect will be whether the news channels’ employees were under the obligation to follow the ethical guidelines of the news media or not. In other words, would the audience have recognized their comments as objective news reports or simply as the personal opinions of two knowledgeable people? The second aspect, then, is to analyses the comments themselves in evaluating their ethicality and also reviewing the possible consequences they might lead to.
Let’s first begin with an analysis of the influence Mr. Cafferty and Mr. Cramer possess over their general audience and the accountability they should have as a result of their status. Mad Money seems to be a hybrid between a TV entertainment show and a financial newsroom. While to me this combination sounds peculiar, it seems that Mr. Cramer’s unique approach manages to get people interested. On itself, the idea is fascinating since it finds a way to keep common people informed of current financial trends and it helps them build a quick knowledge of the inner workings of the world of finance. No matter how informative the show is, however, I cannot say that it qualifies as a news report. It seems more like Mr. Cramer’s personal financial blog through which he allows people to follow his trading history and opinion of the stock market. In addition CNBC’s disclaimer’s warning stating that viewers “should not take any opinion expressed by Cramer as a specific inducement to make a particular investment or follow a particular strategy” further confirms my observations that Mr. Cramer is simply expressing his personal opinion, backed by his experience as a hedge fund manager, and is not trying to present an objective and expressive overview of the stock market. In addition, we need to also consider the fact that Mr. Cramer holds investments of his own and, therefore, his opinion and comments might be skewed due to this fact. He has no legal or ethical obligation to maximize his audience’s profits (unlike a personal financial advisor).  Therefore, I can say that I do not believe Mr. Cramer should be held responsible for making the wrong assumption about the future performance of a particular company.
In contrast to the show Mad Money, The Situation Room is an acclaimed newscast and as such it has the obligation to keep its information objective and ethical. Mr. Cafferty, however, is not a part of the team of reporters and newscasters leading the show, but has a commentary segment in which he offers his views and opinions on various high profile issues. His job as I see it is to initialize a discussion on a specific topic and then offer his personal thoughts spiced by his ability to freely speak his mind and offer his raw criticism of a given matter. His situation, therefore is no different from Mr. Cramer’s and it is clear to me, as it should be also to the general audience, that the opinion he expresses is not necessarily objective and even factually accurate.
Let’s now look at the second aspect of the situation and actually evaluate whether the information given by the two hosts is ethical and suitable for broadcast on the media. While we are all as citizens protected by the constitution and given the freedom of speech and expression, the Bill of Rights does not annul our ethical obligations to our fellow citizens and to our country and society. With that said, I believe that any public figure that has the reputation as an expert in certain field is responsible to share with his audience and followers information that is ethical and accurate to the best of their knowledge. With that established, let us now examine more closely Mr. Cramer’s statements. His advice concerning the stock market in 2008 presents us with some dilemmas. On one hand, Mr. Cramer admitted that he knew, or was suspecting, that Bear Sterns was not doing well but, at the same time, he advice his caller to keep his investments in the bank. His reasons behind this decision, however, seem plausible. While I do not condemn his choice not to expose the banks extreme vulnerability, as this protected the bank’s assets, I believe that he could have handled the situation better and at least made a less affirmative announcement that would have prompted people to do additional research before following his advice. Ironically, his statement in October contradicts his previous desire to maintain a positive view of the market and to avoid spreading panic among the population. Advising people to withdraw all of their short-term investments from the market immediately can surely led to bank runs and long-term consequences for many companies. Thus, I believe that Mr. Cramer did not act ethically because the information he presented had the potential to harm our economic system and to spread panic among the population. He, again, could have handled the situation better by making a less affirmative statement possibly urging people to apply more caution in their dealings with financial securities.
While we can argue to the ethicality of Mr. Cramer’s comments, it is clear that Mr. Cafferty’s remarks of the China failed to meet to pass our ethical guidelines. His statement was deprived of tact, it was also spiteful and even bored with racisms. Here, we need to consider the possible consequences as they relate to America’s international relationship with China, as well as with its Chinese-American citizens. In addition, I believe that he should have issued an official apology to the Chinese people, in which he should have emphasized his intention to criticize the two governments’ inadequate trade relationship and not to personally attack their citizens.
In conclusion, we need to be aware that public figures and acclaimed experts are governed by stricter rules of information ethics due to their status. While every American citizen is guaranteed the right of freedom of speech, we need to recognize the fact that certain information can be dangerous and harmful to the general population when handled inadequately or when presented by the wrong person.
Case 2: The Spouse is Squeezed – A South Carolina TV Reporter’s Attempt to Conceal Her Source
This is a complicated case that exposes the possible negative consequences that might occur as a result from even the most noble and righteous clause. As the justice system is not all powerful, it needs to sometimes relay on whistle blowers to bring illegal acts and violations to the attention of the authorities. As such actions can greatly endanger such people; the law has devised a series of protections that shield the whistleblowers. All organizations also have specifically devised systems to be used for reporting the breach of law and company’s policy. To that end, Jack Duncan acted honorably when he decided to expose the breach of law by the deputy sheriff. He however, failed to act ethically when he contacted the press instead of the Department of Justice. While I am on the opinion that the public should know what I transpiring in the society, I believe that crimes should be first handled by the authorities as they can best assure the appropriate handling of information and the protection of the affected parties. The press, on the other hand, while expressively direct, can be very subjective and careless resulting in the possible violation of people’s privacies and freedoms. To that end. I agree with the courts that Mr. Duncan’s actions need to be punished so to discourage such deeds in the future. I, however, condemn the court’s persistent harassment of Ms. Hoopes’ husband to reveal his wife’s source. The court’s action here is in contrast with our whistleblower protection and can permanently hinder the ability of the press to gain access to crucial information. If the reporters can no longer relay on the law to protect the privacy of their sources, then people would stop contacting the media and thus disturb the flow of information to the general public. A third aspect of the case is the punishment that the deputy sheriff received. Paying a fine of $250 dollars for civil rights violation is outrageous, especially when we consider the punishment that Mr. Duncan received for his failure to contact the proper authorities. The deputy sheriff’s actions not only violated the privacy of the prisoner, but also resulted in the inability of the courts to convict and jail Mr. Quattlebaum who was clearly guilty of murder. In this specific case it seems to me that the courts punished the whistleblower for coming forward with the information while they simply gave the truly guilty person a slap on the wrist.
