Thursday, March 4, 2010

farmdoc's blog post number 683

Randy Cohen (pictured). He’s an interesting fellow. Wikipedia says that after obtaining an Arts degree majoring in music, he spent several years writing humour pieces, essays, and stories for leading US newspapers and magazines. For seven years from 1991 he was a writer on 950 episodes of Late Night with David Letterman, winning three Emmy Awards along the way. His fourth Emmy was for his work on TV Nation. Since 1999 he’s written ‘The Ethicist’ column in the New York Times Magazine. I subscribe to, and love, his weekly Ethicist podcasts. They’re succinct, fast-moving, and highly thought provoking. Nowadays, when I come across situations – in my life or in the news – with ethical connotations, I ask myself ‘What would Randy say?’ Two recent examples are: What would I have done had I, like Messrs Briggs and Jones, found $125,000 cash in a handbag in a supermarket carpark? And what would my reaction have been had my passport data been used by one of the team who bumped off Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January? Sweetheart Vivienne and I discussed these two questions over dinner last night. I can predict fairly accurately what Randy would’ve said about the money. But his response to the passport matter’s less certain. You see, he received his fifth Emmy Award as a result of a clerical error. And he kept it. So how could I not add him to my list of favourite journalists [1, 2]. Keep it coming, Randy.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I'm totally hooked now too and often ask myself, 'What would The Ethicist say?' Thanks for the hot tip FD! xx