A Brief Lessons in Ethics


You know, folks, I’ve been writing on this blog for over 10 years now. And along the way, I’ve discovered some interesting things, one of which is:

the type of articles that you write determines the kind of readership that you get

If I regularly wrote mediocre, inoffensive pablum like “gosh, those superhero movies sure are fun!” or “kitties are soft and fluffy,” this website would attract:

  1. A really large audience, and
  2. readers who are very middle of the road.

But when you dig deep to reveal uncomfortable truths like I do, your “audience share” goes way down, and the readers that you attract are from the edge of the spectrum, either unusually intelligent or egregiously stupid.

Interestingly enough, there’s a really simple test you can use to separate the morons from the bright kids.

When you read one of my articles, if your reaction is “hmm, that’s interesting,” then you’re almost definitely smarter than average. But if your reaction is “that’s all a pack of lies!” then guess what? You’re not the brightest bulb on the factory floor, bud.

Plenty of smart people disagree with me, so agreeing with what I say isn’t the relevant criteria here. It’s whether or not you’ve got the mental capacity to understand that there are other people besides you in this world, and that they can have an opinion, and it can differ from yours, and that this is not going to kill you.

🤞 Scout’s honor!

My Journalistic Ethics

Lately, I’ve found out that some mouth-breathing halfwits have been reading my little blog here and have drawn some spectacularly misguided conclusions.

Therefore, let me make myself 100% clear, using simple words that even these mental midgets can understand.

Although I definitely don’t consider myself a traditional journalist, I have always adhered to a very strict code of journalistic ethics. Anyone can see them by clicking on the word POLICIES at the top of the screen.

Here they are in a nutshell:

  1. I welcome, support, and encourage freedom of expression
  2. I never publish anything private
  3. I always tell my truth
  4. I never go after innocent bystanders

What do these mean?

Freedom of expression

This doesn’t just refer to my right to form an opinion and say what I think, it also refers to other people’s right to say what they think. That means that, yes, if you disagree with me and think I’m a blithering idiot, you have my permission (and encouragement!) to say so.

Sometimes, I make mistakes, and I only learn about them because people tell me. Other times, people disagree with me, and although it doesn’t change my mind, it does help me better clarify and understand my position. And lastly, sometimes I do change my mind thanks to someone disagreeing with me.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS THE CORNERSTONE OF DEMOCRACY AND JUSTICE

In 10 years, I’ve only deleted two or three comments (that weren’t just pure bot spam), and they were related to encouraging violence and murder. Everything else has been permitted.

Yes, I sometimes use sharp language when I write, and I never pull any punches, so I’d be a pretty big hypocrite if I started crying every time someone criticized me for something I wrote.

I publish public information

As I’ve said in my policies for years, if I see the mayor yelling at his kid in the grocery store, I won’t write about it. But if he yells at his kid during a television broadcast, I will.

What’s the difference?

It means that I’m only interested in holding public people accountable for their public acts. I don’t dig in garbage cans to find information. I don’t pay people to tell me secrets. And I certainly don’t go around publishing anonymous gossip.

I am always upfront and completely transparent about where I get my information. That’s why you see so many links in my articles – they, quite literally, show you the public sources of my information.

I always tell my truth

This has two components. First, I always tell the truth, to the best of my abilities. I don’t make up facts or invent things. I do my research and I report what I find, no matter where that takes me.

Secondly, the truths expressed on this blog are my truths.

I do not take any money from any government, governmental organization, non-profit, corporation, or institution. Not one word that I have ever published has been written or directed by someone else. I do not work as a proxy for anyone.

The words you read that bear my name are MY words, and my words alone. Nobody fucking tells me what to write, and nobody ever will.

I don’t go after bystanders

I’ve been sharply critical of many public figures here on this blog. One of them is the Moldovan crybaby politician, Andrei Nastase, a loser in every sense of the word,

I’ve analyzed in extreme detail his hilarious “own goal” when he lost the Chisinau mayoral election (twice!). I’ve talked about his ridiculous cosplay of wearing a police uniform while at work as the Interior Minister (sitting underneath a giant cartoonish cross, no less). And I’ve laughed at his ludicrous claims of being “secretly poisoned” with mercury. And I stand by every damn word that I wrote.

But you know whom I never called out? His wife (or his kids). Why would I? His wife has nothing to do with his political “career.” She doesn’t even live in the Republic of Moldova!

I’ve never said one harsh word about her. I’ve never published her photo or the company where she works. And I’ve certainly never even mentioned his kids, not even their names.

Why? Because Andrei Nastase is the one with power here. He’s the oligarch trying to control Moldova’s future. He’s the one who has held political office and made decisions using the public’s money. He’s the one on TV, giving press conferences.

See the difference? Andrei Nastase is the public figure. I write about his public acts, but I don’t touch the wife or kids.

Basic ethics, yo.

Only the Beginning

Thank you to all of my sane readers for understanding.

As for the rest of you, try reading your own constitution. Here, I’ll help you: type dreptul de exprimare into Google’s search bar. You might actually learn something!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Occasional reader says:

    Sam, the reception you get isn’t due to your content being so boldly provocative. It is because longtime readers (and now, in the era of death of blogs, most of your readers are probably longtime ones) know your story: you got deported from Romania – and even while you were in Cluj plenty of us thought you were a total bellend – and ever since then your whole modus operandi has been sour grapes against first Romania, and then any broader geopolitical context in which Romania might be situated.

    You aren’t some insightful political commentator, you are a moaner and griper. If you hadn’t attempted to live illegally in Romania for years and then suffered the consequences for it, you wouldn’t have come to written most of what you’re writing now.

    Like

Got something to say? Try to be nice!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.