Going forward with Bok’s model, let us now consider an alternative course of action. As I already discussed before, I believe that Mr. Duncan should have contacted the authorities first and foremost and provided them with the videotape. I am not sure whether him contacting the press is such a terrible offence as the news station actually handled the video ethically by removing the sound and, thus, protecting the confidential information. I believe that Mr. Duncan could have tipped Ms. Hoopes about the violation without giving her the tape. This way, the prisoner’s rights would not have been under jeopardy and the public would have been kept informed. Keeping the society informed is another public believe that is backed up by the protection of the law itself. The fact that the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech and expression is an indicator of the emphasis we place on information.  In addition, in Ms. Hoopes’ place I would not have involved my husband in this story as this could (and did) threaten the confidentiality of my source. Lastly, the court should not have pressured Ms. Hoopes’ husband as this is unethical from the prospective that marriage is built on the basis of trust and the court’s request can put strains on this trust and can potentially damage the union. My reasoning is also backed up by our society’s believes of the sacred nature of marriage and the fact that it is an union that needs to be protected and respected. This view is expressed not only in our religious believes but also in the legal system and the protections and privileges it offers to married people.
The third step of Bok’s model calls for a public discussion to help us evaluate whether the alternative solution meets our society’s ethical guidelines. Based on my analysis of our law system and public believes, I can conclude that the American people would find my proposed alternative ethical and permissible. In this case, I used Kant’s categorical imperative as I believe that people can be driven by many different motives that can be judged as moral or immoral depending on an individual’s mid set. The consequences of their actions, however, are what we are primary concerned about and thus, this should be our main focus.
Case 3: Comparative Analysis
Case 3-F: In the Eye of the Beholder: Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty vs. Axe’s Ads
As humans, we are fascinated by beauty and strive to be surrounded by it in every aspect of our lives. It is, thus, no surprise that we would also try to shape our bodies into being more beautiful and desirable. But what constitutes beauty? This concept has had many different meanings throughout history but its influences, it seems, has been steadily growing. Today, our society has a rather exaggerated opinion of attractiveness and the media has helped to advertise these views up to the point where it is becoming a fixation for many women. We are constantly bombarded by images of what the “perfect” woman should look like. Strangely enough, we could very rarely associate with the images of perfection. This type of propaganda has had many negative consequences for our society such as the rise of eating disorder cases, the increase of depression cases among women and young adults, and the increasing longing to desired and liked. In addition, these unrealistic views of women lead us to have materialistic and very shallow approach to interpersonal and romantic relationships.
I believe that Dove’s Real Beauty campaign is brilliant in that it aims to fight our twisted idea of beauty. In a market where companies thrive on telling women what products they need to buy in order to attain the unattainable definition of beauty, this company did the exact opposite. Dove researched the female market and used that research to great advantage. They could have easily played into women’s insecurities, but they didn’t. In addition, the campaign is effective, refreshing, new and sticky. By taking the non-traditional approach to the image of beauty, Dove created memorable commercials with which its audience can actually identify. The increase in Dove’s sales is an excellent indication of that success. Obviously this one campaign isn’t going to change the concept of beauty throughout the entire advertising industry, but it does show progress. It is also worth mentioning the fact that Dove did not get satisfied by starting this campaign, but it also continued expanding its reach to the different segments of the population by starting various different campaigns, such as “Onslaught”. More companies should take a step forward to eliminate stereotypes of body image. And it wouldn’t hurt if a super model was a size 10/12, either. Nothing is going to change women’s perceptions of beauty until a size 2 isn’t the ideal.
The campaign for Axe, like the Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign, was suited perfectly for a certain public audience. However, the problem arose when the public realized that both products were created under the same company. While Dove continued to implement the Campaign for Real Beauty, Axe’s campaign caused disgruntlement by sending an opposite message to the public. I believe that Unilever was able to commit their corporate social responsibility by launching the Real Beauty Campaign but, at the same time, its Axe brand cast a suspicious shadow to the company’s seemingly honorable intent. In the end, however, it all comes down to the question of whether they were able to increase the sales of Dove beauty products. Since both Dove and Axe are aiming for different target publics, it is inevitable that one side could create a controversial message to the other side. In the case of Axe, the product wasn’t telling the women to become sexually attractive like how they appeared in the commercial. Its main purpose was to provide young men self-esteem by having confidence to interact with women. In my opinion, since both brands are sharing the same value of “self-esteem,” it is important to show respect to each other in their campaign. While Dove gained wide support from their Real Beauty Campaign, Axe should have emphasized “self-esteem” as part of their value in the campaign. Rather than showing sexually appealing women in the commercials, it is preferable if they can add contents that could portray young men’s self-reliance to women at the same time. In this way, both brands could maintain different messages and have mutual value in their campaign at the same time.

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In this case, we need to again consider Kant’s ethical framework. Since Dove and Axe are both commercial companies, we cannot blame their owner for trying to expand the firms and increase sales and shareholder’s value. We need to consider that what is truly important is the method the executives choose to use t reach their goals. If they can find a way to advertise their product, while at the same time battle an unfair social stereotype or promote “self-esteem” to young adults, then we can applaud them for their ethical decisions and moral actions. As with every good intend, however, we need to be careful that the information we present is unbiased and that it is not ambiguous. Ambiguity is a big concern with moral actions as it can turn the best intention into a harmful consequence.
