Sept. 16, 2010 – Maureen Dowd’s op-ed denunciation of Newt Gingrich in the Sept. 14 issue of The New York Times contains the following line:
“Gingrich, who ditched two wives (the first when she was battling cancer; the second after an affair with the third — a House staffer — while he was impeaching Bill Clinton), now professes to be a good Catholic. Evidently the first two wives don’t count because he hadn’t converted to Catholicism.”
That Gingrich’s personal bio contains more than a few references under the heading “hypocrite and cad” isn’t news, but it was so central to Dowd’s argument that it got me thinking what would happen if a journalist for a major newspaper in Paris wrote that about a politician in France.
The answer: she and the paper would be sued big time for invasion of privacy or at least widely accused unethical journalism for attempting to make his marriages and religion a part of his CV.
The other day I posted on FranceRevisited.com an open letter from an association of a certain standing calling for the preservation of 100-year-old industrial site on the edge of Paris. I got to wondering what would happen if a major preservationist society in New York took the fight to saving a similar site.
The answer: the developer would pay big money to place a full-page ad in their defense in The New York Times—and promise riches for all.
Two cultures, two approaches to the common good—rather, four approaches if you count both sides of each example.