NYT Advice Column: Truth is Stranger Than Fiction Edition

From the New York Times, July 13, 2012, The Ethicist column:

MY WIFE’S LOVER

My wife is having an affair with a government executive. His role is to manage a project whose progress is seen worldwide as a demonstration of American leadership. (This might seem hyperbolic, but it is not an exaggeration.) I have met with him on several occasions, and he has been gracious. (I doubt if he is aware of my knowledge.) I have watched the affair intensify over the last …

  1. raycon and lindacon

    Your insight has a ring of truth to it.

    Mrs. Patreus might not read your commentary on Ricochet, but my guess is that it will find her eyes pretty quickly.

  2. Pseudodionysius

     I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person).

    Kind of passive-aggressive. As if his wife is out doing something high profile and he is not.

  3. Pseudodionysius
    raycon and lindacon: Your insight has a ring of truth to it.

    Mrs. Patreus might not read your commentary on Ricochet, but my guess is that it will find her eyes pretty quickly. · 12 minutes ago

    If she types in the search word Fauxcahontas it should come up pretty quickly.

  4. Nathaniel Wright

    “It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform.”

    Whuh?! Especially considering, ” The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything.”

  5. Crow

    Don’t you wonder how differently this advice would read if that letter had come in during a Republican administration? Would the ethics columnist be just so willing to note how admirable it was for him not to humiliate his spouse or her lover because of “some greater political good”?

  6. Crow
    Nathaniel Wright: “It would be different if this man’s project was promoting some (contextually hypocritical) family-values platform.”

    Whuh?! Especially considering, ” The only motive for exposing the relationship would be to humiliate him and your wife, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything.” · 1 minute ago

    Hypocrisy is the worst of the deadly sins perceived by movement Democrats, but like all other deadly sins they consider their side completely immune to them.

  7. Dave Carter
    C

    Wait.  The New York Times has an ethicist?  What’s next, a chaplain in a brothel?  

  8. Give Me Liberty

    Liberalism’s Cuckold

  9. Astonishing

     

    From the New York Times, July 13, 2012, The Ethicist column:

     . . . I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.

    If the NY Times ethicist suspected the husband was acting unethically by seeking to have his letter published, wasn’t it unethical for the NY Times ethicist to publish the letter? (He could have answered the letter privately.)

    Once again, the NY Times exempts itself from its own standards.

  10. Indaba
    Astonishing:  

    From the New York Times, July 13, 2012, The Ethicist column:

     . . . I halfway suspect you’re writing this letter because you want specific people to read this column and deduce who is involved and what’s really going on behind closed doors (without actually addressing the conflict in person). That’s not ethical, either.

    If the NY Times ethicist suspected the husband was acting unethically by seeking to have his letter published, wasn’t it unethical for the NY Times ethicist to publish the letter? (He could have answered the letter privately.)

    Once again, the NY Times exempts itself from its own standards. · 3 minutes ago

    That is the most astonishing sentence, but the word that is an outright lie is the word “halfway”. 

  11. Western Chauvinist
    raycon and lindacon: Your insight has a ring of truth to it.

    Mrs. Patreus might not read your commentary on Ricochet, but my guess is that it will find her eyes pretty quickly. · 56 minutes ago

    You’re right, of course. I wasn’t thinking of Mrs. Petraeus when I posted (although the insight is from Hot Air, not me). I suspect it is much more likely that Mrs. Petraeus read this herself in the NYT and put two and two together. However, I regret that my own folly might cause Mrs. Petraeus yet more pain than she’s already in and I pray fervently for the reconciliation of her marriage to a man I believe to be good and honorable, although flawed.

    It seems to be a “good” week for exposing human folly.

  12. She

    Wow. I say again, wow.

  13. Omid Moghadam

    The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable.

    Creepy all around. Reminds one of the stories from Soviet Union and North Korea.

  14. Richard Stewart
    Omid Moghadam

    The fact that you’re willing to accept your wife’s infidelity for some greater political good is beyond honorable.

    Creepy all around. Reminds one of the stories from Soviet Union and North Korea. · 20 minutes ago

    Indeed:  yet more evidence that we are dealing with ends-justifies-the-means thinking which is truly chilling.  The willingness to swap the sanctity of a marriage for “some greater political good” is a surface feature which says a great deal about the size of the iceberg underneath…

  15. tabula rasa
    Dave Carter: Wait.  The New York Times has an ethicist?  What’s next, a chaplain in a brothel?   · 1 hour ago

    An “ethicist” has the imprimatur of the academic left.

    The religious right still feels comfortable talking about our personal issues privately with  quaint people known variously as a “pastor,” “priest,” “bishop,” or “minister.”  

    Or, back in the day, we felt OK getting advice from Ann Landers or Dear Abbie.  That was wrong, of course, since I’m pretty sure neither had a degree in “ethics,” though as best I recall they had something more valuable:  common sense.

  16. Tommy De Seno
    C

    Talk about down with the cause!  This guy was willing to let his wife sleep with someone else for the good of the country?  

    Sounds sort of European.  I’m way too American for that.  I would have waited for a high-profile event and put one right on Patraeus’ chin.

  17. RightinChicago

    Beyond honorable?!?!?! Oy gevalt!!! That calls for another Bloody Mary. In vodka veritas.

  18. Mafuta Kizola

    So it is ok for my wife to have an affair … as long as it is with Bill Clinton.

    RightinChicago: Beyond honorable?!?!?! Oy gevalt!!! That calls for another Bloody Mary. In vodka veritas. · 0 minutes ago

    Vodka Pundit showed us the way.

  19. Eeyore
    Dave Carter: Wait.  The New York Times has an ethicist?  

    Dave, it’s all the rage. Remember the recent dust-up about two bioethicists calling for the acceptance of “after-birth abortion” to replace the outmoded concept of infanticide?

    It’s how you push a society in the direction you want it to go.

  20. Western Chauvinist
    Eeyore

    Dave Carter: Wait.  The New York Times has an ethicist?  

    Dave, it’s all the rage. Remember the recent dust-up about two bioethicists calling for the acceptance of “after-birth abortion” to replace the outmoded concept of infanticide?

    It’s how you push a society in the direction you want it to go. · 13 minutes ago

    Precisely.

Want to comment on stories like these? Become a member today!

You'll have access to:

  • All Ricochet articles, posts and podcasts.
  • The conversation amongst our members.
  • The opportunity share your Ricochet experiences.

Join Today!

Already a Member? Sign In