Case 4: Case 5-C Blind Justice? On Naming Kobe Bryant’s Accuser after the Rape Charge is Dropped
Even though our society is very advanced in certain aspects, it is also still very conservative when it comes to sexual issues and crimes. I, as a woman, can definitely relay to rape victims and understand their hesitance to publically admit of the injustice done to them. Even though they are the victims, our societal believes often make these women feel responsible, guilty, and even in some cases deserving the “punishment”. I agree with the laws that the state of Colorado has in order to shield rape victims from public scrutiny and additional humiliation. I am, however, amazed that not all states have such laws since having protections like these seem to me like a very logical need. Again, it is necessary for me to point out that the primary role of the courts is to protect the individual citizens, as well as the society as a whole. Another crucial responsibility of the authorities is to make sure that each trial is fair and thorough in order to avoid mistrial and false convictions. Keeping these two obligations in mind, then, let us examine the consequences of releasing the identity of rape victims for both parties.
As the Media Ethics team discussed in class, our society is greatly fascinated by drama, sex, and violence. In addition, as they clearly displayed, when these ideal are combined with the privileges given to us by the First Amendment, there could be greatly grievous consequences. In my opinion, this observation holds true also for revealing private information about victims of specifically sensitive crimes of very personal nature. Rape, of course, is such a crime in which a woman feels extremely sensitive and revealing her name to the public can only add to her sufferings and shame. In contrast to other cases, such as murder, the general audience is prone to judge rather than show sympathy for such victims. And why shouldn’t they act and think this way? After all, isn’t the primary defense in rape cases for the accused to convince the jury that the woman actually behaved provocatively, seducing, and persuading the defendant to have a sexual intercourse with her? One of the questions in the end of the chapter asks whether rape can be considered a special case. Given the way the lawyers and the court handle these cases, I say that rape is a very unique case. After all, who would even think to try to prove that a person acted so to persuade their attacker to stab, assault, hit, or shoot them?  In a recent article in the NY Times, “No Privacy of Rape Trial of two Officers”, the readers are presented with all the detailed and highly personal information about the victim revealed in a rape case. As the revelation itself is not humiliating enough, the defendant’s layers is then allowed to use every little seemingly irrelevant fact to prove that the victim is nothing but a devious, promiscuous woman who preys on men. The thought itself is outrageous to me and, thus, I can’t even imagine the strength it takes for women to not only face their assaulter, but also withstand the personal attacks and accusations in court. My question then is: Don’t these women suffer enough in the hands of our legal system for us to also have to reveal their names to the public? Why would they need to also withstand the public scrutiny and stigma? Revealing the identities of rape victims brings no benefits to the case or the society. We do not need to know detailed personal information about a person to know that what has been done to them is wrong and cruel. In addition, I do not believe that this act can, in any way, benefit the defendant, except to gain him supporters among the people who hold the public view that rape victims re often to be blamed for their own fame. It should not be surprising for us that such people will not be hard to find considering the way women are portrayed by hip-hop and rap artists. Many movies also showcase us as promiscuous and shallow sexual objects, dehumanizing us in favor of the popular culture. I, therefore, stand behind Colorado’s laws and applaud the press for not releasing the information.
There is also another aspect of this case that discusses whether civil rape cases differ from their criminal equivalency. While the crime itself should not be reviewed differently – a crime is equally grievous no matter how the person decides to receive compensation for it.  With that said, here I fail to apply Kant’s moral guidelines, as I believe that difference in the two type of cases lies solely in the intent of the accuser. In criminal cases, the victim seeks to punish the person who wronged them and potentially contribute to making our society safer. The guilty party is usually expected to serve jail time, thus preventing them from seeking retribution from their accuser. Therefore, we can say that the ultimate goal of the prosecutor in a criminal case is to make sure that the criminal will not be able to hurt the victim or anyone else again. In civil cases, on the other hand, the victim is seeking a material compensation for a caused discomfort or loss. There is, thus, no hint as to the victim’s concern for her safety. As rape is such an emotional and personal crime, I cannot believe that truly hurt women will be satisfied with receiving money for their sufferings. I would imagine that they would be scared and that they would desire to see their attacker punished and locked away where he can no longer harm them. Aristitle’s philosophy here is a very good guideline. While both courts will allow for the guilty party to prosecuted and punished, I believe that the motives of the victim in each cases are fundamentally different and thus, criminally prosecuted rape cases are very different that civil cases. In civil cases, the victim basically undermines her own ordeals and in a way announces that the damage done is simply material. Therefore, I cannot bring myself to believe that such cases require the extra shield of protection available for criminal rape cases. To that end, I believe that publishing the identity of the woman after she has withdrawn her criminal charges and started a civil suit is not unethical.
Case 5: Case 10-E Hate Radio: The Outer Limits of Tasteful Broadcasting
Americans take big pride in the fact that we live in a democratic society. We all recite the Pledge of Allegiance at school in the morning and we all study and hold dear the Bill of Rights that allow us to maintain the democracy we are all so proud of. In other words, we are very patriotic and we openly support our superior social and political system and we passionately criticize the inferior communist and socialist nations. This case study, however, reminds us of the fact that nothing is simply black and white and, thus, we need to look deeper in order to see the true face of America. While we are advertising democracy and equality to Third World countries, at home we are hardy so liberal. We see inequality and discrimination everywhere we go, every single day. It is reflected in the social niches at school divided by race, religion, and gender; by the entertainment media; by the social media and many other mediums. Radio shows, such as Van Lansing’s program, are a perfect example of the irony surrounding our societal beliefs.
