Friday, July 26, 2019

Conflict of Interest

From the Boston Herald:
Mueller himself bragged about his disinterest concerning such matters at the hearing Wednesday. “We strove to hire those individuals that could do the job,” he declared. “I’ve been in this business for almost twenty-five years and in those twenty-five years I have not had occasion once to ask somebody about their political affiliation. It is not done. What I care about is the capability of the individual to do the job and do the job quickly and seriously and with integrity.”

So his claim is that if we don't ask people about their possible biases or conflicts-of-interest,  that makes them go away.  Who knew it was so simple? It's similar to the nonsense that journalists put forward, that because journalists are supposed to be evenhanded, therefore they are evenhanded, because they are journalists. No, that's not quite right.  It's not similar. It's exactly the same thing. In the most politicised city in the country, while working for an agency where the top staff are political appointees, Mueller thinks possible political motives are not likely enough to even ask about.

I contrast this to the elaborate dances people have to do in research and speaking before audiences in the medical field, where you have to specifically announce to all audiences what your possible conflicts-of-interest are. It's just normal.  It's a given.

Update:  The first comment, with classical reference, is exactly what I was driving at, but put more dramatically.

1 comment:

Aggie said...

You could easily envision Milo Minderbinder having this conversation with Yossarian, why his staff journalists can be implicitly trusted.