Segments in this Video

Ethics in Government: Introduction (01:30)


Fred W. Friendly outlines the public trust system of government envisioned by the founders. In practice, private interests often conflict with public duties; loyalty, conscience and integrity may be tested. Arthur Miller moderates a hypothetical case study.

Hypothetical Ethics and Domestic Violence Scenario (02:14)

Former HEW Secretary Joseph A. Califano, Jr. attends a dinner where White House Chief of Staff Bob Able hits his wife in the kitchen. Califano would keep the incident a secret by refusing to comment on private matters to the press.

Misconduct in Private (01:56)

Califano would speak to Able about alleged spousal abuse but not tell the president. As president, former U.N. representative Jeane J. Kirkpatrick would want to know about her White House Chief of Staff behaving unethically.

Press Tip-off (03:24)

ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings and New York Times Washington Correspondent R. W. Apple discuss how they would investigate upon hearing that the White House Chief of Staff was engaged in spousal abuse. Califano would stall until having prepared a response.

Hypothetical Drug Abuse and Ethics Scenario (04:12)

If a White House aide confirmed a story of Able snorting coke, Jennings would run it. As president, Kirkpatrick would ask Able; if Able denied it, she would investigate who started the rumor.

Truth and Trust (02:04)

As president, Kirkpatrick would not require Able to take a drug test to deny a drug abuse story. Counsel to President Carter Lloyd Cutler would recommend the Attorney General investigate; attorney Arthur Liman would pressure Able to be honest for administration credibility.

White House Trust (03:07)

After having published a story about Able's drug habit, Jennings would give him air time to deny the rumors. Media analyst Jeff Greenfield believes Able would take a voluntary drug test. Kirkpatrick explains why she would not order a drug test.

White House Infighting (02:00)

Cutler recommends Able seek legal advice before taking a drug or lie detector test. Attorney Leonard Garmenz would involve the FBI. Liman would frame the issue as being politically motivated.

A Shark in the White House (03:41)

Able is proven drug-free. Kirkpatrick would call her counselor try to identify his accuser and stop infighting. Arthur Upstart comes under suspicion; Califano might transfer him to another government office.

Administration Credibility over Trust (03:33)

Califano would transfer Upstart to another position. Upstart demands due process and threatens to leak to the press. As president, Kirkpatrick would frame the decision as rebuilding White House trust, whether or not Upstart can prove innocence.

Protection of Sources (04:30)

Upstart asks Jennings to tell the president he did not leak the Able story. Jennings would ask her about the White House investigation but not reveal his source.

Lobbying Ethics (03:45)

Upstart wants to leave the White House and start a lobbying business. Regulations restrict former staff from using contacts for a year, but they can practice law. Representatives Newt Gingrich and Louis Stokes say members of Congress have only ethical restrictions.

Potential Lobbying Restrictions (02:12)

Senator Alan Simpson explains how former Congress members are paid to lobby current members. Representatives Gingrich and Barney Frank discuss the idea of restricting former Congress members for a year.

Attracting Political Investors (04:14)

After leaving the White House, Upstart sits on the State Supreme Court and decides to run for Senate. Political consultant Ann Lewis outlines his campaign strategy, including fundraising in Washington. Frank discusses using PAC contributions.

Campaign Ethics (02:08)

A benchmark poll reveals much of Upstart's state is agrarian but he disagrees with farm subsidies. National Strategies President Robert Beckel says it is hard to defend a policy one does not believe in.

Winning Votes (03:06)

As Upstart, Miller asks Lewis how to update his image to send a message to potential constituents of mutual trust and respect of values. Voters are not easily deceived; Greenfield recommends he avoid trying to appear as a farmer in media stunts.

Congressional Ethics (06:20)

Upstart becomes a Senator. Frank tries to convince him to vote for a low income housing bill by trading one of his votes. Simpson argues that trading votes produces two bad bills, but agrees it is part of the legislative process.

Ethics in Government: Conclusion (00:46)

Friendly quotes from Walter Lippman's "The Public Philosophy" about politicians perpetually seeking office and courting constituents in a democracy. The public is a demanding master.

Credits: Public Trust, Private Interests (01:02)

Credits: Public Trust, Private Interests

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Public Trust, Private Interests

Part of the Series : Ethics in America
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Jeane Kirkpatrick, Joseph A. Califano Jr., Senator Alan Simpson, Peter Jennings, and others address the problems of trust—within government, between one public official and another, and between the government and the public.

Length: 57 minutes

Item#: BVL160432

Copyright date: ©1989

Closed Captioned

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