In my opinion, the freedom of speech and expression can be equally empowering as well as harming. As the saying goes, with great freedom come great responsibilities. We all have the obligation to protect our rights and to strive to better our society. Hate speech, while brutally honest, brings about negative emotions and increases the already wide gap between the societal groups. Therefore, I believe that this is one case, where we need to give up some of our freedom in order to create a more peaceful and functional society.
As with every issue, however, there are two sides that can be equally appealing and reasonable. Some might argue that through programs such as Van Lansing’s show, regular people can be allowed to express their displeasure with our social and political structure and bring about valid points. Other benefits of this type of media include the ability to reach to people and to bring our point across; to be able to gather people together under the same flag and then together to try and change the system. Hate speech can be particularly successful in stirring people due to the intense emotions it brings about. Emotional people, however, are more likely to act on an impulse and we all know the dangers associated with that. To that note, while I am not denying the effectiveness of hate speech, I am questioning the consequences for the society as a whole that result from it. As members of a democratic society, we are allowed to publically express sour opinion and are given access to the law makers and politicians so that we can directly influence them to act in a way we deem favorable. Such access is given to us by the right to vote for the people who we believe share our views, we can lobby the officials so to bring our point across, and we can also publically protest an unwelcome act. All these are healthy substitutes to hate speech and have the exact opposite effect for the citizens of a community or the whole country. While hate speech often set people against each other and builds a negative emotional state, the above examples help to bring them together in a more intellectual and communal manner. In addition, hate speech tends to be contagious and viral. It often happens that one seemingly rational topic, such as a discussion on Welfare, can lead to a more aggressive, irrational subject, such as racial discrimination and religious intolerance. This is yet another thing that makes hate speech so dangerous and unreliable.
Let’s now consider the communitarian reasoning on the importance of the individual’s actions as they reflect on society. Using this ethical frame, we can evaluate the positive and negative consequences hate speech has on a society. In my view, hate speech has the potential to do more harm than good and thus, it should be deemed unethical. Communitarianism focuses on the society and views the individual as having a duty to act ethically in respect to his or her community. It overlaps with Aristotle’s view of duty to the whole and again emphasizes the citizen’s responsibility to restrain from activities that can potentially harm our society.
Case 6: Wild card Assignment
Should Obama Have Released the Photos of Bin Laden’s Body?
I am sure that many Americans were glad to hear about Osama bin Laden’s death and the fact that after so many years, he has finally answered for his crimes. The excitement this announcement created was primarily inspired by two distinctive views: people’s desire to see the man responsible for the death of so many finally punished and the comfort of knowing that the search is at last over and that one of the treats to our country has been eliminated. We, however, stay true to our human nature even in this dramatic moment – we still need solid evidence to settle our doubts and fears. The problem is, though, that the government with their actions has left us with little to no possibility for receiving such a proof. Obama’s funeral at sea was a tactful deed backed by solid logic. With the body gone, however, all that is left for the public to see are actual photographs and footage from the assault. This option, while sounding very simple and even appealing, comes attached with a lot of questions and concerns.
First, I would like to begin the discussion by expressing my personal view. I believe that, while I am curious, it is a good idea for the President not to release the photos. I was amazed to read all of the different opinions and the reasons behind them that people gave in support of one side of another. The CNN blog, “President Obama will not release bin Laden photos”, gave me an overview of the other views and also the motivations that led people to take a specific stand. Predominantly, there were bloggers that would disapprove Obama’s decision on the grounds that American people have suffered enough and now, they should be allowed to see the death of the man responsible for the sufferings. This opinion is very much in tune with our overall social culture and appeal to violence. We are very graphic and visual nation that requires experiencing everything first hand and that specifically relates to violence. Considering this group of people, I believe that releasing the photos to them will be a very bad idea because there are likely to be mishandled. Firstly, it is likely that people who make such demand will not be satisfied to simply see a shot man lying on the ground. It is likely that they will be left wanting more proof and thus will eventually begin to question the official’s integrity. Also, the public is prone to misuse sensitive information and I will not be surprised to find photoshoped pictures of the assassination flowing across the internet portraying various scenes and humoring the act. Such consequences can reflect very negatively on our society as viewed by other countries, and can also bring about social tension.
The next popular comment among the bloggers was an expressed doubt of Obama’s death. Such people would often go a step further to say that the ban on the photographs would simply give power to the conspiracy theory that have been circulating ever since September 11. My response here is that the photographs themselves are not a proof of Osama’s death. We live in an age dominated by constant technological discoveries and advances; therefore, it should be fairly simply to create an image and present it to the public. With this in mind, I believe that even if the pictures were to be release, the people in this group would soon realize the ambiguity and uncertainty surrounding today’s media and thus be left unsatisfied. The final result would, thus, be same regardless of President Obama’s actions.
Among the disagreements, however, there were also many people that expressed support for our President. Many of them expressed views very similar to mine. In addition, I was pleased to read that predominantly in this group people would comment on the immense trust they have in the government and Obama. Such statements were very encouraging given the recent economic crises and all of the flaws in our system which were uncovered during that period. In addition, we need to consider the external consequences that the release of the photos can bring about. As many people accurately stated, America is trying to portray a picture of a just and unprejudiced society in front of the other countries. In order for us to keep our integrity and stance internationally then, our actions need to correspond to our set ideals. Releasing the photographs would only show us a spiteful, blood thirsty and seeking retribution. These observations would surely clash with our true intentions to keep our citizens safe and to spread democracy and equality where possible. Should our image be undermined, then we would lose the respect our foreign partners hold for us, and without respect, there can be no partnership and trust.
The communitarian set of believes is once again the standard I deem most relevant to use in this situation. This topic relates to a personal choice which has an immense public value. Therefore, we need to here think as citizens and members of our community rather than be selfish in our desires and needs. A respected citizen should always act with his civil duty in mind. Here, our civil duty demands from us to trust in our government and our President and to support him in his decision to stand behind America’s ideals.
