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Author Topic: Clark's journalistic ethics  (Read 11811 times)
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MatterEaterLad
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« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2007, 10:27:04 PM »

I was thinking of a court of law as well.  I can't recall a time, but I assume that evidence gathered by Superman using his abilities is accepted by prosecuting attorneys.  And I wonder if Clark would ever volunteer to testify as Clark.
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« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2007, 11:32:09 PM »

On the sheer matter of journalistic integrity, Clark is clearly flouting the rules, because he is failing to declare his role in the story as an interested party. Journalists often become part of the story - think of Alan Johnston, the BBC reporter who spent four months as a hostage: he becomes part of the story, but he can still report about it since his part is a matter of recorded fact. There's the rather more curious incident I heard of recently, in which a newscaster in Florida reported the break-up of a mayor's marriage without revealing that she was the "other woman": she did report the facts objectively as they appeared, but failed to disclose the whole truth, and that's what journalism is all about (or should be).

On a moral level, though, you can't really fault Clark. Besides the fact that he's a straight-laced sort of chap who probably takes great pains to get the facts right and not embellish on his superfeats, there's also the matter that as Superman, he can't really espouse partisan causes - Superman isn't even a legal person who can vote or pay taxes. Clark is Superman's secret spokesperson in a way, the only right of expression he has. Sort of like being a civil servant and keeping a political blog, I suppose.
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« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2007, 04:29:21 AM »

there's also the matter that as Superman, he can't really espouse partisan causes
Why not?  Especially with Pre-Crisis Superman, the President of the United States (and indeed, of every country) would be whoever Superman might recommend.  "I trust this President to not waste taxpayer dollars creating more missiles that I'll have to throw into the sun sooner or later." 

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« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2007, 01:38:23 AM »

there's also the matter that as Superman, he can't really espouse partisan causes
Why not?  Especially with Pre-Crisis Superman, the President of the United States (and indeed, of every country) would be whoever Superman might recommend.  "I trust this President to not waste taxpayer dollars creating more missiles that I'll have to throw into the sun sooner or later." 

Well, yeah, but it never works like that in the comics. Superman's probably got some idea that he must not meddle in human history, or that his endorsement would be unfair to the other candidates or something. He's such a wet blanket sometimes.
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TELLE
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« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2007, 02:37:17 AM »

You don't have to go to modern real-world examples to find reporters "making" or participating in the news: most Daily Planet and WGBS employees have taken a hand in tracking down crooks, finding lost treasures, battling supervillains, and generating content by disguising themselves or doing charity work.

As for Clark's political opinions, it would be very interesting to read an ethicist's take on the various hairs he splits on a daily basis juggling to identities.

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« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2007, 02:43:35 PM »

Well, yeah, but it never works like that in the comics. Superman's probably got some idea that he must not meddle in human history, or that his endorsement would be unfair to the other candidates or something. He's such a wet blanket sometimes.
My point is that he can, but he doesn't and won't get political as Superman, even when it's to his detriment (e.g. "President Luthor").  Some of his reasons may not fall into the "wet blanket" category.  He may care about the strength of ideas and ideals over cults of personality.  He may have had a bad experience endorsing the wrong candidate for mayor as Superboy.  He may have inherited a deep-seated disdain for politicians from seeing how they interact with farmers. 

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« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2007, 03:50:24 PM »

Well, yeah, but it never works like that in the comics. Superman's probably got some idea that he must not meddle in human history, or that his endorsement would be unfair to the other candidates or something. He's such a wet blanket sometimes.
My point is that he can, but he doesn't and won't get political as Superman, even when it's to his detriment (e.g. "President Luthor").  Some of his reasons may not fall into the "wet blanket" category.  He may care about the strength of ideas and ideals over cults of personality.  He may have had a bad experience endorsing the wrong candidate for mayor as Superboy.  He may have inherited a deep-seated disdain for politicians from seeing how they interact with farmers. 



Or it may also be partially influenced by his father's experience with the obstinate members of the Science Council as well. The portrayal of the council has ranged from stubborn to fascistic (as seen in Action annual 10).
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« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2007, 07:55:45 PM »

Hey, Mxy and Amazo, you make some pretty good points: Superman might not have much reason to trust politicians (I actually like the current portrayal of Jor-El as a dissident, it's pretty nifty); perhaps his experience with politics has made him a kind of closet anarchist, though he outwardly displays a deep respect for authority.
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