Simon Sinek uses a term, “ethical fading,” in his book, The Infinite Game. In the book, Sinek is referring to the Wells Fargo scandal in which several thousand employees created bogus accounts to essentially make their quotas look good. The ethical fading defines how these employees could know they were doing wrong, but since it was the culture, and seemingly expected, people did it and justified why they did it, without necessarily thinking of themselves as bad people.
As I thought about that term today, I kept thinking about the so-called 4th Pillar of Democracy, a free and independent press, has had ethical fading for the entirety of the candidacy, election, and administration of the current man in the Oval Office.
Because the man in the Oval Office increases ratings, which means an increase in revenues, these benefits to main stream media has caused ethical fading and complicity in how we have gotten to where we are at this time in history (Note: Ethical fading and complicity was well underway before the current administration, it has just grown exponentially since the man in the Oval Office came onto the political stage.).
The press has not covered, truly investigated, nor asked the very tough questions over and over again, of the man in the Oval Office or the trumplicans. The press follow wherever he leads them, won’t support one another in terms of follow-up questions or walking out en masse when they should, and repeat his narrative even as they say they aren’t.
If it were any other person in the Oval Office right now, they would have long ago called for their resignation each and every day, above the fold and in bold type. They wring their hands and express concern just like Susan Collins. Send thoughts and prayers like the trumplicans as they watch Democracy crumble beneath their feet, and directly and indirectly support these two things happening.
I’m no longer sure if I should say if, or say when, our country falls completely under authoritarian rule, do they not know they will no longer be a free and independent press. Are they looking forward to having to run stories that only praise the current man in the Oval Office? Are they looking forward to some of their own just disappearing? Are they looking forward to the horrors that will unfold on their watch, and because of their ethical fading and love of money?
The so-called 4th Pillar of Democracy is complicit in getting us to this point in history.
The question is, will they realize their complicity in time to make a difference in turning us back into the country we once knew, supporting our institutions, and being hard on our elected leaders, all of them, not just a select few.
I’m not sure as it feels as if the bridge has been crossed and main stream media are ignoring all signs to turn around.
History will not look kind on our current free and independent press. However, how the story ends is up to them. What narrative shall they, and we, write about them in the coming annals of history?
Will it be they helped in the downfall of the greatest democracy the world has known to-date?
Or, will it be they found their ethics and did the right thing?