Case 7: Flourishing Person Analysis
My class and I, the students of eighth grade in the Math High School in Varna, my home town, entered the spacious room with a little anxiety and hesitation. In the center of the class, on the wooden chair he sat: the two-meters-tall bearded man with the gloomy face.  He examined us very carefully with his strict eyes and told us to take seats. Surprisingly for us, this teacher spoke perfect English in a Bulgarian school, which made me even more intimidated by this strange man. His first statement to us was as follows: “I hate children”. Could I imagine that this teacher would become one of the individuals I would admire the most?
A few months passed and my opinion about this “gloomy” teacher drastically changed. I soon considered Mr. Simeonov to be the most amiable teacher at my school.  His classes passed in very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. He did not only teach me English grammar, but also taught me unforgettable life lessons. Even though he was strict and often sarcastic, we soon realized that his comments were never made out of spite but with the clear intention to give us a realistic view of the real world and to prepare us for the hardships we would soon face. Mr. Simeonov always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and to not be afraid of new experiences and change.
A former chemist, Mr. Simeonov decided to become a teacher of English grammar. He always walked confidently toward the future without looking back and regretting any changes made in his life. He always emphasized the importance of diligence and persistence in achieving one’s goals. Looking at him, I realized that I greatly revered this wise pedagogue and aspired to become like him. In addition to his traits as a teacher and a person, I greatly admired him for his talents. As a true polyglot, he is fluent in French, German, English, Bulgarian, and Russian.  His linguistic gift also lay in his ability to write poems which left me speechless. The words seemed to flow as a waterfall is serenely released from the gentle mountain. The smooth sounds of his guitar and conciliating accords of the magic piano accompanied his verses and filled them with life. I knew that only an expert of real beauty could create such masterpieces. Indeed, the wild perfection of the environment always fascinated him. Mr. Simeonov enjoyed traveling and very often told me about the landscapes he had seen in various countries, such as Bulgaria, Russia, the U.S., Britain, Germany, Israel, etc. This lavishly gifted person was my inspiration in studying languages, singing, dancing, and acting. He was the one who infected me with the love of the beauty of our Planet Earth.
Every one of us has his or her hero, who has left the biggest footprint in our life. This person is our teacher, mentor, advisor, and friend. This person makes us see the world through his or her own eyes. He shows us the value of true virtue. This person entered our life to change it forever. Apparently that glum giant man with the black beard winded up being the enchanting person in my life, and his influence is akin to a tornado pummeling a field of grain. Mr. Simeonov is the person who I admire the most in my life and who I consider a truly flourishing person.

Boyana Todorova
COM 4900: Ethical Issues
Professor L. Lopez05/18/11

Axe Ads
Dove Ads
October 15, 2007
Unilever Shuns Stereotypes of Women
(Unless Talking to Men)
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
The latest iteration of Unilever’s “Real Beauty” advertising campaign for Dove products, which celebrates women of all shapes and sizes, urges girls to reject the underfed and oversexualized images of women that dominate advertising.
But ads for another Unilever brand, Axe body spray for men, feature a fictitious female rock band, the Bom Chicka Wah Wahs, who wear lingerie and stilettos and sing lyrics like “If you have that aroma on, you can have our whole band.” The band’s video has been viewed more than a million times on YouTube; one singer says in a faux bio on Axe’s Web site: “I’m a classically trained ballerina but I’ve discovered that tutus and pirouettes are no match for lingerie and pole dancing.”
Hypocrisy? So says the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, a consumer group better known for its efforts to keep junk food ads off children’s television. The organization is encouraging people to write letters to Unilever asking it to “ax the Axe campaign.”
While both the Axe and Dove campaigns have percolated for years, Susan Linn, director of the consumer group, said that what piqued her organization’s interest was a new Dove video, “Onslaught,” that encourages parents to “Talk to your daughter before the beauty industry does.” “Onslaught” criticizes advertising images that make women feel they should look thinner or younger; it was viewed about 600,000 times in the first week it was posted to YouTube.
Ms. Linn said the video is typical of the “Real Beauty” effort in that it “gets Unilever a lot of kudos, and allows them to keep making products that undermine this message.” She said her group’s online campaign has prompted people to send more than 1,800 letters to Patrick Cescau, Unilever’s chief executive.
Anita Larson, a Unilever spokeswoman, called the Axe campaign a spoof “not meant to be taken literally.” “Unilever is a large global company with many brands in our portfolio,” she said. “Each brand effort is tailored to reflect the unique interests and needs of its audience.”
Among other places, Axe is advertised on MTV, where 36 percent of the audience is under 18, according to Magna Global Media Research. The phrase bom chika wah wah, used throughout Axe’s advertising, refers to the sound of the standard guitar licks in 1970s sex exploitation movies.
Ms. Larson said the Axe brand regularly tests its campaign with men and women, and “they have shared that they see these ads as very clever and very funny.”

Obama nixes bin Laden photo release, but debate continues

By the CNN Wire Staff
May 4, 2011 8:35 p.m. EDT

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Washington (CNN) — Despite mounting pressure from some lawmakers and dissent within the ranks of his top advisers, President Barack Obama decided not to release photos of Osama bin Laden’s dead body, a White House spokesman said Wednesday.
“It is not in our national security interest … to allow these images to become icons to rally opinion against the United States,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters.
“We have no need to publish those photographs to establish that Osama bin Laden was killed,” he said.
Shortly after U.S. officials announced the decision, a news agency published photographs it said were taken by a Pakistani security official shortly after the raid.
The images, published by Reuters Wednesday, showed three men lying in pools of blood and the wreckage of a U.S. helicopter abandoned during the assault. None of the pictures appeared to show bin Laden’s dead body.
White House officials remained firm in their assertion that releasing graphic photos of bin Laden could incite more violence.
