New York, New York, USA
Director of News and Programming
Award winning journalist Gary Baumgarten hosts the News Talk Online show on He asks critical questions, and invites people from all around the world to talk directly to his newsmaker guests using Paltalk's voice over IP technology. Gary came to Paltalk as director of news and programming from CNN where he was the radio bureau chief and correspondent in New York for a decade, where he covered, among other things, the 9/11 attacks in New York and Hurricane Katrina. He was previously reporter and assistant news director at CBS all news radio station WWJ in Detroit. Prior to that he was managing editor at Detroit Radio News Service and a reporter for the Jackson (MI) Citizen-Patriot, the Detroit News and a number of weekly newspapers. Paltalk is the largest multimedia interactive program on the Internet with more than 4 million unique users. News Talk Online is also syndicated by CRN Digital Talk Radio to cable systems serving an additional 12 million households.


NOVEMBER 28, 2011 11:06PM

An unanswered ethical question

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Just as I went to air today on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network, CNN proclaimed "Breaking News."

The big news? Yet another woman has come forward to say she had a sexual relationship with Herman Cain.

This one says she had a long-term affair with the GOP presidential hopeful. So, whether this falls into the same category of the previous allegations - that Cain inappropriately and against the will of women over which he held control or sway - remains to be seen. But it prompted me to ask a question that, to my mind, went insufficiently answered.

That being, how is it that we become so righteously indignant over a politician or candidate's alleged or real sexual indiscretions but we seemingly fail to pause to consider the ethical  or moral consequences of going to war?

Riley from the UK called to argue that the two issues are completely different. But I believe that misses the question's premise.

I just don't get why we are all over the private lives of politicians on moral grounds - but not the decision to put American lives at risk and the killings of thousands of people when the nation goes to war.

You'd think, with so much more at stake - like the lives of Americans and others, civilians included - than whether a politician can keep his zipper up - there's at least be some discussion of the morality.

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cain, war

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That is a good point actually. It seems like modern politics generates that a lot, and has since maybe Kennedy and TV, if Ike had some TV time too.
Before that, the information flow was less as to personally seeing a President. Just a radio voice, and that maybe made it easier to ignore a lot of stuff, plus, the media than didn't cover all kinds of things. Maybe that was a good thing, since really, we don't know the actual truth about anything here, it seems to me. Now, if she says that, and I were him, and that wasn't true, I would file a defamation of character suit, and try to crush her completely, like homeless or in a mental ward or, she apologizes. He said he would do that.
Of course, that's a little off topic. But yes, killing thousands of people is an intrinsic part of any real modern war, and even if you have perfect bombardments and all that, some innocent people always die, which is why it is actually like you say to think very seriously about when and why such a terrible thing can be also just under the circumstances, some argue per Just War doctrine, or not. That's a fair question. Salacious sells might be the answer, alas.
It's because an easily recognized individual with presidential aspirations and another individual saying she was sexually involved with him are easier to fixate on than something big, unwieldy and far far away like a war. A war where soldiers are called "troops" individuals are lumped together as "civilians" and the enemy is referred to as "insurgents." Plus, it's not "sexy."
With all the real tragedies occurring daily one must wonder about the insane fury over the very momentary exposure of Janet Jackson's nipple. Using that as i gauge I have strong doubts as to the viabilityof humanity on the planet.
I agree, Gary. Thing is, once you choose the spotlight, you are illuminated. It comes with the job. The issue of morality is one of perspective. Those who think that war is moral are insane, but for many, it is the last and only option out there. Depends on whether you are the slaughterer or the slaughteree. For example: What will Israel do, if Iran starts the nuclear rumble.?

I say leave old Herman alone, he is going to self-destruct on the 9-9-9 issue. Whew...this guy better make a list now and get it over with.
Wondering whether Cain has any moral compass when our national moral compass re the Middle East is on permanent waver (if not waivers) is like wondering why the Republican presidential candidates all try to shout the loudest about being anti-choice... but hardly murmur about foreign policy. We've gone down a rabbit hole until the next election. Thanks for looking down into the hole.
the country refuses to grow up.