Right Thing


Jeffrey Seglin wrestles with the big question: should people who despise George Bush bid on work for his Presidential Library? And if they do are they sell-outs?

“… I received an e-mail from a reader asking if it would be unethical for his company to bid for a contract to design the exhibits for the George W. Bush Presidential Library, given that Bush’s values and beliefs run contrary to those of the owners of the company. .. The library is, after all, designed to promote the legacy of a president whose policies they dislike. The better the design of the exhibits, the more persuasive those policies will be. Ultimately, though, the answer has to do with the designers, not with Bush. If they feel confident that they can deliver the same high-quality work that they would for, say, the Al Gore Presidential Library, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with making the bid. Anything short of their best professional effort, however, would be unacceptable, and if they can’t promise that then they are ethically bound to pass up the opportunity.”

The analogy he chooses to explore this is clothing – that a Catholic tailor should have no ethical problems making pants for a Rabbi.

It’s when he explores “real life” that it gets weird. Seglin’s example is one Cable Neuhaus, editorial director of Newsmax. Neuhaus claims not to share the bizzaro right wing politics or journalistic practices of Christopher Ruddy, the publication’s founder.

Instead he thinks of England:

“I remind myself each and every day that I am a communications professional,” Neuhaus says. “I make magazines. I owe them my best work as a magazine journalist.”

Meanwhile, Southern Methodist University says it has no deal, yet the Bush Library is letting contracts?

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