To further explain the controversial choice, Carney read Obama’s remarks from the transcript of a Wednesday afternoon interview.
“That’s not who we are. We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies. The fact of the matter is that this is someone who is deserving of the justice he received. … We don’t need to spike the football,” Obama told CBS News.
Obama’s decision settles the debate over whether the United States will release the images. But opinions about whether the U.S. government’s photographs should be public were anything but unanimous among U.S. lawmakers and members of the public at home and abroad.
Some argued releasing the images would put to rest any critics or conspiracy theories, while others countered that the graphic photos would only inflame jihadists.
A senior Democratic official close to the White House told CNN that the president was “never in favor” of releasing the photos, even as CIA chief Leon Panetta made it sound like their release was imminent. Carney said Obama consulted Cabinet and security officials before he made his choice Wednesday morning, and a majority of them weighed in against releasing the photographs.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were among those who supported Obama’s inclination to keep the pictures classified, the senior Democratic official said. But Panetta said Tuesday he thought a photograph of bin Laden’s body would be released at some point. “I just think it’s important — they know we have it — to release it,” the CIA director said.
The president’s inner circle was not happy with those remarks, the senior Democratic official said. But a senior Obama administration official said debates over the pros and cons of releasing the photos were “not at all contentious.” The official admitted that “leaks are possible,” but said that did not sway the president from reaching his decision.
Carney stressed that Obama wanted to hear differing perspectives to inform his choice.
“He wanted to hear the opinions of others, but he was very clear about his view on this,” Carney said.
“There are obviously arguments to be made on either side.”
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called the decision a “mistake.”
“I know bin Laden is dead. But the best way to protect and defend our interests overseas is to prove that fact to the rest of the world,” he said in a written statement. “I’m afraid the decision made today by President Obama will unnecessarily prolong this debate.”
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-California, also said Obama made the wrong choice about the photos.
“I want to see them, personally,” he said. “I did three tours. I’m not talking as a member of the Armed Services Committee — (but) as a Marine who did three tours because of 9/11. As Americans we deserve to see them.”
But House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat, said he shares the president’s view. “In my opinion, there’s no end served by releasing a picture of someone who has been killed, and I think there is absolute proof that Osama bin Laden was in fact the person … killed,” he said.
Lawmakers involved in national security began debating the issue well before Obama’s decision.
The top Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee has argued they should be made public right away.
“I think the question is, what’s the negative that could come from it?” asked Sen. Saxby Chambliss of Georgia. “One of these days they’re going to be released; it’s a question of whether it be now on our terms or (let) somebody else do it.”
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, who chairs the Armed Services Committee — and who has not seen the photos — had argued that the United States should wait to allow the emotions of people around the world who may be sympathetic to bin Laden to cool down.
“I’d let a little time pass so we that we don’t play into the hands of people who want to retaliate with what obviously will be a sensational picture. I would not want to feed that sensation, so I’d wait days or weeks,” he said.
Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson suggested temporarily keeping the photos confidential, but releasing them eventually. In a letter sent to the White House Wednesday, he proposed establishing a review process “to release all relevant photographs as early as 10 years from now,” or when the president “determines their release would no longer endanger the lives of Americans.”
While some Republican leaders criticized Obama, the debate over the photographs did not entirely split along party lines. Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers of Michigan said he was against releasing any photos, saying that he didn’t want to make the job of U.S. troops abroad “any harder than it already is.”
“Imagine how the American people would react if al Qaeda killed one of our troops or military leaders, and put photos of the body on the Internet. Osama bin Laden is not a trophy — he is dead and let’s now focus on continuing the fight until al Qaeda has been eliminated,” he said.
House Homeland Security Chairman Peter King, a Republican from New York who has argued that the photographs should not be classified, said he understood Obama’s call.
“While I have said that a photo release may be a good way to combat the predictable conspiracy theories about bin Laden’s death, this is a decision for the President to make, and I respect his decision,” he said in a statement. Obama’s choice comes as a poll shows that a majority of Americans support making the photographs public.
In a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday, 56% of those asked said yes, the government should release a photo of bin Laden’s body. Another 39% said no. The poll of 700 adults had a sampling margin of 3.5%. The government has said it matched DNA to confirm that the body was bin Laden’s, and most have accepted that news as evidence of the outcome of the operation. Some groups, however — including the Taliban — have questioned the assertion.
“Obama has not got any strong evidence that can prove his claim over killing of the Sheikh Osama bin Laden,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mojahed said. “And secondly, the closest sources for Sheikh Osama bin Laden have not confirmed” the death.
And at a university in the affluent Pakistani town where U.S. officials say troops killed bin Laden, a group of students clamored to tell CNN why they doubted the al Qaeda leader had been killed in the raid.
“If it is true, then why they are not showing his body?” one asked.
Similar doubt and demands for evidence that bin Laden is dead echoed on the streets of Islamabad. “I believe this is all fake,” one man said. “Wherever he is, he’s alive.”
But the White House has dismissed such criticisms.
“There are going to be some folks who deny it. The fact of the matter is, you will not see bin Laden walking on this Earth again,” Obama told CBS. None of the photos published by Reuters appeared to show bin Laden. One photo shows a man, clad in a T-shirt, lying in a large pool of blood that appears to spread from the back of his head. Two other men pictured appear to have died from extensive head and chest wounds.
The White House has received three sets of photographs, according to a senior U.S. official. One batch, which clearly shows bin Laden’s body, was taken at a hangar in Afghanistan, the official said. The official described one of the images as a clear, but gruesome, picture of the al Qaeda leader’s face. Bin Laden is shown with a massive open head wound across both eyes, the official said, adding that the image would not be appropriate for the front pages of newspapers.
The other photos include the raid on the compound and bin Laden’s burial at sea, according to the official.
