Leading into the landfall of Hurrican Gustav there were some examples of folks on the left considering it funny and/or Divine Redemption that Gustav was projected to hit New Orleans on the opening day of the GOP Convention. I posted a video of one, former DNC Chair Dan Fowler. (Infamous walking toxic dump Micheal Moore also weighed in, proclaiming the impending disaster as proof of God’s existence and cheered it on. No, I didn’t provide a link – HoodaThunk?’s got standards.)
I’ve already addressed my thoughts on that issue and noted Fowler’s weasel-class “apology” but the incident did raise another question. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air noted it at the time: what are the ethical questions of recording other peoples’ conversations, to say nothing of the legal ones?
First off, no-recording laws that we all tend to think about are the wire-tapping laws that deal with recording phone calls. Situations like this get around those for the obvious reason that this wasn’t a phone call. However, I can’t walk up to the window of your bedroom with a video camera and tape you and your spouse getting ready for bed, either, phone call or no. So what’s the driving factor?
Expectation of privacy.
Would reasonable people conclude that the conditions of a given conversation or act should be provided privacy? Two people sitting in a closed car with the doors and windows closed up and speaking at normal conversational tone and volume could reasonably expect privacy. The same couple in the same car parked in the same place with the windows down and yelling at the tops of their voices could not claim the same. That’s what’s critical in the Fowler incident. Fowler is clearly sitting in a commercial airplane with people sitting immediately adjacent to him who weren’t part of his party. (Meaning, “traveling group”, not “Democrats” although that also applied.) Yet, he spoke in that environment at a volume intended to be heard by at least the person across the aisle and perhaps by the person beyond. That put others in listening range, including the person with the camera. Is it reasonable to expect privacy in that situation. My take: no, it’s not. Taping an event like that is fair game and if Fowler didn’t want it heard, he shouldn’t have said it.
One wonders, however, how that specific moment was captured. You clearly can’t fire up a camcorder and catch the whole moment if you start that process after the comment is begun. That means either 1) the person recording had the recorder going before Fowler made his comment and was simply recording in the hope or confidence that Fowler was going to make a comment he’d regret, or 2) Fowler had already made such a comment once and was repeating it several times because he and his fellow Dems just thought that was too funny to resist. Not something that reflects well on Fowler and his party in either case.
At the moment I’m writing this, I’m cruising at 36,000 feet somewhere over Iowa headed to San Francisco for our company’s annual Global Sales Meeting. Just over there to the right of my flight GOP delegates from all over the country are meeting in Minneapolis/St. Paul for the purpose of nominating the Republican candidates for the presidential election this year. While the outcome is no longer in doubt it’s still business that must be done and the rationale for choosing the people to carry our banner in November must be assessed. Pros and cons about whether John McCain and Sarah Palin are the right people for these offices must still be weighed by serious people.
So, who thought it was a serious political concern to be considered in the assessment of a person’s suitability for office that said person’s teen aged daughter is pregnant out of wedlock?
Apparently our friends on the left do, since their other attempted sex scandal turned out to be a huge flop. (I was going to say “embarrassment” but the people pushing this story obviously have no shame, ergo no embarrassment is possible.) But honestly, what’s up with this? A 17-year-old girl, who apparently has enough connection and feeling for the guy in question that she slept with him – and intends marriage, I might add – finds herself pregnant in a situation her parents obviously would have preferred she avoid. How is this of concern where the governing ability of Sarah Palin is concerned? Is the fact that a 17-year-old young woman chooses to not follow the intentions of her parents somehow indicative of a professional flaw in them?
Clearly not. Miss Palin’s personal activities are just that – personal. It’s a family matter, not a public one. Only someone desperately seeking anything ill to speak of with regard to Sarah Palin would stoop that low. Serious-minded adults should allow this family matter to remain such and use matters that actually matter to guide their decision.