CNN’s Ed Henry, John King, Jessica Yellin, Ted Barrett, Ed Hornick, Dana Bash, Dan Lothian, Susan Candiotti, Nick Paton Walsh and Leone Lakhani contributed to this report.
Reader’s Comments
Who really wanted to see the photos? The “Birthers”? Those that claim George Bush deserves credit? When in 2002 George Bush said he wasn’t really interested in Bin laden and that the war on terror was bigger than one man… and in 2005 cut funding to the agency responsible for tracking him… Good job President Obama… I’ll take your word for it and feel totally confident in your decision not to release the photos.
– Dave3000
Thats because it wasnt him they killed.
– vaastav
We had to look at the remains of the 9-11 victims why can’t we see this monster?
– rhondasue
Thank God someone like Obama is in charge who has treated and continues to treat this episode with the upmost respect for all humanity instead of just going for the common circus denominator. We should be proud of what the Navy Seals have done and gratified for the work of our government in getting someone how hated humanity so badly – let’s not give any of those who hate us the satisfaction of lowering ourselves to there level (as no doubt Bin Laden hoped would occur if he was ever cuaght). Will the pictures sneak out? Most probably some day (even soon), but let it not be our official stance on the issue.
– TheOtherDale
No need to release photos. If a US Navy Seal says Osama Bin Laden is dead, he’s as dead as Elvis.
– Common Sense
Go figure. He aint dead. Idiots
– Kras
I totally agree. The Navy Seals new what they were doing and who they were looking for. The DNA confirms this was Bin Laden. I totally trust our President who did an awesome job tracking Bin Laden since August of last year and making a gutsy call. We donot need to release photos. The man is dead and we as Americans should be proud of the Navy Seals and our President! He did what he promised in October of 2008……Debate with Senator McCain…..The President said he would go into Pakistan and get Bin Laden if the opportunity was there. He got him! Proud to be an American!!!!
– Len
No pictures necessary to convince me that Osama was taken down. Don’t believe in the conspiracy theories doing the rounds.
— Satrajit
The photos should be released, however I don’t think this is the right moment.It should be waited a certain period of time until the whole tourment of the moment passes and after that posted in silence without making any fuzz about it. If posted now, it would make people go crazy, his admirors would worship him maybe, would transform him into a hero
— Sonia
It will just discredit the US even more in the “muslim world”. They will say that it was just a staged drama to beat Pakistan over the head. Or that Osama was actually captured and then executed as his daughter is claiming. So releasing his photo will show that he was shot at close range. Oh wait…. they are actually saying that. And I actually believe the second one.
— Sam
I believe the picture should be shown to ease the conspiracy crazed younger generation like myself if i don,t see him dead i dont believe it and i feel others hold the same opinion
— steven
Though I agree with Obama administration that publishing the photographs of Bin Ladens dead body is endanger for few American people who lived in Afghanistan but on the other hand if they do not published the photograph of Bin Ladens corpse then it also enhance the controversy regarding his death. That is why I think first US administration try to enhance the security of American people who lived in Afghanistan and then they may published the photographs of Osamas dead body. Because several people around the world are looking for it so its depict the fact that published the photographs of Bin Ladens corpse is really inevitable.
— Subhadip
Al Qaeda HAS put videos of our troops having their heads cut off. Bin Laden has killed countless people for no reason other than to spread hate for over twelve years. I think the American people have earned the right to see this killers dead corpse. That is, if Obama and his people are not lying about his being killed,which is the only reason they wouldn’t release the pictures. The American government is known throughout the world for their lies and corruption.
— David
It’s no new news that politics are ridiculous. If Obama really was trying to respect the Muslim community by NOT releasing photos publicly of Bin Laden…..
Then why did he release photos of other dead men in the compound with their faces blown off? I’m sure they have families who loved them too. So why did he release those? Obama = Political Hypocrite.
Time to be a real President sir. I’m hoping you’ll finally do something for this country.
— A
Even if they did release the photo it would’nt sway my opinion that he died years ago due to health problems, they could easyly fake a photo.
— monster
I’ll believe it when I see it. A lot of people need that closure and it’s true what David said. They have made countless videos of beheading people on the internet. We’ve seen worse images on tv! Is this just buying some time for the government to fabricate some pictures?
— Tricia
I don’t think it really matters to me. Everyday this story keeps changing. Today this news said only one guy had a gun and he was killed in the first minutes. That means they went around for a half hour executing people in front of their kids. Thats no good. They are acting like crooked cops.
— Timmy
Just show them, I am one of the millions of people that trust this GOVERNMENT as far as I can throw it!
— Larry
Yep, release those pictures. I want to see. We shouldn’t not release them just because we’re scared of an attack.
— wouldn’tyouliketoknow
this is conspiracy, osama was obviously older than dirt and passed his life years ago from health problems, the obama admin. is using this to get obama to gain votes for a second term because there is no other way he will accomplish the votes because the he does not have the support of his party, if it is true show the headcam videos, and show the pictures, we’re lucky we did not get nuked because of this fake act.
— nick
The photos should be released. Why? Simple , because the fact of the matter is that many doubt that Osama is dead. Also , it states that these photos are “…gruesome” , REALLY..what did they do, bash his skull so that you don’t even notice that its his head. Really, whats the real excuse why they wont release the photos , that saying that there are photos! We live in the digital age, I am a tech guy and know the extent of which digital content could be altered or manipulated , IN reality I honestly would not believe the claim that Osama is dead unless there was some sort of video proof. And if he is dead, how do we know that he was killed 1 week ago, for all we know he may have been dead for year or so, BUT the government had private reasons to wait until they release this news.
There are so many blind sides to this story, that no amount of proof could solve. Everyone should just stick to their own thoughts on this and in a few years once the real story begins to unfold we will see governments systematic deception unwind again and again and again.
— John
Had he been captured, tried and then executed every person who lost family as a result of his actions would have been allowed to watch him die. So to deny THEM the right to see the photo’s almost seems disrespectful. Of course we all want to see them and feel entitled to see them. No one shielded our eyes when human bodies were flying out of the trade center and hitting the streets of lower manhattan at terminal
velocity. No one hid the videos of reporters having their heads sawed off from our eyes either. Our sensitivity isn’t in question because the man in question, Osama bin laden stole my generations innocence. I would find it acceptable if victims families were atleast allowed to view his corpse since they earned the right. I’m just wondering why pictures were taken at all if there was no chance of release. Presidential entertainment I guess. His position gives him the right to not only view such material but to deny those who are well deserving of a glance thieir view.
— Bryan
Even if they did show it. All you people still wouldn’t believe it anyways.
— anna
I think that releasing them now would be bad. The Al-Quaeda would most likely take every American they captured or killed and probably cut them apart and post the photos on the internet. We should wait for a few years until the Al-Quaeda is gone, then post the photos.
— Chad
Its our right as americans to see the pictures we pay taxes that fund military can expect people to believe what they don’t see obama benifits from not showing if its a lie with re election on the way people want to see it so show us if you want to be taken serious and want to end all the conspiracy talk
— justin
My opinion is that the pictures and videos should be released. I don’t NEED the pictures to believe that he is dead, but they would stop any doubts from coming into my head.
So I think that the pictures should be posted for all to see.
— Nick
Well, even though I personally want the videos and images to be released I understand why the Obama administration did not. Like a previous poster said, these images can and will be used as a rallying point to garner even more support for radicalism and unnecessary death. However the conspiracies going around are as completely ridiculous as the birther conspiracies about our president.
— Dalton
I think that they should have shown his pictures. he has killed thousands of innocents, and yet we only killed him and a few others. It’s sad that the public of us, the U.S., one of the most powerful nations, are afraid to show to the public what bin laden looks like in death. And yet Al Queda will show the pictures of our dead soldiers, and the death of innocents, and they would probably even show the picture of our president in death, even though it would just make us more powerful, and committed. I mean, why would we even care? We are more powerful than them, and they only use terrorism to “frighten” us with. Although, I can still understand why Obama would not release the pictures, it would make them more powerful, and might even make them come out and attack with an actual army.
— Elias
The pictures SHOULD be released. It is odd that on September 11, 2001 we watched hundreds of people die and suffer on our television sets but seeing a picture of a single, dead individual responsible for that suffering is not being made available to the public. It is not conspiracy, but closure.
— Matt
May 8, 2011
Privacy Disappears at a Trial About Rape


Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
Possible rape victims have long been afforded an extra layer of protection from public scrutiny. The news media typically withhold their names, and law enforcement authorities are careful not to release information like tape recordings or public documents that may reveal their identities.
The concern is that victims might be afraid to come forward for fear that their identities, and intimate details of their lives, could be shared publicly.
But when rape cases go to trial, that shroud of protection disappears in the courtroom, especially when the accuser faces the suspect from the witness stand.
The continuing rape trial of two New York police officers in Manhattan has underscored how the examining of sexual assault accusations can sometimes lead to uncomfortable, embarrassing moments.
Testimony has included discussion about the woman’s sexual history, her familiarization with different kinds of sex and the DNA found in her bed that came from men other than the accused. A close-up photograph of the woman’s cervix has been studied over and over again, the testimony sometimes sounding like a lesson in gynecology.
Courtroom reactions have included cringing, laughing or blushing like a fifth grader in reproductive health class. For some in the gallery, it has raised the prickly issue of when and if laughter is appropriate during a serious trial.
Judy Natkins, a frequent courtroom observer, said she had not found the testimony too awkward, though the apparent absurdity of some testimony — a doctor’s claim, for instance, that a Q-Tip can do as much damage to a woman as a penis — has drawn reactions.
“Maybe I do still cringe a little bit,” she said, “because I don’t think of this as the sort of thing you discuss in mixed company.”

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Officer Kenneth Moreno is accused of raping the woman while his partner, Officer Franklin Mata, stood by. They had been called to her East Village apartment building in December 2008 to help her in because she was too drunk to make it on her own.
When she testified last month, she said she had last had sex four months before encountering the officers. She testified about knowing what it felt like to have been penetrated in one manner rather than another.
She discussed all this before a packed courtroom of more than 100 people, some of them schoolchildren shuffling in to observe.
“All the preparation in the world does very little good the first time she walks into the well of the courtroom, sits in that chair and looks at the public to have to tell the story,” said Linda A. Fairstein, who spent about a quarter-century as Manhattan’s chief sex crimes prosecutor.
Some of the first questions a woman asks before going forward with a sexual assault complaint are how many people she will have to tell and whether her name will be revealed, Ms. Fairstein said. While New York’s rape shield law protects much of a woman’s sexual history from disclosure, some details are sure to come out during a trial.
In this case, science gave a hint into the woman’s sexual past: A forensic expert testified for the prosecution that the semen and hair from three men — not the officers — were found in the woman’s bed.
Some of the most awkward moments of the trial have come with an enlarged picture of the woman’s cervix on a screen as the lawyers debated the source of redness.
Prosecution experts have said it was consistent with sex. A defense expert, a gynecologist, said it could have been caused by Q-Tips or other tools used to examine the woman, saying it was common for his patients to bleed during examinations.
During cross-examination of a nurse testifying for the prosecution, one of Officer Moreno’s lawyers asked about a parallel between a Venus’ flytrap and a woman’s genitalia.
“That is a terrible example,” Justice Gregory Carro chimed in.
Even seemingly innocuous details have evoked graphic thoughts.
An investigator for the prosecution testified that the blinds at the head of the woman’s bed were twisted, perhaps evidence backing up the woman’s claim that she felt her head bumping into her window while she was being raped.

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